The deadline for Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign a long-term deal with the Milwaukee Bucks is quickly approaching, and his teammates are clearly pushing the reigning NBA MVP to put pen to paper before the season begins.
The Bucks celebrated Antetokounmpo‘s 26th birthday over the weekend, and a few players took the opportunity to give their star player a not-so-subtle hint about his impending decision.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has until Dec. 21 to decide on his future
As Giannis Antetokounmpo prepares for his eighth season in the NBA, he has a crucial decision to make before he laces up his sneakers for the first game of the year. Antetokounmpo has until Dec. 21 to sign a long-term, supermax contract with the Bucks.
If he doesn’t sign an extension by the deadline, Antetokounmpo will become a free agent after the 2020-21 season. The MVP’s impending decision will completely shape the rest of his NBA career. A refusal to sign an extension this winter could hint that Antetokounmpo is interested in testing the free agency market next offseason.
It’s possible Antetokounmpo wants to play a full season with the Bucks’ rejuvenated roster before making his decision, though. He can sign the same extension with the team next summer.
But Milwaukee surely doesn’t want to see the Dec. 21 deadline pass without inking Antetokounmpo to a long-term deal. The franchise retooled the entire roster to give their All-NBA star the pieces he needs to compete for a title.
The Bucks thought they did enough to persuade Antetokounmpo into signing before the deadline, but the delay is troubling for Milwaukee fans. He still has two weeks to make his decision, but general manager Jon Horst must be running out of patience with each passing day.
Antetokounmpo and the Bucks celebrate his 26th birthday
Antetokounmpo is arguably the most dominant player in the NBA, but he’s still a youngster by league standards. The reigning MVP just celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday, Dec. 6., and the Bucks are hoping he spends at least the next five birthdays in Milwaukee.
The Bucks held their first official practice of the season on Sunday as well. After the practice session, the team sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Antetokounmpo, but a few teammates took celebrating a step further.
The Bucks give Antetokounmpo an obvious hint in the form of a birthday present
Besides singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Antetokounmpo on Sunday, Khris Middleton and Pat Connaughton decided to have a little fun with their birthday present.
“We definitely sung a ‘Happy Birthday’ after practice,” Middleton said. “Me and [Connaughton} thought the perfect gift to him from our teammates is just to give him a pen. So there were pens in his locker for his birthday present. I told him those should be some of the best birthday gifts he’s ever gotten, so hopefully, he enjoys it and uses it.”
Normally, a pen would be a disgraceful birthday present to receive. But for Antetokounmpo, that pen could be worth $247.3 million.