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Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign supermax extension with Milwaukee Bucks

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Following the blockbuster trade for Jrue Holiday, the Milwaukee Bucks got more good news: Two-time reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will sign his supermax extension, according to the man himself.

“This is my home, this is my city,” Antetokounmpo said via Twitter. “I’m blessed to be able to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next five years. Let’s make these years count. The show goes on, let’s get it.”

The extension, which secures Antetokounmpo through the 2025-26 season, guarantees the four-time All-Star a record $228.2 million on top of the $27.5 million he is owed this coming season, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Antetokounmpo can reportedly opt out of the contract in the summer of 2025.

Had he not signed the extension, Antetokounmpo’s impending 2021 free agency would have been one of the biggest storylines of the coming season. He is arguably the league’s most important player on both ends of the floor, joining Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon this past season as the third player to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same year. Every NBA team would have coveted him.

Instead, he becomes the rare superstar to remain committed to a small-market team beyond his rookie extension, offering hope that player movement may not destroy the balance of the league. Antetokounmpo previously played coy when asked about the possibility of an extension, suggesting his loyalty to Milwaukee would remain as long as the franchise continued to commit to build a championship contender around him.

The Bucks were on a 70-win pace for much of last season, finishing with the Eastern Conference’s best record for a second consecutive season. After reaching the conference finals in 2019, Milwaukee’s playoff hopes were dashed in the second round this year. Antetokounmpo met with Bucks brass to discuss the direction of the franchise ahead of the 2020-21 season, and they have apparently earned his confidence.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the NBA's two-time reigning MVP. (AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the NBA's two-time reigning MVP. (AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The trade of Eric Bledsoe and George Hill for Holiday was an upgrade that was supposed to be amplified by a coinciding sign-and-trade arrangement with the Sacramento Kings for Bogdan Bogdanovic. However, that deal fell apart without Bogdanovic’s consent, and he signed with the Atlanta Hawks. It was a blow to the Bucks’ efforts to build around Antetokounmpo and threatened to jeopardize his commitment to them.

With a starting lineup featuring Bogdanovic and four current or former All-Stars — Antetokounmpo, Holiday, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton — the Bucks appeared to be Finals-bound in 2021. Antetokounmpo was rumored to be on the verge of agreeing to the extension, but once the Bogdanovic deal fell apart, there was some question as to whether he would remain so committed without the assurance of an upgrade on the wing. Those fears were quelled when Antetokounmpo committed to Milwaukee for the foreseeable future.

Antetokounmpo’s rise is a remarkable one. Drafted 15th in the first round of the 2013 NBA draft out of a relatively small Greek basketball league, he arrived in Milwaukee a raw and lanky talent. He has harnessed his athleticism to become one of the league’s strongest and most skilled point forwards, capturing Most Improved Player honors in 2017 before winning back-to-back MVP awards over the past two seasons.

The son of Nigerian immigrants in Greece, Antetokounmpo famously sold watches and sunglasses on the streets of his Athens neighborhood, along with his brother and Bucks teammate Thanasis. With a signature on his supermax extension, Antetokounmpo’s career earnings in Milwaukee are $335 million and counting.

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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach

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