By Antigoni Zachari / firstname.lastname@example.org
The long-awaited “Giannis decision” is the hottest topic of the free agency this offseason. Antetokounmpo, who currently resides in Greece, has yet to decide upon signing or not a supermax extension with the Milwaukee Bucks.
ESPN columnist Jackie MacMullan recently added up to the general consensus that the Greek Freak will remain in Milwaukee and eventually sign the five-year, $228M supermax extension.
“My intel is that he’s going to sign the supermax. That’s what I’ve been told, it hasn’t happened yet. But I think that’s what we’re all expecting to happen”, MacMullan said recently on The Ringer’s Bill Simmons Podcast.
A supermax extension, officially known as the “Designated Veteran Player Extension”, allows teams to re-sign qualified players to maximum five-year contracts worth up to 35% of the salary cap with eight percent escalation in each subsequent year. Giannis, a 2013 NBA draft class, is one of the few names that could sign this extension; Rudy Gobert is also eligible for a supermax with the Utah Jazz.
Many suitors have arisen for the Greek Freak in this free agency, including the Miami Heat that was preparing to go all-in in order to sign him, though the latest developments tell otherwise. With Heat reportedly extending Bam Adebayo’s contract, there are salary cap restrictions that complicate a move for Giannis, a possible hint that the 2020 NBA finalists consider he will not be up for grabs and he will opt-in for the supermax.
While Antetokounmpo takes his time to consider his future, this also affects Anthony Davis. In the event that Giannis doesn’t sign and becomes a free agent next season then Davis can choose to get a one-plus-one deal with a player option to help the Lakers become flexible with their salary cap during the 2021 free agency.
Giannis has until December 21 to sign the extension this year, and if he does, it will keep the Bucks as title contenders for the foreseeable future. If he doesn’t commit to Milwaukee, then he will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.