Report: Bucks assured Giannis Antetokounmpo they are willing to spend into luxury tax
The Milwaukee Bucks are dealing with the reality that Giannis Antetokounmpo may only be with the franchise for one more season, but they are doing everything they can to assure the reigning NBA MVP that there is no need to chase a championship elsewhere.
Antetokounmpo met with Bucks owner Marc Lasry for three hours on Friday to discuss the direction of the franchise, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. In that meeting, Lasry assured Giannis that the Bucks are willing to spend into the luxury tax this offseason to give him a championship supporting cast. Milwaukee’s payroll for 2020-21 will be close to the $132.7 million luxury tax as is, so they would need to do that in order to add more pieces.
Lasry and Antetokounmpo reportedly discussed some specific roster upgrades that could be made, but they will talk further once Giannis returns from vacation.
Antetokounmpo is eligible to sign a mammoth extension with the Bucks this offseason that will be worth somewhere in the range of $220-250 million over five years. If he doesn’t agree to a max extension, he will be eligible to become a free agent after next season.
The Bucks had the best record in the NBA in the regular season, but their year ended in disappointing fashion. They were dominated by the Miami Heat in five games in the second round of the playoffs. Despite that, they are supposedly planning to stick with their head coach heading into next year.
There has been a lot of talk about Giannis leaving the Bucks given the way they have underachieved, but he emphatically shot that down after they were eliminated. That didn’t stop NBA fans from freaking out over some of his social media activity.
Antetokounmpo’s meeting with Lasry is a good sign for Bucks fans. The relationship between the two appears to be in a good place.