Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press
Giannis Antetokounmpo has ended any speculation about his future after agreeing to a supermax expansion with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Antetokounmpo’s agent, Alex Saratsis told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the two-time NBA MVP will sign a $ 228 million five-year deal, including an opt-out after the fourth season.
Antetokounmpo tweeted a message about his decision to re-sign:
The Bucks seemed to be under tremendous pressure heading into next season because of Antetokounmpo’s contract status. He would be eligible for free agency after the 2020-21 campaign if he chose not to re-sign.
Milwaukee comes off two consecutive playoff disappointments after setting the NBA’s best regular season record in each of the past two seasons. After taking a 2-0 series lead against the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals, the Bucks dropped four games in a row.
After going 56-17 during the shortened regular season in 2019-20, the Bucks were steamed in five games by the Miami Heat in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Antetokounmpo was unable to play against the Heat in Game 5 due to a sprained ankle. Milwaukee’s loss of 103-94 sparked discussion about his future with the organization, but it wasn’t something the 26-year-old would bother with.
Some see a wall and go in [another direction]”he told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.” I plow through it. We just need to get better as a team, individually, and get back to it next season. “
Despite those post-season shortcomings, the Bucks are well positioned to remain among the best teams in the East. Head coach Mike Budenholzer has been able to maximize their talent during the regular season since taking over in May 2018.
General manager Jon Horst bought Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans, but it came at a heavy price from Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and three first round picks.
While the roster doesn’t look as deep as it was, the five of the Bucks with Antetokounmpo, Holiday, Middleton, Donte DiVincenzo and Brook Lopez can compete with any team in the NBA.
Antetokounmpo is the motor that makes the machine work. He joined Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players in NBA history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season.
During the 2019-2020 season Antetokounmpo set career highs with 29.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. He also led the Bucks with 5.6 assists per game.