Bolden, 25, appeared in seven NBA games for Cleveland in 2020 and 2021, but has spent the majority of his professional career in the G League, including the last two seasons with the Salt Lake City Stars. Although he was a regular starter for Utah’s G League affiliate in 2021/22, averaging 11.7 PPG and 8.5 RPG in 21 regular season NBAGL games (30.1 MPG), the former Duke Blue Devil was limited to six total appearances for the Stars last season due to a shoulder injury.
The Bucks have 15 players on guaranteed standard contracts, so they likely don’t envision Bolden having a spot on their regular season roster. Assuming his contract includes Exhibit 10 language, it could be converted to a two-way deal before the regular season begins, though Milwaukee doesn’t currently have a two-way opening either.
Exhibit 10 signees often end up being waived and then reporting to their team’s G League affiliate, earning a bonus worth up to $75K if they spend at least 60 days with the NBAGL club. But assuming the Stars still hold Bolden’s returning rights, which appears to be the case, then the Wisconsin Herd – Milwaukee’s affiliate – would need to trade for those rights in order for the big man to receive a bonus from the Bucks.
Milwaukee had been carrying 20 players on its offseason roster, leaving one open spot, so no cut is necessary to make room for Bolden.