Giannis Antetokounmpo’s decision to ink a supermax deal with the Milwaukee Bucks has solidified his future. The move also changes the trajectory for other franchises hoping to secure his services in free agency next summer. Among those teams were the Golden State Warriors, who now finally have a clear path ahead.
Giannis Antetokounmpo re-signs with the Bucks
The last few months have seen the level of anxiety significantly rise in Milwaukee, with Giannis Antetokounmpo remaining without a long-term deal.
The reigning league MVP finally resolved the tension as he elected to ink a five-year, $228.2 extension. Antetokounmpo’s new extension secures him through the 2025-26 season, with an option to opt-out for free agency in 2025.
The 26-year-old is fully committed to the franchise’s future as the central piece through much of his physical prime. The Bucks can now firmly move forward with continuing to build the roster around Antetokounmpo to compete for an NBA title.
The front office made an appealing enough case to him by adding point guard Jrue Holiday this past offseason along with other pieces. The moves exemplified to Antetokounmpo that the organization is all-in on constructing a championship-contending roster.
Beyond that, his decision allows other teams around the league to shift their plans in another direction. The Golden State Warriors are at the forefront as their future ahead now has a clear pathway.
Warriors’ focus shifts toward securing long-term future of core group
The rumor mill around Giannis Antetokounmpo continued to float around over the last several months, with several teams aiming to secure his services.
The Warriors were well in the mix as a possible landing spot, as their track record acquiring superstars in free agency speaks for itself. However, Antetokounmpo’s commitment to the Bucks removes that possibility well ahead of next summer.
Golden State will remain open to adding star players through free agency, but their focus moves directly to their core group. General manager Bob Myers can start by working out a long-term deal with Stephen Curry, who is in the fourth year of his five-year, $201.1 million deal.
Curry recently expressed a strong desire to work out another lengthy deal to remain with Golden State. It may be just a matter of time before the two sides agree on a new contract.
Meanwhile, Draymond Green is in the final year of his four-year, $99.6 million deal. Green has a significant interest in remaining with the Warriors, which the team will work to get him under another lengthy contract.
Yes, there are serious questions concerning Klay Thompson’s healthy after suffering a torn Achilles tendon. The Warriors will likely remain patient as Thompson works his way back to the floor over the next several months. He has played a pivotal part in the team’s success will continue to do so over his contract that runs through the 2023-24 campaign.
Allow young talent to flourish
The Warriors are coming off a disappointing season, but it helped them land a promising talent in big man James Wiseman.
Wiseman has the opportunity to develop into a primary piece to the puzzle through impacting both ends of the floor. The Warriors lack an interior presence, which he could fit that bill for many years ahead.
Thompson’s injury is a gutshot to the team but opens the door for Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre to make strong cases as long-term pieces. Wiggins can slide into the second scoring option role, while Oubre can provide scoring and versatility defensively.
Golden State will have to exercise much patience in the process, but the franchise may finally have clarity moving forward.