1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (2021)
The Milwaukee Bucks are certain to offer Giannis Antetkounmpo a five-year supermax extension this offseason that could be worth more than $200 million.
If Antetokounmpo declines to sign said extension, all bets are off about his future.
The entire league has been lusting after Antetokounmpo’s potential foray into free agency for years, and for good reason. The reigning MVP guided the Bucks to 60 wins and an Eastern Conference Finals appearance last season, and they were on a 70-win pace for much of this year.
Despite playing nearly two fewer minutes per game this season compared to last, Antetokounmpo is averaging career highs in points (29.6), rebounds (13.7), free-throw attempts (10.0) and 3-pointers (1.5). He’s a one-man wrecking crew who’s capable of putting up some of the most unfathomable stat lines in NBA history.
After the Bucks lost to Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors in last year’s playoffs, ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported “a source close to Antetokounmpo said that getting to the NBA Finals is not just an ambition; it could tip the scales as he weighs his contractual future.” The Bucks appeared poised to steamroll their way to the Finals before the pandemic-induced hiatus, but it’s unclear how the long layoff — and/or the possibility of a unique playoff format — might affect them.
If Antetokounmpo does eventually decide to leave the Bucks, he’ll create a free-agent feeding frenzy the likes of which we haven’t seen since LeBron James’ prime.