Giannis Antetokounmpo says another ring is more important than a big contract

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo

This September, Milwaukee Bucks Can and will offer Giannis Antetokounmpo a contract extension that is the same amount per year Jaylen Brown just received the biggest deal in league history from the Celtics, except the box proposal should be one year shorter (four years instead of five). Antetokounmpo would be an idiot if he signed it, and he knows it.

That’s because the Bucks could offer a full five-year extension next summer that would be the largest new contract in league history, a deal that could be worth up to $334 million over five years (with that fifth year estimated value of $76 million). .

Even that might not be enough for Antetokounmpo — he wants more than money. As he has done beforeAntetokounmpo fired an arrow across the bow of the Milwaukee Bucks (and their new owner) this week. tells Tanya Ganguly of The New York Times Another title is more important to him than a big salary.

“The real question won’t be this year — it doesn’t make sense in terms of the numbers,” Antetokounmpo said. But next year, next summer will make more sense for both sides. Even then, I don’t know.”

The Bucks spent this summer assembling a group that won a league-best 58 games last season (and who knows what their playoff run would have been like had Antetokounmpo not been injured against the Heat). Milwaukee re-signed Brooke Lopez And Chris Middleton This off-season and has a possible extension with Jero holidays The rising Bucks enter next season as clear championship contenders.

However, change is coming and that’s what Antetokounmpo sees. The Bucks’ roster is aging quickly (Lopez is 35, Middleton is 32 and was injured most of last season, and Jrue Holiday is 33), and the organization will have to rotate around Antetokounmpo in his prime for a few more years. reconsider. (28).

Greek Freak wants to know what that axis looks like. That’s not to say Antetokounmpo is itching to get out of Milwaukee. But he has already said he wants to be challenged And win another title, and if he can’t do it with the Bucks, he’ll do it somewhere else. He’s on a team that hasn’t been back to the Eastern Conference Finals in several seasons and was swept by the Heat in the first round last April. Antetokounmpo wants to win now and win later.

Like before he re-signed in Milwaukee in 2020, other teams are watching and waiting. KnicksHeat, Mavericks and Lakers specially). If Antetokounmpo doesn’t re-sign next summer, half the league will start calling the Bucks and trying to trade (and the Bucks will be looking for a way to keep Antetokounmpo happy and in Wisconsin, the only home Antetokounmpo has ever known. America and a place of stability for him and his family).

What Antetokounmpo did with this interview was send a message to the Bucks — a shot across the bow. Once again, we have to admire Antetokounmpo’s honesty — he could do what seemingly every superstar does and say, “I want to be a Buck for the rest of my life,” and not mean a word of it. Instead, he was honest and said that winning and being challenged was more important to him than getting the biggest salary possible. Of course, Antetokounmpo really likes both money and winning, but it’s up to the Bucks to provide that.

He wanted Bucks to know that the clock was ticking.

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