The Bucks have reached an agreement on a four-year, $100 million contract extension with fourth-year forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski. Antetokounmpo is the second player from the 2013 NBA Draft class to receive an extension after Portland's C.J. McCollum.
There are no player or team options in the deal, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
Milwaukee is making a big long-term commitment, but it's one they shouldn't regret. Antetokounmpo was selected No. 15 overall in the 2013 draft, but has emerged as arguably the best player in his class. The Greek Freak came into the league extremely raw as a prospect at just 19 years old and after playing in Greece's third division, but his amazing athletic tools allowed him to catch up quickly to the speed of the NBA game. He's shown flashes of superstar potential, so the extension makes perfect sense.
In fact, the Bucks may be fortunate Antetokounmpo didn't force their hand to receive even more money. Antetokounmpo could have pushed to receive Milwaukee's designated player extension, which would have been for five years starting at next year's maximum salary. Because the salary cap is expected to rise, that would have earned Antetokounmpo more annually and for an additional year.
Instead, the Bucks locked Antetokounmpo in on a four-year extension for slightly less than the value of this year's maximum contract for players with his experience. That gives Milwaukee more cost certainty if the maximum contract rules change in the event of a lockout next year. If the current system or something similar remains, they can also use their one designated five-year maximum extension on Jabari Parker next summer.
Bucks's coach Jason Kidd said that Antetokounmpo will play point guard next year, which should be a sight to behold. He did that to end last season and the results were promising, as his height allowed him to see over the top of the defense. The team's offense was poor overall, however, and lacked shooters. The front office addressed those weaknesses by bringing in Matthew Dellavedova and Mirza Teletovic, so Antetokounmpo should both have more room to operate and more targets to pass to in 2016-17.
With this move, Milwaukee is moving to the next stage in their rebuilding process. Antetokounmpo is clearly a cornerstone that will be with the franchise for the next five years. Along with Jabari Parker, he forms a versatile forward pairing that seems perfectly suited to thrive in the modern NBA. Khris Middleton is also part of that core, while rookie Thon Maker had an impressive Summer League and could become another potential star for the franchise.
Antetokounmpo, 21, averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists last season in 35 minutes a game, but his numbers all jumped after the All-Star break, when he was installed as the team's point guard.