Back-to-back NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has made a long-term commitment to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Antetokounmpo’s agent Alex Saratsis told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that it will be a $ 228 million supermax for the full five years, including an opt-out after the fourth year.
“This is my home, this is my city,” Antetokounmpo posted on Twitter and Instagram. “I’m blessed to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 5 years. Let’s make these years count. The show goes on, let’s go.”
This is my home, this is my city. I am blessed to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 5 years. Let’s make these years count. The show goes on, let’s go get it. 🤎🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/895tCBE9RK
– Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@ Giannis_An34) December 15, 2020
Had he passed the offer, he would have been an unrestricted free agent next summer and the biggest name in the market since Kevin Durant in 2016.
Antetokounmpo comes from a career year in which he became only the third player in league history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, alongside Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. He also averaged his career highs in points (29.5) and rebounds (13.6) going with 5.6 assists per game and an efficiency rating of 31.9 players – the highest in a season in the history of the NBA, according to ESPN Stats & Information data.
Milwaukee finished the regular season with the best record in the league for the past two years, but it also failed to make it to the NBA Finals. In 2019, the Bucks took a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors in the conference final before losing in six games. Last season, Milwaukee did not get that far and fell to the Miami Heat in five games during the semi-finals in the Orlando bubble.
Despite all their success in the regular season, the Bucks only made it to the conference final once in Antetokounmpo’s seven-year tenure and haven’t made it to the NBA finals since 1974 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who finally asked to trade after his sixth. be from Milwaukee. season as a three-time league MVP.
“I think [Antetokounmpo] has to look into his own heart and make a decision based on what is important to him and his professional life, ” Abdul-Jabbar, who led the Bucks to their only title in 1971, told ESPN on a trip to Milwaukee in October 2019.
Antetokounmpo was a relatively unknown when the Bucks made him number 15 in the 2013 NBA draft. Antetokounmpo, born in Greece of Nigerian parents, played in Greece’s second division before joining Milwaukee. He averaged just 6.8 points per game as a rookie, starting 23 games, but by his third year, his scoring average had reached 16.9 and earned the Most Improved Player award. The following year, he made the first of his four All-Star appearances.
Milwaukee reached the playoffs three times in Antetokounmpo’s first five seasons with the team, but was eliminated in the first round each time. In 2018/19, Antetokounmpo rose to MVP of the league, becoming the first Bucks player since Abdul-Jabbar to win the award, as he led the team to its first playoff series victory since 2001.
Antetokounmpo has improved his scoring average every season he was in the league, hitting 29.5 last season, becoming the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to average at least 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists over the course of a season. However, his focus remained on winning that elusive championship.
“It’s simple. You have to be better than last year. If you haven’t won everything, you have to get better,” Antetokounmpo said at his virtual press conference in September after receiving his MVP trophy. “If you win everything, you have to get better and do it again.”
With teams around the NBA freeing up salary cap space hoping to chase Antetokounmpo next summer, Milwaukee entered a critical outdoor season hoping to convince its best player since Abdul-Jabbar to stay by putting together a solid supporting cast .
“This is our Super Bowl,” said Jon Horst, Bucks general manager, Nov. 16. “We work on this every day of every year to have great processes and great decision filters, and we go through them and there is confidence in that.”
Before free agency, the Bucks agreed to a deal that brought in former All-Star Jrue Holiday as part of a four-team deal. A reported transaction that would have brought Bogdan Bogdanovic to Milwaukee as part of a sign-and-trade deal fell apart, and the Bucks turned to bolster their bank by adding DJ Augustin, Bryn Forbes, and Torrey Craig while on guard. Pat Connaughton re-signed.
The Bucks also added rookie Jordan Nwora with the number 45 in the draft. Antetokounmpo and All-Star guard Khris Middleton both reached out an introductory text message to the former Louisville attacker on the draft night, he said, welcoming him to the team and telling him the “goal here is a championship.”
Antetokounmpo, who turned 26 on December 6, joined Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James this season as the only players to win multiple NBA MVP awards at the age of 25. He has repeatedly shown an interest in staying in Milwaukee under the right conditions.
“I’ve been encouraged in Milwaukee my entire career,” said Antetokounmpo after winning his second MVP. “I know we’ve gotten better every year, and I know Milwaukee has great people who see the same thing every year as I do every year, which is to play well, improve and win everything.”