Grading Giannis Antetokounmpo’s surprising max extension with the Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 20 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - OCTOBER 20 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Just when it seemed like the Milwaukee Bucks wouldn’t have more significant news to announce before the NBA season began, part-time insider Giannis Antetokounmpo came out of nowhere.

The Greek Freak agreed to a massive three-year extension worth $186 million just days before the season started, silencing any ideas involving him leaving Milwaukee anytime soon. The Bucks weren’t afraid to spend big in the off-season, having handed lucrative deals to Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez while also trading for Damian Lillard, cementing their core.

With that out of the way, let us grade Antetokounmpo’s brand-new extension.

Looking at the financial aspect of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s deal

Many were surprised to see Antetokounmpo sign this extension due to the financial implications. Had he waited until next off-season, Antetokounmpo could have earned much more money over more years. Next off-season, Giannis would have been eligible for a four-year contract extension worth $234 million. Why didn’t he wait? Well, Thanasis Antetokounmpo is partially to thank.

Speaking to the media, Giannis revealed that a conversation with Thanasis helped him decide to backtrack on his media day comments – when he said he would wait to agree to a deal – and instead sign an extension after all. He also said that this was the first time in his career that he didn’t even look at the numbers on the deal; he just wanted to be in Milwaukee no matter what.

While he took a pay cut, Antetokounmpo will still make plenty of money over the next few years. He has two years left on his current contract; he’ll make 45.6 million this year and 48.9 million in 2024-25. With this new contract signed, his player option for the 2025-26 season is terminated, allowing the new deal to kick in then. He’ll make around an average of $60 million from 2025-28.

It’s a lot of money, but as arguably the best player in the game today, Antetokounmpo is going to get paid like it. Financially, this is a nice deal for both sides, allowing Antetokounmpo to get some more financial security while the Bucks lock up their franchise player for several more years and eliminate any outside distraction about him potentially plotting to play elsewhere.