The impact of Pat Connaughton’s extension with the Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have extended the contract of wing Pat Connaughton for another three seasons. The contract is valued at $28.5 million per Woj of ESPN. The seven-year veteran played his first three NBA seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers. After those three seasons, he then signed on as a free agent with the Bucks.

Connaughton has a player option for next season which he is obviously picking up. This means that the Bucks have bought back another member of their 2021 championship team. This is going to keep them competitive in the Eastern Conference. Given how much of their salary cap is taken up by the big three, it was crucial to get a rotation piece like Connaughton cheaply.

Given that he has spent the past four seasons with the Bucks, he understands how to play with Giannis Antetokounmpo. This is crucial given how vital he is to the franchise. Playing with Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday is also important. However, without Antetokounmpo, this team is middle of the pack at best. Finding players who can highlight Antetkounmpo’s strengths is the best way forward.

Pat Connaughton gives the Milwaukee Bucks flexibility

Connaughton naturally swings between the two-guard and small forward position. He is a good backup for both Khris Middleton and Grayson Allen. This flexibility has been a huge reason for the Bucks’ success. Their ability to throw a multitude of quality lineups at their opposition with Antetnokounmpo at the heart of it all makes them hard to defend.

Connaughton has come off the bench for all but 35 of his 417 career games. However, he is certainly capable of starting. In the 19 games that he started last season, he averaged 11.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in 30.4 minutes per game. These numbers were moderately up from his reserve sats, where he averaged 9.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 24.2 minutes per game.

As long as the Milwaukee Bucks continue to surround Antetokounmpo with players who can play off him, they will compete.