Giannis seeks title commitment before re-signing

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Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said he does not plan to sign a contract extension when he becomes eligible next month and that he won’t sign an extension until he’s comfortable knowing the organization will continue to compete for a championship.

In an interview with the New York Times published Thursday, the two-time MVP acknowledged that he doesn’t plan to sign an extension this summer because “numbers-wise it doesn’t make sense” but added the organization still had something to prove before he signs one next summer.

“Next summer it would make more sense for both parties. Even then, I don’t know,” Antetokounmpo said in the interview. “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.”

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Antetokounmpo will enter the third season of a five-year, $228 million supermax extension during the upcoming 2023-24 season and is under contract for the next two seasons. His contract includes a player option after the 2024-25 season.

The Bucks can offer Antetokounmpo a three-year, $173 million extension beginning on Sept. 22. However, Antetokounmpo outlined the factors that will go into his decision making before he signs his next deal.

“At the end of the day, I feel like all my teammates know and the organization knows that I want to win a championship,” he said. “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… there will never be hard feelings with the Milwaukee Bucks.”

Antetokounmpo did reiterate a desire he’s expressed in the past, to remain with one franchise for his entire career, the way stars such as Kobe Bryant or Dirk Nowitzki, but he also called winning a championship “the best feeling he’s had so far in basketball. He indicated that he would prioritize that feeling above all else when he came to his future.

“At the end of the day, being a winner, it’s over that goal,” Antetokounmpo said. “Winning a championship comes first. I don’t want to be 20 years on the same team and don’t win another championship.”

Milwaukee is coming off a disappointing postseason with a first round exit despite entering the playoffs as the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Following their early playoff exit, the Bucks fired coach Mike Budenholzer and hired Adrian Griffin, who was an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors. Aside from that change, Milwaukee’s offseason was focused on bringing back its own core free agents, signing Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton to new deals to prevent them from leaving during free agency.

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