Back-to-back NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has committed to the Milwaukee Bucks long-term.
Antetokounmpo’s agent, Alex Saratsis, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that it will be for the full five-year, $228 million supermax, including an opt-out after the fourth year.
“This is my home, this is my city,” Antetokounmpo posted on Twitter and Instagram on Tuesday. “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.”
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
Had he passed on the offer, he would have been an unrestricted free agent next summer and the biggest name to hit the market since Kevin Durant in 2016.
Antetokounmpo is coming off a career year in which he became just the third player in league history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season, joining Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. He also averaged career highs in points (29.5) and rebounds (13.6) to go with 5.6 assists per game and a 31.9 player efficiency rating — the highest in a season in NBA history, per ESPN Stats & Information data.
Milwaukee has finished the regular season with the best record in the league each of the past two years, but it failed to reach the NBA Finals either time. In 2019, the Bucks took a 2-0 lead over the Toronto Raptors in the conference finals before losing in six games. This past season, Milwaukee didn’t get that far, falling to the Miami Heat in five games during the semifinals in the Orlando bubble.
For all their regular-season success, the Bucks have reached the conference finals just once in Antetokounmpo’s seven-year tenure and haven’t reached the NBA Finals since 1974 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who ultimately asked to be traded from Milwaukee after his sixth season as a three-time league MVP.
“I think [Antetokounmpo] should look into his own heart and make a decision based on what’s important to him and his professional life,” Abdul-Jabbar, who led the Bucks to their lone title in 1971, said to ESPN during a October 2019 trip to Milwaukee.
Antetokounmpo was a relative unknown when the Bucks made him the No. 15 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft. Born in Greece to Nigerian parents, Antetokounmpo was playing in Greece’s second division before joining Milwaukee. He averaged just 6.8 points per game as a rookie, starting 23 games, but by his third year, his scoring average was up to 16.9 and he earned Most Improved Player honors. The next year, he made the first of his four All-Star appearances.
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SOURCE: ESPN, Eric Woodyard