The Milwaukee Bucks valued their relationship with center Spencer Hawes. But they valued the literal value they could recoup off his contract a little bit more. The team decided to waive the veteran on Thursday so that they could slip under the luxury tax for the coming season. The move is not a huge shocker, as Hawes was largely considered to be on the bubble for a roster spot in 2017-18 anyway. It's another veteran gone for a young, emerging team in the Eastern Conference.

Hawes shown the door

News of the center's impending departure broke late on Thursday night. Hawes is expected to clear waivers, which will make him an unrestricted free agent.

It's unclear if any teams will be interested in the former Bucks center prior to the start of training camp later in the month. When injuries sneak up on teams -- as they inevitably do -- he'll be ready to contribute, standing tall at 7-foot-1 and still just 29 years of age.

Hawes has been around the block during his NBA career. When he was traded to the Bucks during the 2016-17 season, he joined the sixth franchise of his professional career. The Sacramento Kings drafted him 10th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft. Since then, he has been traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, traded to the Charlotte Hornets, then finally, to the Bucks.

He saw a downward trend of minutes after the trade, averaging just 4.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game with Milwaukee.

Milwaukee saves space

For Milwaukee, this move was all about the money the team is set to save. By using the stretch provision, the team will spread the salary Hawes was supposed to make this season over the course of three years.

That means instead of taking a $6.2 million cap hit this season, they will take three smaller hits over the next three years.

The team is now clear of the luxury tax threshold by $2.5 million. How the team will choose to spend that money is anyone's guess; they have 13 guaranteed contracts on the books right now.

They are a team that still specializes in youth, so finding a veteran big man who can cheaply take Hawes' place may be the way to go. Mason Plumlee, for example (the brother of the player involved in the trade that brought Hawes to Milwaukee in the first place), is still available. The qualifying offer he received from the Denver Nuggets, however, would be more than the Bucks have left if they want to continue to avoid the luxury tax.

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