Freak signs largest contract in NBA history
Giannis Antetokounmpo is staying with the Milwaukee Bucks long-term.
The two-time NBA MVP will sign a max five-year contract extension with the Bucks, Antetokounmpo announced on Twitter. It will be worth a record $301 million (AUD) and ensures the Bucks will be NBA title contenders for years to come. The contract has an opt-out after the fourth year, according to ESPN.
"This is my home, this is my city.. I'm blessed to be able to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 5 years. Let's make these years count. The show goes on, let's get it," Antetokounmpo wrote.
The contract edges the $274 million extension Russell Westbrook signed in 2017.
Antetokounmpo, 26, had until next Tuesday to agree to the extension. He could have hit unrestricted free agency next summer and changed the entire landscape of the NBA, but he is staying put.
Last Wednesday, "The Greek Freak" danced around the question of whether he'd sign a contract extension by Tuesday and admitted it was "one of the big decisions that I'm gonna make".
The Bucks led the NBA with 56 wins during the shortened 2019-20 NBA season before losing to the Miami Heat in a five-game second-round playoff series. Milwaukee traded for former All-Star guard Jrue Holiday and added D.J. Augustin, Bobby Portis and Bryn Forbes in free agency in an effort to try to get over the hump toward a championship.
The star-studded 2021 NBA free-agent class is suddenly dwindling, with several players signing extensions. In addition to Antetokounmpo, Paul George recently tacked four years and $251 million onto the $47 million he'll get this season, Anthony Davis signed a five-year $251 million deal to stay with the Lakers after opting out of the final year of his deal and LeBron James signed a two-year $112 million extension with the Lakers.
The 211cm Antetokounmpo was selected No. 15 overall by the Bucks in the 2013 NBA Draft out of Greece. Considered a raw talent at the time, Antetokounmpo's development soared over his first three NBA seasons before he became an All-Star during the 2016-17 NBA season, when he earned Most Improved Player honours. He's a four-time All-Star and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Last season he averaged career-highs in points (29.5) and rebounds (13.6) per game.
- New York Post
Originally published as Freak signs largest contract in NBA history