That sound you hear is every single Bucks fan exhaling. Perhaps the best player that could have hit the open market in 2021 sure sounds like he’s not going anywhere. That class is still has the potential to be absolutely loaded, with guys like LeBron/Paul/Kawhi/Griffin/George/Hayward/Conley/DeRozan/AD/Gobert/Holiday/Adams/Aldridge/Oladipo/Beal all eligible to hit the market if they so choose. It looks like Giannis won’t be one of them with the Bucks fully prepared to offer him a 5/247M supermax extension, which would make him the 6th NBA player so lock in one of those massive deals. Here are the others
Just a bunch of MVPs, John Wall and Damian Lillard. Really only Wall’s contract is the one that seems like a bad idea given his current injury situation, but seeing as how Giannis is a lock to play at least 70+ games every year I don’t think Bucks fans have to worry about that. I think it goes without saying that the supermax is a tricky chip, for example the Hornets decided not to give Kemba Walker a supermax and he ended up leaving, but as a small market team the Bucks are in an entirely different position. They are trying to become Finals contenders and Giannis is arguably a top 3 player in the entire league. You pay that man every penny you’re allowed to and then a few more million under the table if it gets him to stay in MIL. Especially when you have the teams like the Lakers signing Giannis’ brother, which is a clear attempt to one day lure him in.
It goes without saying, Giannis is the Bucks. He basically got them a new arena, he always talks about loving MIL and never wanting to leave, well this is how you make sure that happens. You watch all those Giannis specials and he keeps talking about loyalty and how the Bucks were the ones that took a chance on him so I find it highly unlikely that he takes less than the supermax to go somewhere else. Why would he? He could very well have himself a LeBron-like run in the East over this next decade, HE’S ONLY 24, and he’s a legit God wherever he goes in that city, he’d be crazy to leave.
The important thing that separates Giannis from these other supermax players is the age. They all got their deals in their age 29-30 season, where there was already a good amount of wear and tear on their bodies. Giannis is so young, he’ll be eligible for his second supermax by age 30. There’s virtually no risk for the Bucks to do this which is why it’s such a no brainer decision for them. Someone like Damian Lillard who also got a supermax extension this summer will be making $43M in his age 31 season when that extension kicks in. The money is started to get absolutely ridiculous if you’re the best of the best and when you think of where Giannis’ story started and where he is today, it’s pretty remarkable.
But yeah, if you thought Giannis was coming to your team in the summer of 2021, think again. He’s going to be a problem in the East for a lonnnnnnnng time.