Bucks fans can let out a sigh of relief. Their two-time NBA MVP is staying in Milwaukee.
Giannis Antetokounmpo announced Tuesday that he has agreed to sign a five-year supermax extension with the Bucks. The 26-year-old shared the news on his Instagram and Twitter pages, saying he feels “blessed” to be part of the franchise that selected him No. 15 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.
This is my home, this is my city.. I’m blessed to be able to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 5 years. Let’s make these years count. The show goes on, let’s get it. 🤎🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/895tCBE9RK
— Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) December 15, 2020
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After the Heat eliminated the Bucks from the 2020 NBA playoffs, there was widespread speculation about Antetokounmpo potentially leaving Milwaukee for another contender. By signing the extension, Antetokounmpo has shut down any conversations about impending free agency and allowed the Bucks to concentrate on winning a championship.
Here are the specifics of Antetokounmpo’s new deal based on the latest reporting, plus a breakdown of what it means for the Bucks and other teams who may have been planning to chase him next summer.
Giannis Antetokounmpo contract details
Antetokounmpo now possesses the largest contract in NBA history: $228.2 million over five years. Russell Westbrook was previously the top earner after signing a $206.8 million deal in 2017. Antetokounmpo also holds the highest average over the length of a contract at $45.6 million.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks projects the extension, which includes an opt-out clause after the fourth season, to look like this:
2021-22 $39.3 million
2022-23 $42.5 million
2023-24 $45.6 million
2024-25 $48.8 million
2025-26* $51.9 million
When adding his 2020-21 salary ($27.5 million) to his new contract, Antetokounmpo is set to make nearly $256 million over the next six seasons.
This deal will likely push the Bucks into the luxury tax multiple times as they continue to build around Antetokounmpo, but that’s a nice problem to have.
What Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract means for Bucks, NBA free agency
Outside of capturing the NBA title in 1971, this may be the biggest win in franchise history for the Bucks. Antetokounmpo is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-high 29.5 points and 13.6 rebounds. He won the 2019-20 MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards. It seems strange to think of him as young, but he is only two years older than Donovan Mitchell and Ben Simmons.
Simply put, keeping Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee means the Bucks should be contenders for the next half-decade. Sure, a superstar can have a change of heart and request a trade even with years left on his deal — residents of Houston are nodding furiously at the moment — but Antetokounmpo appears to be genuinely happy with his situation. He has embraced the city and challenges ahead of him.
“As long as everybody’s on the same page and as long as everybody’s fighting for the same thing, fighting for the same thing every single day, which is to be a champion, I don’t see why not to be in Milwaukee for the next 15 years,” Antetokounmpo said after winning his second MVP award.
As for the Giannis sweepstakes, well, no payouts on those lottery tickets.
The Heat, Mavericks, Raptors and Warriors had all been connected to Antetokounmpo at various times, but those dreams are dead. They must now pivot to backup plans and determine the best way to use available cap space. The once-vaunted class of 2021 free agents is suddenly far less exciting with Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and Paul George off the board.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few offseason overpays from those front offices. The Bucks don’t have to worry about that part — Giannis is worth every penny.