Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo can’t sign a super-max extension for another year, and can’t become a free agent until the summer of 2021, but that won’t stop NBA fans and observers from speculating about his long-term future. Speaking today to reporters, including ESPN’s Eric Woodyard, Antetokounmpo made it clear that he has no plans to entertain that speculation this season.
“I’m not gonna talk about it a lot this season, and I’m not going to try to address it,” Antetokounmpo said.
The Greek forward is still just 24 years old and is coming off his first MVP season, cementing his place among the NBA’s stars to watch over the next five or 10 years. Throw in the fact that he’s playing in one of the league’s smaller markets, and it’s no surprise that whispers about his next contract have already begun. For his part though, Antetokounmpo is focused on the season ahead.
“I feel like if you have a great team – and our goal is to win a championship and be the last team standing and get better each day – I think it’s disrespectful towards my teammates talking about my free agency and what I’m going through,” Antetokounmpo said. “So, when the time is right, we’re all gonna talk about it. I don’t think the time is right.”
Because he earned All-NBA honors and took home an MVP award this season, Antetokounmpo locked in his super-max eligibility, but he can’t actually sign that extension – which would start at 35% of the cap – until he has at least seven years of NBA experience. As soon as they’re permitted to, the Bucks plan on putting that offer on the table — in fact, general manager GM Jon Horst made that plan public and was fined $50K by the NBA for doing so.
Based on the league’s latest cap projections, a five-year super-max deal for Giannis that starts in the 2021/22 season would be worth just over $252MM.