The central focus around the Milwaukee Bucks over the last several months remained on Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s long-term future. The reigning back-to-back MVP hadn’t budged toward a decision on what his next contractual move would be with the organization. Antetokounmpo has finally made up his mind and chosen to ink the biggest deal in league history.
Giannis Antetokounmpo agrees to $228.2 Million supermax deal with the Bucks
In the weeks ahead of the 2020-21 season, the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t possess any clarity on Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s future.
Antetokounmpo’s continued avoidance of the discussion began to create greater uncertainty around the entire situation. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the 26-year-old entirely diminished all doubt as he agreed to sign the five-year, $228.2 million supermax extension to stay with the Bucks.
The deal extends through the 2025-26 season but does include an opt-out option in 2025. The contract surpasses the six-year, $228 million extension that James Harden previously inked with the Houston Rockets as the NBA’s all-time largest deal.
The massive extension keeps the four-time All-Star under contract for the long haul and effectively erases any concern of him entering free agency next summer. The Bucks have secured his services through the prime of his career, keeping the franchise in NBA title contention.
With Antetokounmpo’s long-term commitment in place, the Bucks’ next plan of action lies solely with competing for a championship.
The Bucks made a convincing case to Giannis Antetokounmpo
Throughout the entire process leading, the Bucks were on the hook for proving to Giannis Antetokounmpo that they were committed to competing for an NBA title.
Milwaukee followed through with their words as the team put forth a busy offseason to improve the roster. The front office secured the blockbuster trade to acquire point guard Jrue Holiday in exchange for Eric Bledsoe and George Hill, along with two first-round picks in a four-team deal.
Although the franchise saw their sign-and-trade arrangement with the Sacramento Kings for Bogdan Bogdanovic fall apart, the team managed to add other pieces. The Bucks further secured their bench with guard D.J. Augustin and big man Bobby Portis while adding shooting with guard Nik Staukas.
These moves don’t necessarily blow the lid off as massive upgrades, but the Bucks responded to Antetokounmpo’s request. Milwaukee is returning mainly the same roster while adding another potential All-Star talent that should guide the franchise toward competing for an NBA title in the Eastern Conference.
Dramatic shift for 2021 free agency
The Bucks are finally breathing a sigh of relief with Giannis Antetokounmpo’s future secured.
Antetokounmpo’s decision changes the entire landscape for the 2021 free-agent class as several teams had their eye on the star forward. The last several months saw reports that organizations such as the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, and Golden State Warriors hold significant interest.
The plans for these franchises will have to remove any chance of bringing aboard the two-time NBA MVP. Meanwhile, the Bucks remain a favorite as a title contender in the Eastern Conference for the foreseeable future.
Antetokounmpo has much room for growth as he further develops his game that will be key to Milwaukee taking the next step toward an NBA title. The Bucks have a more formidable challenge ahead in the East with Kevin Durant now on the Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat’s emergence.
All that makes for what should be an entertaining 2020-21 campaign and possibly beyond.