While Antetokounmpo won't be eligible for a max deal until 2020, his extension could break league records.
Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo could break the NBA's record for the largest contract in the history of the league when free agency begins in 2020.
Antetokounmpo, the unquestioned face of the franchise, will have one year remaining on his current contract next summer. By then, he'll be eligible for a designated veteran contract extension, more commonly known as the "supermax" contract. The deal would give Antetokounmpo a starting salary worth up to 35% of the cap.
ESPN's Malika Andrews reports that a trip to the NBA Finals could influence Antetokounmpo's decision to sign a supermax contract with Milwaukee. The Bucks were eliminated from the Eastern Conference finals after losing 100–94 to the Raptors in Game 6. Milwaukee gained an early 2–0 lead in the series before losing four straight games to Toronto.
Under NBA regulations, players can only sign supermax contracts with their current teams and become eligible if they have been in the league for seven or eight years and have not been traded since the first four years in the league.
Players must also prove themselves to be one of the most elite players in the league, which can be done in one of three ways:
• Winning MVP in any of the three most recent seasons
• Winning Defensive Player of the Year in the most recent season or in the prior two seasons
• Being named to an All-NBA team in the most recent season or in the prior two seasons.
Antetokounmpo was named to the All-NBA first team for the 2018 season and will likely finish either first or second in the MVP race. Because no other team will be able to sign him, the Bucks can present Antetokounmpo an enticing offer on July 1, 2020: A five-year contract extension that is expected to be worth a league-record $247 million, according to projections by Bobby Marks, ESPN's front office insider.
Should the Bucks convince Antetokounmpo to stay in Milwaukee, the Bucks could be contenders for years to come.