How does Milwaukee feel now?
Internally, league sources said, the Bucks have gone from cautiously optimistic to cautiously confident in recent weeks that the outcome will be favorable when Antetokounmpo returns from Greece, where he has been since mid-September.
Obviously, there’s a semantics game here. Not only on “optimistic” vs. “confident” but also which contract is being discussed. Antetokounmpo is eligible for a super-max extension this offseason that projects to be worth $228 million over five years.
If he doesn’t sign it, he’ll be eligible next offseason for a super-max contract that has the exact same terms (five year, projected value of $228 million).
Obviously, Milwaukee prefers he signs now. A lot of things could go wrong over the next year.
Of course, there’s another interpretation: Milwaukee is desperate.
But given this report and other circumstantial evidence, it seems most likely the Bucks truly are confident.
We should see soon enough whether that confidence is founded.