The Milwaukee Bucks have become completely engulfed in their efforts toward securing star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s long-term future. Antetokounmpo is entering the final year of his deal that has ramped up the rumor mill around his next contractual decision. These parameters have guided the conversation over to him possibly having a unique agreement with the Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract situation
Since the offseason before the 2019-20 campaign, the Bucks’ focus has solely centered on Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s long-term future.
The star forward has finished the third year of his four-year, $100 million deal that runs through the 2020-21 season. Antetokounmpo has continued to avoid any conversations concerning the subject matter over the last few months.
The situation has grown harder to ignore, especially with the Bucks being able to offer him next week a super-max deal worth between $228 million to $244 million. Things have remained quiet on Antetokounmpo’s front, but the contract offer will be there this offseason.
Beyond that, there hasn’t been clarity in how things will play out with his situation in Milwaukee. However, a longtime NBA insider may have provided some insight into where things could head.
Giannis Antetokounmpo could have “secret agreement” in place
The NBA offseason is now in full swing, which has quickly pushed forth the rumor mill around the league.
The central focus has stayed on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s future with the Bucks beyond next season. With that in mind, longtime ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst voiced on Monday that he believes the reigning MVP can follow the pathway laid by Paul George with the Oklahoma City Thunder a couple of summers ago.
“The Thunder were worried about Paul George leaving,” Windhorst said. “So they said to him, ‘Look why don’t you sign a long-term extension here. You’re going to be with us. If for whatever reason you feel like you don’t want to be here anymore, we’ll work with you privately and quietly to trade you’.
“And a year into that extension, that’s exactly what happened. And they handled that trade clean and quiet as possible and both sides benefitted.”
Windhorst did caution that nobody can predict what lies ahead, but it’s an $82 million difference for him to turn down the super-max contract offer from the Bucks. It should be noted that Milwaukee can also present the same deal after the 2020-21 campaign.
If Antetokounmpo were to head that route, it would allow him to get paid while potentially keeping the door open to land elsewhere if he doesn’t like the direction the Bucks are heading. Much can certainly change, but it’s an option that the 25-year-old could have on the table.
Plenty of options will be on the table
The next few months will see the Milwaukee Bucks make a concerted effort to convince Giannis Antetokounmpo to stay for the long haul.
Their efforts could see them make a strong push to add another star player to the mix. The Bucks’ chances to keep Antetokounmpo will depend on the franchise constructing a roster that can compete for an NBA title.
He has helped guide the franchise to back-to-back seasons behind north of 55 regular-season wins and the best record in the Eastern Conference behind MVP award efforts. However, there are no championships to show for it in either campaign.
There are areas of needed improvement in Antetokounmpo’s game, but he hasn’t had the help he needs to bring an NBA title back to Milwaukee. The star forward controls his future with the Bucks; it’s on them to prove to him that they can structure a championship-caliber team around him for years to come.