NBA: Giannis Antetokounmpo signs contract extension with Bucks | Inquirer Sports
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NBA: Giannis Antetokounmpo signs contract extension with Bucks

/ 01:25 PM October 24, 2023

Giannis Antetokounmpo Bucks NBA

FILE–Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has indicated on social media that he has agreed to a contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Antetokounmpo issued a social media post on Monday that said, “MILWAUKEEEEEEEEE!! Let’s get it!!!! #BucksInSix #Extended.” The post came as ESPN reported that the two-time MVP had agreed on a three-year extension worth $186 million, with a player option for the 2027-28 season.

The Bucks didn’t make an official announcement, but they reposted Antetokounmpo’s post on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. The Bucks’ repost, which was later deleted, included the message, “The best possible cure for the Mondays.”

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Antetokounmpo’s announcement came as Minnesota’s Jaden McDaniels, Washington’s Deni Avdija and Orlando’s Cole Anthony led the first wave of fourth-year players to reach agreements on contract extensions ahead of the NBA’s deadline.

Antetokounmpo had said this summer that he didn’t plan to sign an extension this year because it would make more financial sense for him to wait until the summer. The two-time MVP also had indicated that he wanted to wait to see how committed the Bucks were toward winning another title before he decided on whether to sign an extension on his contract, which at the time ran through 2024-25 with a player option for 2025-26.

Since then, the Bucks made a blockbuster trade to acquire seven-time all-NBA guard Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers. Even after that trade, Antetokounmpo had indicated he didn’t expect to sign an extension this year.

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“I said that it did not make sense to sign the contract right now because money’s not important — a lot of money is important. So I’m going to sign it next year,” Antetokounmpo said with a laugh during the Bucks’ Media Day event on Oct. 2. “But, no, at the end of the day, again, it doesn’t make sense. It does not make sense for me to sign it right now. I’ve got to always look at what’s best for me and my family, for my situation.

“But at the end of the day, I want to be a Milwaukee Buck for the rest of my career, as long as we are winning. It’s as simple as that.”

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Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, high fives Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) before the start of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, in Oklahoma City.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, high fives guard Damian Lillard (0). (AP Photo/Sarah Phipps)

The extension starts with the 2025-26 season, meaning Antetokounmpo is under contract for at least four more years — and a fifth if he’s so inclined. He will earn about $94.4 million over the next two seasons, then about $120 million more for the 2025-26 and 2026-27 seasons.

The last year is at his option, meaning he could make roughly $66 million more in 2027-28.

And if Antetokounmpo had waited until next summer to agree to an extension, he possibly may have secured earned even more money. A max-extension scenario had he waited until 2024 could have been a four-year agreement at a figure exceeding $250 million.

As far as the extensions involving fourth-year players, agent Bill Duffy confirmed that McDaniels and the Timberwolves agreed on a five-year, $136 million extension. The 28th overall pick in 2020, who came to Minnesota in the same draft as star Anthony Edwards, had a breakout third season with an average of 12.1 points per game on 51.7% shooting.

With three maximum contract players on the roster in Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, the Timberwolves have committed themselves to the luxury tax range with their salary cap. But the 6-foot-9 McDaniels is the team’s best defender and one of the league’s best shutdown wings, and the Timberwolves believe he has untapped offensive potential to pair with his defensive ability.

“I feel like, shoot, I can go out and score 25 points every night if I wanted to,” McDaniels said at the beginning of training camp.

The Timberwolves open their season at Toronto on Wednesday. McDaniels currently has a calf injury, putting his status for the game in doubt.

Avdija agreed to a four-year, $55 million extension with the Wizards, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn’t announced the agreement. The 22-year-old Avdija started a career-high 40 games last season and averaged 9.2 points and 6.4 rebounds. Washington drafted him in the first round in 2020.

Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija (8) in action against the New York Knicks during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, in New York.

FILE–Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija (8). (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Avdija is somewhat remarkably the longest-tenured player on the Wizards. They traded Bradley Beal to Phoenix in the offseason and enter 2023-24 with a significantly different roster. Avdija, a 6-foot-9 forward from Israel, has averaged 8.1 points in 212 career games since the Wizards made him the ninth overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Anthony and the Magic agreed to a three-year, $39 million extension, which the team announced Monday. The son of 11-year NBA veteran Greg Anthony, he was the 15th overall pick in the 2020 draft.

The point guard missed more than a month last season with an oblique muscle injury and saw his scoring average drop by more than three points per game. After starting all 65 games he played in during the 2021-22 season with Markelle Fultz sidelined by injury, Anthony returned to a role off the bench once Fultz was back in the starting lineup.

But Anthony shot a career-best 45.4% from the field, including 36.4% from 3-point range, and reduced his turnovers by an average of more than one per game.

Multiyear contract extensions

Elsewhere, the San Antonio Spurs announced a multiyear extension for center Zach Collins. The 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft averaged a career-high 11.6 points per game last season.

Also, the Atlanta Hawks signed forward-center Onyeka Okongwu to a four-year, $62 million rookie contract extension.

Okongwu has started in 28 of 178 career games, averaging 7.9 points and 5.7 rebounds. He could play a larger role this season, following the trade of power forward John Collins to Utah.

The deal with Okongwu came after the team exercised the fourth-year contract option on forward Jalen Johnson and the third-year option on guard AJ Griffin.

The Dallas Mavericks and Josh Green agreed on a $41 million, three-year contract extension coming off the most productive of the guard’s three seasons.

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News of the deal comes two days before the Mavericks open the regular season in San Antonio, with Green set to see how he fits with a retooled roster around stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

A first-round draft pick in 2020, Green has provided energy and athleticism off the bench, with more of an impact in 2022-23 than the Australian’s first two seasons.

Green, who turns 23 next month, missed 20 games with a right elbow sprain last season but still started a career-high 21 games while averaging 9.1 points and 3.0 rebounds.

TAGS: Giannis Antetokounmpo, NBA

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