Giannis Antetokounmpo: rupture or renewal with the Bucks?
The Greek giant has the option of signing another lucrative contract with the Bucks, but the team’s aspirations to achieve another ring stop that possibility in its tracks.
Milwaukee Bucks star player Giannis Antetokounmpo will be eligible to sign another great contract extension from today, 22 September until 23 October when all 30 teams must have their rosters set. Although the superstar signed a supermax extension before the 2020/21 season, he could now sneak into the tournament’s eight highest-paid players - which is a poor reflection considering his status within the franchise and of the competition itself.
With three more years left on his contract, two insured and one with a player option, Antetokounmpo is about to enter a key season during which he must decide whether to continue with his lifelong team or make the leap to a new, bigger market.
Pledge to the Bucks
At 28 years old, Giannis is in the best form of his career and exceeding expectations with each passing year. The two-time MVP managed to average 31.1 points, 11.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game to finish third in MVP voting last season. Last year was not particularly easy for the Greek, whose hopes of achieving a second ring went out of the window with the resounding elimination in the play-offs. And while he remains committed to the Bucks, the door to a potential exit will always be ajar. During the offseason, he reiterated that his loyalty to the franchise depends on the team remaining in championship contention .
“The real question’s not going to be this year - numbers-wise it doesn’t make sense. But next year, next summer it would make more sense for both parties. Even then, I don’t know [what I’ll do]. I would not be the best version of myself if I don’t know that everybody’s on the same page, everybody’s going for a championship, everybody’s going to sacrifice time away from their family like I do. And if I don’t feel that, I’m not signing [the extension],” Giannis said in an interview with New York Times journalist, Tania Ganguli. More problems could lie ahead for the Milwaukee Bucks...
Giannis’ contract details
In December 2020, Antetokounmpo signed a super extension with the Bucks worth $228 million for five years, the largest in NBA history at that time. Right now the Greek has two more years on his contract along with another for a player-option. If he rejects the new extension, Giannis could hit the market as an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his entire career.
Milwaukee is about to enter one of the most crucial stretches in recent franchise history. From the moment Antetokounmpo is eligible to sign an extension until the day he signs it or, conversely, indicates his intentions not to do so, all eyes in the league will be closely monitoring the status of his contract. Antetokounmpo will be the seventh highest-paid player in the NBA this season, only behind Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Nikola Jokic, LeBron James, Joel Embiid and Bradley Beal.
Starting September 22 and for one month, Antetokounmpo will be eligible to sign a three-year extension (until 2029) worth $169 million. The extension, however, will barely add $117 million more to his bank account since the 2026 player-option, insured at $51.9 million, would be replaced by a starting salary of $52.2 million. The extension could increase to $186 million if the salary cap increases by 10%, in both 2024-25 and 2025-26. The NBA sent a memo to teams in late June, projecting that the cap will increase by 4.4% in 2024-25.