Many were surprised when the Milwaukee Bucks picked up center Gustavo Ayon’s $1.5 million team option in mid-June. It has now been revealed that it was strictly for insurance purposes only. Also, the Bucks wanted to see what he could do in the NBA summer league. There is no question Milwaukee made the right move to release Ayon prior to the deadline that would have forced the organization to make good on the $1.5 million.
The 28-year-old was the only Mexican-born player in the NBA. Even though he is no longer with the Bucks, there is still a good chance that some team could pick him up for some depth at the two big man positions.
There simply was no room on the team for Ayon due to an abundance of big men. The acquisition of center Zaza Pachulia pretty much sealed his fate, unless he could prove in summer league that Milwaukee would be foolish not to create a roster spot for him. Unfortunately, Ayon looked lost this summer as he consistently made head-scratching mistakes in Las Vegas.
The Bucks received Ayon in a trade with the Orlando Magic as part of the deal to acquire J.J. Redick. Guard Ish Smith, who is having a terrific summer and could very well make the team this fall, also was a part of the trade.
Ayon performed better in Milwaukee than he did with Orlando last season as he averaged 4.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 13.6 minutes per game in 12 contests. He also managed to convert 59.5 percent of his 3.5 field goal attempts per game.