In a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo came to terms on a four-year, $100 million contract extension. Giannis, 21, was set to be a free agent during the summer of 2017.
This move simply makes sense for Milwaukee, and it’s not surprising that they gave Giannis Antetokounmpo a nine-figure payday. When you look at what he’s done already and how young he is, he’s set to be the face of Milwaukee’s franchise for a very, very long time. And they don’t want any other teams getting in the way of that.
Antetokounmpo’s most recent campaign was his third, and he’s just starting to tap into his potential. In 80 games with the Bucks, the Greek Freak averaged 16.9 points, 7.7 boards, and 4.3 assists while shooting 50.6 percent from the field; just for good measure, he added 1.2 steals and 1.4 blocks to his stat line.
Giannis has done nothing but great things since going to Milwaukee, despite the team’s lack of success. Next season, he’s poised to have a total breakout year. Not only is he a physical freak of nature at 6’11 with go-go gadget arms, but his game is also becoming more nuanced and refined, and he’s not just thriving off athleticism anymore.
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Over the final 26 games of last season, Antetokounmpo was playing at a surreally high level. He amassed five triple-doubles over that span, and his averages ballooned to 18.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 1.5 steals while shooting 51.5 percent from the field.
Once he establishes a knockdown jump shot, he’ll be almost unstoppable on offense. His length creates such a disadvantage for defenders, and he’s able to finish around the basket with incredible ease–Giannis made 485 two-point shots this season, 141 of them were dunks. In addition to that, he hauls in rebounds at a tremendous rate, but that’s almost expected from a guy with his skillset. What he does on defense is also not surprising, because he has the body composition to be an all-defensive player. The only thing standing between him and that level is his lack of discipline, evidenced by him leading the NBA with 258 fouls.
Where Antetokounmpo has made more progress than anywhere else is with his passing ability, and he’s turned into a great playmaker. His 4.3 assists were a career-high and expect Jason Kidd to run Giannis a lot at point guard this upcoming year. While he’s going to rack up a ton of assists because of the team that’s around him, Bucks fans should not jump the gun and compare his passing ability to any of the all-time greats.
Giannis gives the Bucks a bright future and it’s not going to be long until he’s a perennial All-Star candidate. With a desire to be great and an insatiable work ethic, his name will be household soon enough–no matter how hard the spelling.
Data courtesy of Basketball-Reference
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