4 Takeaways from Giannis Antetokounmpo Signing Extension with Bucks

Oct 20, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts after scoring a basket in the third quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 20, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts after scoring a basket in the third quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

We thought we knew what Giannis Antetokounmpo would do with the three-year contract extension from the Milwaukee Bucks. We thought he would harmlessly let the deadline pass on Tuesday night. We were wrong.

The window for a three-year maximum extension opened in September and expired on October 23rd at midnight Eastern time. After openly talking about how it was best for his financial future to wait to sign a new five-year extension in the summer, Antetokounmpo shocked the NBA world by agreeing to a three-year, $186 million-ish deal from 2025-26 to a player option in 2027-28.

This move carries immense significance for the Bucks. It’s a moment that fans have been waiting for, anxiously anticipating as the national media kept irresponsibly speculating about Antetokounmpo’s future in a Bucks uniform. Now, with the ink drying on this new deal, it’s time for fans to celebrate, do a victory lap, and maybe even dust off those old receipts. But here, let’s dig deeper into the details of this game-changing decision.

Here are four key takeaways from Giannis Antetokounmpo’s surprising signing of his maximum contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Details

While we know the framework of Antetokounmpo’s contract extension, the exact financial details remain a bit of a mystery. The reported deal is a three-year, $186 million extension with a player option for the third year. However, the specific dollar amounts for each season won’t be determined until the summer leading into the 2025-26 season.

The reason for this financial ambiguity lies in the NBA’s salary cap system. Antetokounmpo’s salary will be based on 35 percent of the cap, and this figure is contingent on the cap’s value when the 2025-26 season approaches. The following two seasons will see eight percent raises.

For now, his contract projects to look like this:

  • 2023-24: $45.6 million
  • 2024-25: $48.8 million
  • 2025-26: $54.7 million*
  • 2026-27: $59 million*
  • 2027-28: $63.4 million* (player option with a deadline of June 29th, 2027)

The NBA’s CBA has set a maximum of 10 percent increases to the cap for each season, so there could be some flexibility in those numbers beginning in 2025-26, the first year this extension is supposed to kick in.

*Estimate based on a $156.2 million cap in 2025-26

Maximum Money

Antetokounmpo talked about wanting the best financial future for him and his family. On media day, his exact words were, “It did not make sense to sign a contract right now because money isn’t important, but a lot of f—— money is important, so I’m going to sign it next year.” Although that was partially tongue-in-cheek, it was a peek into the logical reasoning behind not signing an extension during this window.

However, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, Jon Horst met with Antetokounmpo’s agent on Sunday and must’ve convinced the superstar to look at it differently. As ESPN’s Bobby Marks astutely pointed out, by signing this deal, he’s eligible for a short extension in 2026 and then a four-year extension in 2028. That would help him avoid the NBA’s Over-38 rule, a provision that doesn’t allow NBA teams to offer four-year or longer deals to players who are over 38 or will turn 38 during that contract.

Silences the Doubters

When Antetokounmpo completed a couple of interviews late in the offseason, he talked about wanting the Bucks to be committed to winning before signing another extension. Of course, the National Media had a field day with this and speculated where Antetokounmpo could end up.

For whatever reason, they love to imagine him leaving Milwaukee at every turn. Brian Windhorst predicted his next contract will come with someone besides the Bucks, TrueHoop detailed why the Bucks should trade Giannis, and the rest of the media embarked on their usual shenanigans around the topic.

This was yet another win for the Bucks, as they have him locked under a contract for at least the next four years. We can now tip off the season by focusing on basketball and not the extracurriculars surrounding his contract.

Expression of Support for Adrian Griffin?

It’s been a roller coaster ride for the Bucks, and we’re not even to the regular season yet. First, Antetokounmpo discussed his contract situation with the New York Times, and Milwaukee responded by trading for Damian Lillard. Then, a week before the season began, Terry Stotts resigned as the Bucks’ lead assistant coach, apparently due to an issue with new head coach Adrian Griffin. Now, an extension is signed.

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Antetokounmpo reportedly expressed support for the hiring of Griffin. If he were having any second thoughts about that move heading into the season, you’d think he’d wait to sign his extension. However, he re-committed for another three years despite not having played a regular season game with his new superstar teammate in Lillard and for his new head coach in Griffin. That’s a great sign of how he views how training camp and the preseason have gone.