Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. The time to celebrate the Milwaukee Bucks, and the long-awaited and much anticipated decision from superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo to commit to the franchise long-term.
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
Giannis’ new contract is worth $227.36 million, and will kick in ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season. With a starting salary of $39.2M, it increases annually by the maximum amount of 8% all the way up to a whopping $51.7M in the final year, which is expected to be over 40% of the salary cap that season. It is a lot of money, but that’s the price of doing business when you’re retaining the two-time NBA MVP. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Giannis will have an opt-out after the fourth year.
As @Giannis_An34 tweeted, he is signing his extension with the Bucks. His agent, Alex Saratsis, tells ESPN it will be for the full five-year, $228M super max, including an opt-out after the fourth year.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2020
It’s a big day for the Bucks, both the franchise and the fan base. Giannis was brought in as an 18-year old rookie, a first-round flyer taken with a draft pick made outside the lottery. His first year in an NBA uniform was the Bucks’ worst season in franchise history, and over time he has been at the center of moving Milwaukee out of the cellar and into the spotlight. Without Giannis, it’s entirely possible that there would no longer be any Milwaukee Bucks, there would be no Fiserv Forum, and there would be no professional basketball team in Wisconsin.
But here we are, and from here the Bucks are centrally focused around one of the best players in the league and one of the most gifted athletes in the history of the sport. The goal up until this point was simple: prove that Milwaukee was a place that Giannis could compete for a championship. With his commitment settled, the team’s goal is clarified even further: compete for a championship. The road to the NBA Finals is a long, arduous path, but the Bucks are primed to be among the league’s best for the foreseeable future.