The entire basketball world is waiting anxiously to see if NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo signs his $228 million supermax with the Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Anthony Davis declined his player option with the Lakers and hasn’t yet resigned with the team.
That might not be a coincidence.
Davis’ delay could be related to Antetokounmpo‘s impending free agency in 2021, according to NBA Insider Brian Windhorst. The next few weeks could end up reshaping the entire NBA landscape as we know it.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has yet to sign his supermax
The Milwaukee Bucks have had an impressive offseason in their quest to surround league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo with a championship roster. First, they landed Jrue Holiday in a trade while still keeping Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Donte DiVincenzo.
Then, they added a solid haul of free agents that included D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis, Torrey Craig, and Bryn Forbes. Milwaukee also picked up Jordan Nwora, Sam Merrill, Jaylen Adams, and Mamadi Diakite through the NBA draft process.
The winning roster has been assembled. Now all that’s left is for Antetokounmpo to sign his name on the dotted line. The deadline for the Bucks to sign their All-NBA star to his $228 million supermax is Dec. 21, and the team believes pen will meet paper by then.
“Internally, league sources said, the Bucks have gone from cautiously optimistic to cautiously confident in recent weeks that the outcome will be favorable when Antetokounmpo returns from Greece, where he has been since mid-September,” Brian Windhorst of ESPN recently wrote.
If Antetokounmpo doesn’t sign an extension by the Dec. 21 deadline, though, the effects will be felt even outside of Milwaukee.
Anthony Davis could be waiting on Antetokounmpo’s decision
As of Monday, Nov. 23, Anthony Davis is not an LA Laker. Davis declined his $28.7 million player option for the 2020-21 season last week, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Now, Davis is fully expected to sign an extension with the Lakers before the season. He’s not going anywhere. But the delay in his contract negotiations sure is curious. LA may have already won the 2020 offseason by further improving its championship-caliber roster, so what is Davis waiting for?
Antetokounmpo, says Windworst.
Brian Windhorst believes the Lakers could be hatching a plan to land Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Bucks aren’t the only team waiting anxiously for Antetokounmpo’s decision in the coming weeks. If he signs the supermax, he’ll be in Milwaukee for the next six years. If he doesn’t, he’ll become a free agent next summer. And who wouldn’t want to make a run at Antetokounmpo next offseason?
Windhorst believes Antetokounmpo’s decision is what’s keeping Anthony Davis waiting.
It’s unusual for [Davis] to delay his resigning for this long, and one of the things he could be watching is what Giannis does. If Giannis elects to sign the extension, then we could see [Davis] potentially sign for longer. But if Giannis sets himself up to be a free agent next year… that might spur Anthony to only sign a one-year contract with a player option, which is the kind of deal that LeBron James is on, to leave flexibility in Lakers’ payroll. So, there’s a lot of people watching Giannis Antetokounmpo right now.Brian Windhorst
If Antetokounmpo decides not to sign his supermax by Dec. 21, expect Davis to resign with the Lakers on a shorter, cheaper deal. That way, the Lakers would be able to free up cap space to sign Antetokounmpo as a free agent next offseason.
Phew, talk about a superteam.