Giannis Antetokounmpo signed the richest deal in NBA history Tuesday, agreeing to a supermax extension with the Milwaukee Bucks. The five-year deal is worth $228.2 million and includes a player-option after the fourth season.
Antetokounmpo, 26, will be the Bucks’ franchise player for at least the next five seasons. But will he deliver a championship to Milwaukee?
JR SportBrief isn’t so sure.
“Is a title on the horizon right now? No,” JR said on CBS Sports Radio. “Do I think at a point in time that the Milwaukee Bucks will be a better team? Do I think as long as they have Giannis they can be competitive? Yes. But I’m not so sure they can win a title.”
Antetokounmpo, a two-time MVP, has led the Bucks to the best record in the NBA two years in a row but was unable to reach the NBA Finals either time. In 2019, the Bucks lost to the Toronto Raptors in the conference finals. This year, they lost to the Miami Heat in the second round.
The East, it is worth noting, isn’t going to get any easier, especially with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. And if the Bucks do get to the Finals, can they beat LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers? Or Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers? Or any stacked team that wins the West?
“If you’re going to ask me personally, do I think Giannis will one day end his career as a champion? I think he’ll get a ring,” JR said. “I’m just not sure right now, even though he said he’s staying in Milwaukee, that that title will come in Wisconsin, as opposed to five years from now – six, seven, eight [years from now] – maybe coming in another city."