Back-to-back defending MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo announced that he will sign a five-year max contract extension with the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that it includes an opt-out after the fourth year.
The announcement takes the Miami Heat’s number one offseason acquisition in 2021 free agency off the table. Just two months ago, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Miami was preparing to go “all in” to pursue Antetokounmpo. But some speculated whether the Heat’s decision to give Bam Adebayo an extension last month reflected a resignation that Antetokounmpo would sign his extension with Milwaukee.
Antetokounmpo’s news also could prod Pat Riley to make a more forceful pursuit for James Harden, who has listed Miami as one of his preferred trade destinations. Thus far, Houston has been unwilling to entertain trade offers for the All-Star shooting guard.
Just a few months ago, the fifth-seeded Heat jumped out to a 3-0 lead on the Bucks before Antetokounmpo suffered an injury. It appears Antetokounmpo wasn’t interested in joining the team that beat him, as Kevin Durant did in 2016.