Although they managed to increase their Japanese Convention semifinal sequence with a Sport four win over the Warmth, it appears to be a matter of when, not if, the Bucks will probably be eradicated from the 2020 NBA playoffs. Milwaukee misplaced the primary three video games of the sequence, and no NBA crew has ever overcome a Three-Zero deficit.
As quickly as the ultimate buzzer goes off to sign the tip of the Bucks’ 2019-20 marketing campaign, one of the crucial essential offseasons in franchise historical past will start. At that second, all eyes will shift to Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Defensive Participant of the 12 months and certain back-to-back MVP.
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Very similar to Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard earlier than him, if Antetokounmpo enters free company, his determination may change the panorama of the league. However is “The Greek Freak” really prepared to depart Milwaukee?
Let’s begin with the fundamentals right here earlier than we leap into the rumors…
When will Giannis Antetokounmpo be a free agent?
Antetokounmpo just isn’t eligible to change into a free agent till after the 2020-21 season. He signed a four-year, $100 million extension with the Bucks in 2016, and that deal didn’t embody any participant or crew choices.
Listed here are the figures from that extension, per Spotrac:
Unrestricted free agent
Will Giannis Antetokounmpo signal a supermax contract with the Bucks?
Whereas Antetokounmpo cannot begin the free company course of this yr, he’s eligible for a supermax contract together with his present crew. That is why the upcoming offseason is so big for the Bucks.
As Milwaukee normal supervisor Jon Horst has beforehand indicated, there will probably be no hesitation from the entrance workplace. The five-year supermax deal may land within the neighborhood of $250 million — it is troublesome to nail down a precise quantity due to the uncertainty concerning the wage cap — however the Bucks are ready to pay no matter it prices to maintain Antetokounmpo.
“I believe all of us totally imagine that if we proceed to place the proper issues in place and provides Giannis the proper alternatives — he loves Milwaukee, he loves the state of Wisconsin and I believe he’ll be a Buck for a very long time,” Horst mentioned throughout a city corridor occasion final yr.
Antetokounmpo has been described as extremely loyal, which is a bonus for the Bucks, however he’s additionally fiercely aggressive. If he does not imagine Milwaukee is constructed to win championships, he may flip down the supermax, let the 2020-21 season play out and change into an unrestricted free agent.
After the Bucks misplaced to the Raptors within the 2019 Japanese Convention finals, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported on this precise scenario and why it may current issues for Milwaukee:
Antetokounmpo has constantly made public proclamations of his love for Milwaukee, as he grew up and have become acclimated to American tradition in Cream Metropolis after transferring from Greece. Antetokounmpo adores the Bucks medical employees. His mom moved to Milwaukee. However he’s all about profitable. In additional concrete phrases, a supply near Antetokounmpo mentioned that attending to the NBA Finals is not only an ambition, it may tip the scales as he weighs his contractual future.
Signing the supermax contract would instantly finish all hypothesis surrounding Antetokounmpo. However…
Will Giannis Antetokounmpo go away the Bucks?
Yeah, this might get loopy. The rumors are already ramping up, and the Bucks aren’t even formally out of the playoff image but.
From Yahoo Sports activities’ Vincent Goodwill:
[The Heat have] contained him and proven the soon-to-be two-time Most Beneficial Participant his greatest warts in a uncooked however managed style, just like the job the Toronto Raptors did to him for the final 4 video games within the convention finals final yr.
It is no marvel many in league circles imagine Miami and Toronto are the frontrunners within the Antetokounmpo sweepstakes, with one observer telling Yahoo Sports activities “it is an open secret” throughout the Orlando bubble.
Along with the Warmth and Raptors, the Warriors have additionally been linked to Antetokounmpo, however Golden State would have a a lot more durable time clearing the cap area essential to land him. The Warriors would not benefit from an unprecedented cap spike just like the yr they added Durant to the roster.
If Antetokounmpo informed the Bucks he plans to depart no matter what occurs in the course of the 2020-21 season, then Milwaukee may name groups like Golden State, Miami and Toronto to debate doable commerce packages slightly than lose Antetokounmpo for nothing. At this level, although, that is leaping too far forward into the long run.
Backside line: The Bucks need Antetokounmpo to signal the supermax contract and keep in Milwaukee via his prime. Different contenders are hoping for a change of coronary heart.
Solely Antetokounmpo is aware of what comes subsequent.