Milwaukee Bucks co-owner and governor Marc Lasry, meeting with Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo last Friday, told the reigning NBA MVP that the franchise is willing to spend into the luxury tax to deliver him a championship supporting cast.
According to ESPN, the Bucks’ payroll will be close to the proposed $132.7 million luxury-tax threshold for 2020-21.
Lasry assured Antetokounmpo and his agent, Alex Saratsis, that they would make some personnel upgrades that could be available to the franchise in the offseason. Antetokounmpo left for vacation but is expected to meet with Lasry upon his return.
Antetokounmpo will have to decide whether he will sign an extension with the Bucks or enter the 2020-21 season in the final year of his contract and eligible for free agency in 2021.
The Bucks will offer Antetokounmpo a supermax deal that will pay him somewhere just short of $250 million over five years based on the new salary-cap figures.
After the Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs last week, Antetokounmpo said the possibility of him requesting a trade from Milwaukee is “not happening.”
“Some see a wall and go in [another direction]. I plow through it,” Antetokounmpo said. “We just have to get better as a team, individually and get right back at it next season.”
The Bucks had the NBA’s best regular-season record for two straight seasons but failed to reach the championship final each year. Ownership plans to bring back coach Mike Budenholzer and together, will work to reshape their roster they hope will put them over the top next season.