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Barring death or retirement, Giannis Antetokounmpo will have a super-max contract offer waiting for him from the Milwaukee Bucks. The only questions are, when and if he will choose to sign the 5-year deal that is worth more money than most people can imagine.

We’ve all seen the news from Zach Lowe, the reports that say Giannis will probably sign the extension in the coming weeks. The Bucks front office is “confident” that Giannis will be locked up before the season starts, which is surprising to many.

If I were in Giannis’ position, I would attempt to use the super-max as leverage. Not in asking for a trade, but in trying to improve the team. The Bucks have built mighty regular season teams in the past few years, but building a great regular season team and a championship contender are two separate challenges. We’ve seen in the past few seasons that the Bucks are wary about spending a surplus of money on the roster.

When the offseason came around in 2019, they had the option of re-signing all of their guys (namely Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Malcolm Brogdon) or staying under the luxury tax. They chose the latter and opted to trade Brogdon instead of keeping him around. Needless to say, they weren’t as good without him as they could have been with him.

So, if I was Giannis, I don’t sign the super-max deal. Yet. I’d tell the Bucks front office that they’re on probation, and they have one season to prove that they can and will do what it takes to build a championship team. Twelve of the last 16 championship teams have gone over the luxury tax. The Bucks need to show Giannis that they are willing to go all-in for the next couple of seasons in order to have a much higher chance at winning a championship, like trading for Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Once you know for sure that the Bucks have your best interests in mind and will continue to go win-now mode, go ahead and put pen to paper and get your bag, Giannis.

Photo credit: Greek City Times