Next month, Giannis Antetokounmpo will be eligible to sign a three-year, $173 million extension with the Milwaukee Bucks. However, in an interview with Tania Ganguli of The New York Times, he revealed that he isn't planning on signing an extension in the near future.
“The real question’s not going to be this year — numbers-wise, it doesn’t make sense,” Antetokounmpo said. “But next year, next summer, it would make more sense for both parties. Even then, I don’t know.
"I would not be the best version of myself if I don’t know that everybody’s on the same page, everybody’s going for a championship, everybody’s going to sacrifice time away from their family like I do. And if I don’t feel that, I’m not signing."
In 2021, Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to their first championship in 50 years. However, he has made it clear that he isn't getting complacent after winning a single ring.
While he'd love to join Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki as superstars who played 20-plus seasons with a single franchise, he isn't going to do so at the expense of contending for titles.
"At the end of the day, being a winner, it’s over that goal,” Antetokounmpo told Ganguli. “Winning a championship comes first. I don’t want to be 20 years on the same team and don’t win another championship.”
Antetokounmpo has two guaranteed years remaining on his contract with Milwaukee; he'll earn $45,640,084 this season and $48,787,676 next season. Then, in 2025-26, he has a player option worth $51,935,268.
"At the end of the day, I feel like all my teammates know and the organization knows that I want to win a championship. As long as we’re on the same page with that and you show me and we go together to win a championship, I’m all for it. The moment I feel like, oh, yeah, we’re trying to rebuild..." Antetokounmpo said before pausing briefly.
"There will never be hard feelings with the Milwaukee Bucks. I believe that we’ve had 10 unbelievable years, and there’s no doubt I gave everything for the city of Milwaukee. Everything. Every single night, even when I’m hurt. I am a Milwaukee Buck. I bleed green. I know this. This is my team, and it’s going to forever be my team. I don’t forget people that were there for me and allowed me to be great and to showcase who I am to the world and gave me the platform. But we have to win another one.”
Antetokounmpo is coming off an impressive season in which he averaged a career-high 31.1 points along with 11.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks while shooting 55.3% from the field, 27.5% from three-point range and 64.5% from the free-throw line.
The 28-year-old has emerged as one of the NBA's best players, and he has an incredible resume: a championship, two NBA MVPs, a Finals MVP, seven All-Star nods, seven All-NBA selections, a Defensive Player of the Year award, five All-Defensive Team selections and a Most Improved Player award.
Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee to an Eastern-Conference-best 58 wins last season. However, the Miami Heat eliminated the Bucks in five games during the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.