This is about as big a secret as President Donald Trump’s feelings about Joe Biden:
Next summer the Milwaukee Bucks are going to offer Giannis Antetokoumpo a supermax contract, worth five-years and an estimated $247 million.
But if you need proof, here is Bucks GM Jon Horst at a recent town hall event in Milwaukee, courtesy Fox Sports Wisconsin.
Here’s your money quote:
“First of all, the answer for now is that we can’t talk and negotiate anything. So Giannis, basically, a year from now will be eligible for a supermax extension. At that time, of course, he will be offered a supermax extension.”
While Antetokoumpo is under contract for two more seasons (at $53 million, total) next summer he can be offered an extension. After winning the MVP last season, he is eligible for the “supermax,” giving him 35 percent of the Bucks salary cap space.
Of course the Bucks were going to offer the max. That was never in doubt. The question is, will Antetokoumpo accept it?
Very likely, yes.
There have been rumblings that if he doesn’t feel the Bucks are doing all they can to win a title, he could look around.
That may be mostly wishful thinking from some quarters. Talking to sources around the league, teams are watching the Antetokoumpo situation but widely expect he will re-sign in Milwaukee. Unlike Anthony Davis and others, there are no meaningful signs of discontent.
The rumors Antetokoumpo wants to make the finals may be simply a warning to the Bucks front office. This is a team that heads into the coming season as a title contender and Antetokoumpo wants to keep the pressure on so the team doesn’t make cost-cutting moves that hurt them on the court.
Horst seems to get that in his comments, mentioning coach Mike Budenholzer.
“Bud and I talk about this all the time. It’s our responsibility to create an environment, a culture, a basketball organization where our players want to come to work everyday, players that they want to play with everyday, and they want to win at the highest level. And we’ve taken great steps towards that last year. We’ve continued to build on that. We’re going to continue to build on that. I think we all fully believe that if we continue to put the right things in place and give Giannis the right opportunities — he loves Milwaukee, he loves the state of Wisconsin — I think he’ll be a Buck for a long time.”
Giannis is a loyal person and considers Milwaukee his home in America — it’s the only place he’s lived and played. He almost certainly takes the big paycheck and stays, but in this NBA nothing is 100 percent certain.