The Greek Freak isn’t going anywhere. The reigning two-time MVP is staying with the Milwaukee Bucks on a five-year, $228.2 million max contract extension, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Tuesday afternoon. With just a week until the start of the regular season, the Bucks have locked up their most prized asset for the future.
Milwaukee will be all-in on a championship this season but has hope to build a dynasty for the future. Giannis had until Dec. 18 to make a decision on whether to sign the max extension or test free agency next offseason. Antetokounmpo is now locked up until at least 2026. Khris Middleton is under contract until at least 2024. Giannis confirmed the extension after Shams report via Twitter.
This is my home, this is my city.. I’m blessed to be able 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 get it. pic.twitter.com/895tCBE9RK— Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) December 15, 2020
Like most of these contracts, Giannis has an option for the fifth year. So we could see him leave after the 2025 season. Who knows what shape the Bucks will be in by then or if they will have won any championships. Assuming they capture at least one title, you’ve got to think Giannis sticks around on the option and remains a Buck for life. Milwaukee has shown — at least for now — that its committed to winning on a team centered around him.
Here’s an estimated breakdown of the value of the contract by season via HoopsHype:
Five year cap hits based on $112.4M salary cap projection for Giannis Antetokounmpo:— Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) December 15, 2020
The Bucks will be a luxury tax team from here on out with limited flexibility.
But who cares, he’s staying. pic.twitter.com/fczhBo5FCN
There was some concern around the league as to whether or not Antetokounmpo would remain with the Bucks after the letdown in the 2020 NBA playoffs. After being the No. 1 overall seed and favorite to win it all seemingly all season long, the Bucks were ousted in the second round in five games by the Miami Heat. As a result, the Bucks made some changes this offseason that could set them up better to contend this season.
Milwaukee made a big play by trading for two-way guard Jrue Holiday in a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans. Eric Bledsoe was never the best third fiddle to Giannis and Middleton. Holiday should fare better than he did with the Pelicans, which wasn’t even that bad. Holiday is an upgrade on defense and offense, and should make the Bucks tougher to handle in the playoffs.
Giannis had been co-favorite with Dallas Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic for MVP at +450. Giannis is still at +450, but Doncic has since taken the lead at +400. The Bucks are tied for the second-best odds to win it all this season at +550, behind the Los Angeles Lakers at +275 and tied with the Los Angeles Clippers. If Antetokounmpo wins MVP this season, he’ll be the first player since Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Larry Bird to win three straight MVP awards.
Last season in winning his second MVP award, Giannis averaged 29.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. He also won NBA Defensive Player of the Year, beating out Utah Jazz C Rudy Gobert and Lakers PF Anthony Davis. Antetokounmpo has the third-best odds to win DPOTY behind Davis and Gobert at +400.