Giannis Antetokounmpo: Speculation mounts around supermax extension

The final question remaining for the Milwaukee Bucks is whether superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo will sign his supermax extension before the 2020-21 season.

After all of that, the offseason for the Milwaukee Bucks has slowed to a crawl.

What started with the blockbuster addition of Jrue Holiday, a rollercoaster saga with Bogdan Bogdanovic and now a vastly different roster with various depth additions has ended with the biggest question hanging over Bucks’ present and future.

So much of the Bucks’ offseason has been framed by what superstar and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will do with his five-year supermax extension and whether the Bucks will make meaningful moves to entice him to sign on the dotted line before the start of the 2020-21 season

With Holiday, the Bucks have landed a superior upgrade over Eric Bledsoe, whose postseason struggles became too extensive to ignore.

It’s the now-failed pursuit of Bogdanovic that had coincided with the momentum around the league that Antetokounmpo was on the verge of signing his supermax extension, just as the New York Times’ Marc Stein detailed in his most recent newsletter:

“For two weeks before it appeared that the Bucks had a deal to bring in Bogdanovic alongside Holiday, there had been promising rumblings in league circles that Antetokounmpo was prepared to sign the extension. A belief was building that Antetokounmpo was likely to opt for immediate financial security by signing before the season and quietly reserving the right to try to force a trade later if he was unhappy, as George did one season after re-signing in Oklahoma City.

Now? Bogdanovic has signed an offer sheet with the Atlanta Hawks, and Milwaukee is enveloped by eerie silence, waiting for Antetokounmpo’s return from an off-season trip to Greece and then, they hope, his signature.”

Whether Stein is suggesting adding Bogdanovic was contingent on Antetokounmpo signing remains to be seen, but we know that Antetokounmpo had played a central part in recruiting the Serbian international just as The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Eric Nehm ($$) reported late last week.

The Milwaukee Bucks got better this offseason, but will that be enough to lure Giannis Antetokounmpo into signing his supermax extension?

Throughout all of the ups and downs of this truncated offseason, it’s Antetokounmpo’s decision that remains unresolved and fittingly so. And while we wait ever so impatiently on what the 25-year-old is planning on doing with the biggest decision in his life, plenty of speculation is abound as far as his intentions go.

Meanwhile, other teams around the league have continued to position themselves at the front of the line in the potential Antetokounmpo free agent sweepstakes. The fact that teams like the Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors have ensured financial flexibility by their offseason moves reinforces that.

The Miami Heat had long been mentioned as part of that crop of teams determined to lure Antetokounmpo, but committing to five-year extension with All-Star center Bam Adebyo that can go up to $195 million when all is said and done fills up the cap space they left open for the 2021 offseason. It’s here where the fact that Adebayo and Antetokounmpo share the same agent that sets off the intrigue into what Antetokounmpo’s decision will ultimately be.

This ultimately gets at that point of where we’re at in trying to predict what Antetokounmpo has to decide and make official by December 21, the day before the start of the 2020-21 season.

Any report in regards to Antetokounmpo’s future and decision on his supermax extension has long been presented through the lens of rival teams and executives. A superstar that has continually shunned away interviews and kept his true intentions to himself, even as he’s become a face of the league and the back-to-back MVP, has continue to do at the most critical point in his career as speculation continues to mount.

The truth is only a handful of people know Antetokounmpo is going to do with his future and fans as well as people in and around the league are in the same boat at this time. The same goes for the Bucks, who have reportedly remained confident throughout this process just as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst ($$) mentioned earlier this week and have fortified their foundation with the addition of Holiday.

Will that be enough to convince Antetokounmpo into pen to paper on his extension? Time will tell and until his decision becomes final, we’re all left waiting, no matter what speculation may be out there.