13:30 (EASTERN TIME)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, two-time NBA MVP, has signed a multi-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, the team announced.
Antetokounmpo’s agent, Alex Saracis, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that it would be a $228 million supermax over five years, including waivers after the fourth year.
This is my house, this is my city, Antetokounmpo posted on Twitter and Instagram on Tuesday. I have a chance to be at the Milwaukee Bucks for the next five years. Let’s make those years count. It’s showtime. Let’s go.
This is my house, this is my town…. I have a chance to be at the Milwaukee Bucks for the next five years. Let’s make those years count. The show goes on, let’s go pic.twitter.com/895tCBE9RK
– Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) 15 December 2020
If he accepted this offer, he would be a free agent next summer and the biggest name on the market since Kevin Durant in 2016.
Antetokounmpo enters his career by becoming the third player in the history of the league and winning the MVP and Defensive player of the year in the same season after Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. He also has the most points (29.5) and rebounds (13.6) in his career, as well as 5.6 assists per game and a player return of 31.9, the highest in one season in the history of the NBA, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
This is an important moment for me and my family, and I want to thank the Bucks organization for believing in us, Antetokounmpo said in a statement Tuesday after the official signing. You took a risk with us eight years ago and it’s unrealistic to sign such a contract now.
Milwaukee ended the regular season with the best record in the league in the last two years, but never made it to the NBA finals. In 2019, the Bucks defeated the Toronto Raptors 2-0 in the conference final, losing in six games. Milwaukee didn’t get that far last season and lost in five games of the Miami Heat in the semifinals of Orlando Bubble.
Despite all their regular seasonal successes, the Bucks have only reached the conference finals once in seven years with Antetokounmpo and have not been in the NBA finals since 1974 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who eventually asked him to trade Milwaukee for the Bucks after his sixth season as the league’s triple MVP.
I think [Antetokounmpo] should look into his own heart and make a decision based on what is important to him and his professional life, told Abdul-Jabbar, who led the Bucks on his own in 1971 on a trip to Milwaukee in October 2019, to ESPN.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, two-time NBA MVP, has made a long-term commitment to the Bucks. Here’s what you need to know.
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Antetokounmpo was a relative unknown when the Bucks selected him as No. 15 in the 2013 NBA Draft. Antetokounmpo, born in Greece from Nigerian parents, played in the Greek second division before moving to Milwaukee. As a rookie he had only 6,8 points per game and started 23 games, but in his third year his points average rose to 16,9 and he was voted the most improved player. The following year he made the first of his four All-Star appearances.
Milwaukee made the playoffs three times in the first five seasons with Antetokounmpo, but was eliminated each time in the first round. In 2018-19. Antetokounmpo became the first Bucks player since Abdul-Jabbar to be named MVP of the league and also led the team to its first play-off victory since 2001.
Antetokounmpo has improved his points average every season he’s in the league. Last season, he averaged 29.5 points and was the first player since Wilt Chamberlain with an average of at least 29 points, 13 rebounds and five assists during the season. Yet he remains focused on winning the elusive championship.
It’s very simple. They must be better than last year. If you haven’t won everything, you have to do better, Antetokounmpo said at his virtual press conference in September after accepting his MVP trophy. If you win everything, you have to improve and start all over again.
NBA teams have lowered their salary ceilings hoping to get Antetokounmpo next summer, and Milwaukee has a critical off-season hope to convince his best player since Abdul-Jabbar to stay by assembling a strong supporting cast.
Giannis is a unique player and we look forward to him staying with the Bucks, said Bucks co-owners Mark Lasry, Wes Edens and Jamie Dinan in a statement. Giannis has a positive influence on all the people around him, both on and off the field, and he brings with him an unwavering commitment to winning and leading our organization. Her work ethic and desire to be the best embodiment of what the Bucks stand for and what the future holds.
We thank Giannis and his family for their long-term commitment to Milwaukee and look forward to many more years of success. This is a great day for the Bucks, our fans and the state of Wisconsin.
Prior to Free Agency, the Bucs reached an agreement allowing the former All-Star Jrue Holiday to join four teams. The announced agreement that would have brought Bogdan Bogdanovic to Milwaukee as part of a historic trade agreement collapsed, and the Bucs turned to strengthen their bank by signing D.J. Augustin, Bryn Forbes and Torrey Craig in the resignation of guard Pat Connaughton.
The Bucs also added rookie Jordan Nwora to 45th place in the design. Antetokounmpo and star defender Chris Middleton reached the former attacker from Louisville on selection night with an introductory text message that welcomed him into the team and told him that the goal here is a championship.
Antetokounmpo, who was elected on December 6, 26, joins Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players this season to have won multiple NBA MVP awards at the age of 25. He has repeatedly shown his interest in staying in Milwaukee under the right conditions.
My whole career in Milwaukee has inspired me, Antetokounmpo said after winning his second MVP. I know we get better every year and I know there are some great people in Milwaukee who see the same thing I do – playing well, getting better and winning everything.