Eric Bledsoe’s extension with Bucks includes partial guarantee in final season
The surging Milwaukee Bucks will have multiple decisions to face in free agency this coming offseason, as multiple core pieces of their team will be seeking new contracts. The Bucks are acting quick, though, as they gave themselves a head start by locking up Eric Bledsoe with a contract extension on March 1.
The extension marked down Bledsoe for four years and $70 million. Shams Charania of the Athletic revealed, however, that the last season has only a slight partial guarantee.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 4, 2019
Milwaukee did themselves quite the service by granting a little extra insurance on their end for the deal. Bledsoe, who is currently 29 years old, will be 33 by the time the deal is done. There is a good chance that the deal will carry through the remainder of the point guard’s prime, but if his game begins to decline earlier than expected due to age, the Bucks have an easy out.
The new contract was well-deserved for Bledsoe, and a great deal for both sides. After being traded to the Bucks last season, he has been a great fit with the team and has helped them make the push to the top of the Eastern Conference this season. Through 61 games, Bledsoe is averaging 15.9 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.7 rebounds per game, all above his career averages.
This deal could set the market for other players chasing money after this season. The closest comparison recently was Zach LaVine’s offer sheet and contract with the Chicago Bulls for four years, $78 million. If Bucks guard Malcom Brogdon ends up looking for similar money, locking up Bledsoe now would soften the blow of possibly losing him in the summer.