Milwaukee Bucks star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has surged his way towards becoming arguably the best player in the league. That has also put a tremendous amount of focus on his contract situation as Antetokounmpo in the third year of his four-year, $100 million deal. It has opened the way to the discussion shifting over to his pending free agency. However, the Bucks may have the ability to shake the league up with how they go about handling that upcoming matter in the coming months.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s mum on long-term future with Bucks
Over the last few months, there has been a greater emphasis around Antetokounmpo’s contract standing with the Bucks.
There hasn’t been any significant movement on that end, while the reigning league MVP has taken the route of tabling that discussion by shifting his focus entirely towards competing for an NBA title. Antetokounmpo’s play has helped guide the Bucks to the top mark in the league while he looks like the favorite to secure a second straight MVP award.
The only remark that the 25-year-old has made in regards to his future with the franchise is that as long as they continue to win, he will have an interest in staying Milwaukee. However, there is one move that the Bucks can make this upcoming offseason that could have a tremendous impact on the rest of the league.
What the Bucks can do next summer
Although the dialogue around Antetokounmpo’s contract situation has become an underlying topic, the Bucks can shift things up in the coming months.
Milwaukee will have the ability to offer him a super-max contract extension that will pay him north of $240 million over the summer. That is something that ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently voiced on his podcast that could change the game plan for all the team’s looking to cash in for the summer of 2021. (H/T Real GM)
“One of the things when I talk to executives out there that they say is if Giannis extends with the Bucks this summer — which depending on who you talk to is either a slam dunk or a real question — the Bucks certainly feel like they have a great chance to extend him this summer,” Windhorst said on his ESPN podcast.
“If he signs that supermax extension this summer and all of the teams that are sort of saving, you know, keeping their ammo dry for 2021 may begin to make action. They tell me this summer’s star movement may be hinged on whether or not Giannis extends or not. If he extends, you’ll all of a sudden see more action.”
There are several teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, and Golden State Warriors, who could all be in the picture if Antetokounmpo elects to explore free agency. The decision to ink that massive deal would put him off the market, and shift these team’s potential focus onto other targets.
At this point, players such as Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Gordon Hayward will all be on the open market. It would take out one of the headliners from the group from that already stacked list of talent.
What will Giannis Antetokounmpo do?
Regardless of what transpires this season, Antetokounmpo has a significant decision ahead of him. The Bucks have already made it clear just before this season that they plan to offer him the supermax contract as general manager John Horst was fined $50,000 for stating as much.
Antetokounmpo has voiced in the past that he doesn’t need to be in a major market city to feel like he has the best chance to win. It may come down to whether he believes the Bucks give him the best chance to win NBA titles.
If so, he will ink the supermax deal, but if he doesn’t, that will indicate he wants to at least explore his options in free agency in the summer of 2021. Ultimately, all eyes will be on what Antetokounmpo does in the coming months.