Dan Feldman

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 16:  Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts to a call during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 16, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Report: Giannis Antetokounmpo’s $100 million contract extension has no options

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Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s four-year, $100 million contract extension looks even better for the Bucks.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Convincing Antetokounmpo to accept less than the max? Good work. Doing it without giving him a player option? Nearly unfathomable.

Milwaukee has Antetokounmpo locked up through age 25. The final year of his deal, based on reported terms, can be $27,528,090 at most. I bet he’ll be worth more than that in 2020-21.

Whether he hit unrestricted free agency at age 24, 25 or 26, Antetokounmpo was always going to be well-positioned to command another monster deal through the rest of his prime. The Bucks are fortunate to save what they can now and, more importantly, gain control of Antetokounmpo for so long.

Giannis Antetokounmpo signs four-year, $100 million contract extension with Bucks

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo flies in for a dunk agains the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
AP Photo/Tom Lynn

The Bucks have a franchise small forward. Or maybe it’s a franchise point guard. Or even someday center!

Most importantly, they have him for a while.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has agreed to a rookie-scale extension with Milwaukee.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports broke the story, which has since been confirmed by the Bucks (there is a press conference scheduled for Tuesday):

How did Antetokounmpo get less than C.J. McCollum, whose extension is worth $106 million? Debate which player is better, but Antetokounmpo being more than three years younger makes him substantially more valuable.

The Bucks re-upping Antetokounmpo for anything less than the max – projected to be about $106 million, though potentially more, in a four-year deal – is a win for them.

Antetokounmpo will now count next offseason at his 2017-18 salary rather than his far-lower cap hold, which would have been $7,488,552. But Milwaukee’s 2017 cap space would have been largely dependent on Greg Monroe‘s player option anyway, and the way things are going, he might opt in. This savings – which could well trump $6 million over the life of the extension once the max is determined – offsets the loss of flexibility next summer (especially if Antetokounmpo didn’t get a player option).

For his part, Antetokounmpo gets security. A guarantee of $100 million is a lot to pass up, even if he should have been relatively confident he could get a few million more. Injury risk is always real.

So should be the jubilation in Milwaukee’s front office.

Report: Rudy Gay tells Kings he’ll opt out, likely leave next summer

Rudy Gay
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Rudy Gay got so fed up with the Kings, he said publicly they were handling trade rumors the wrong way. Gay and general manager Vlade Divac cleared the air, but Gay gave an ominous impression: “At this point in my career I just want to be happy. I talked to Vlade and we’re trying to make that happen.”

Now, Gay is apparently being more blunt about how to make that happen:

Declining his $14,263,566 2017-18 player option and getting the heck out of Sacramento.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Forward Rudy Gay has informed Sacramento Kings management that he plans to use his 2017 player option to become an unrestricted free agent and considers himself unlikely to negotiate a new deal to return to the franchise, league sources told The Vertical.

So far, Sacramento has shown no inclination to move Gay without a substantial package in return, league sources told The Vertical. Several teams have engaged the Kings in trade talks, but teams say those conversations have yet to find traction. Some teams have been unclear with what exactly Sacramento wants in return, and others say the asking price is too unreasonable.

Nevertheless, Sacramento hasn’t ruled out trading Gay, but the team wants to compete for the playoffs, and team officials believe there are few, if any, deals available that could offer them short-term value on Gay, sources said.

The Kings have been mired in dysfunction for years, and it’s no surprise Gay wants out. He hasn’t even spent three full seasons in Sacramento, and he’s on his fourth coach. The team hasn’t won in that span, but it sure has bickered. Gay has also had his offensive role reduced, which makes it harder to put up with all the nonsense.

There are suitors for him, but he won’t fetch a huge return. Teams might like him as a rental at age 30, but he has the same use in Sacramento, where the Kings – muffled laughter – are intent on making the playoffs. Plus, Sacramento has lackluster options behind him at small forward: Omri Casspi and Matt Barnes.

If the Kings are willing to trade Gay for future assets, a deal becomes more workable. But, again, the gap between Gay’s ability and actual production is wide enough to limit the return.

He might just have to suck it up and play out the season in Sacramento, but freedom isn’t far.

Report: J.R. Smith won’t attend LeBron James-organized workouts Cavaliers, no contract progress

J.R. Smith
AP Photo/Tony Dejak

LeBron James organized workouts for the Cavaliers in Los Angeles.

But J.R. Smith – who is a free agent, not a contracted Cav – will skip them.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

J.R. Smith will not attend the Cleveland Cavaliers minicamp this week in California as he and the team remain at an impasse in contract talks, sources told ESPN.com.

No recent progress has been made in the talks, sources said.

I’m glad Smith is actually looking out for himself, even if he’s talking more about the Cavaliers’ best interests. These workouts are probably too risky for someone without a contract. If the 31-year-old Smith gets hurt, Cleveland is not obligated to pay him.

Plus, why should the Cavs get the benefit of improved chemistry while not paying Smith? The delayed team-building is part of his leverage.

At some point, they’ll likely reach a deal. But Smith doesn’t owe them any favors in the interim.

Report: NBA consensus expected Bucks to trade Greg Monroe because they sought so little

AP Photo/Morry Gash
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The Bucks reportedly tried and tried to trade Greg Monroe this offseason – a telling that might understate Milwaukee’s desire to move the center.

Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times:

Multiple NBA sources told me the Bucks accelerated their attempts to trade Monroe this summer — even though from a purely statistical standpoint he had a quality season, averaging 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds.

The consensus among many NBA front office officials was that Monroe wouldn’t be with the Bucks when they report to training camp later this month — even if they couldn’t get fair market value for the big man.

Monroe remains with the Bucks, and this point, it seems less likely they move him. Training camp is right around the corner.

It’s telling that nobody would meet Milwaukee’s low demands – especially because four teams offered Monroe the max just last summer, according to his agent, David Falk. But Monroe didn’t fit with the Bucks, and his value plummeted in line with the team. Monroe was unfairly scapegoated, as losing Jared Dudley, Zaza Pachulia Ersan Ilyasova caused more harm than realized.

But with Monroe owed $17,145,838 this season and holding a $17,884,176 player option next season, teams will be reluctant to take a chance on him.

Monroe is a skilled interior scorer and good rebounder. His lack of mobility and shooting range just makes him a tough fit in the modern NBA, but I believe smart teams could play to his strengths. Maybe a young Milwaukee team will grow enough to better complement him and hide his weaknesses.

The Bucks are probably stuck with Monroe at this point, but even a slightly better performance early in the season could reinvigorate the trade market – or make Milwaukee appreciate Monroe more.