The Milwaukee Bucks made a pair of significant trades Monday night, and those deals could indicate an even more important move -- signing two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to a long-term deal.

On the heels of the team acquiring both Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic on Monday, there are rumblings that Antetokounmpo is prepared to sign a contract extension with the Bucks.

Agents around the league expect Antetokounmpo to sign a five-year supermax contract with Milwaukee, Fox Sports’ Nick Wright reports. According to The New York Times’ Marc Stein, there has been “chatter” that Antetokounmpo is prepared to give the Bucks a long-term commitment.

It makes sense that Milwaukee at the very least believes the trades might convince Antetokounmpo to stay. The Bucks gave up most of their future assets for two highly regarded support players, though neither one is a superstar.

 

 

 

 

Milwaukee agreed to send Eric Bledsoe, George Hill and three first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Holiday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. In a sign-and-trade with the Sacramento Kings, the Bucks are dealing Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson and Ersan Ilyasova for Bogdanovic.

Antetokounmpo has one year left on his contract. The back-to-back MVP has until Dec. 21 to decide if he wants to ink the five-year offer that is worth around $247 million to stay in Milwaukee, or enter what is sure to be a lucrative free agent market after the season.

There’s been speculation that Antetokounmpo might leave Milwaukee in 2021 free agency if the team doesn’t win a championship. The Bucks had the league’s best regular-season record in each of the last two years, but they failed to reach the NBA Finals.

The two trades could potentially help Milwaukee get over the hump. Holiday has averaged at least 19.0 points and 6.0 assists per game in three straight seasons, and he’s considered to be an elite defender. Bogdanovic averaged a career-high 15.1 points per game in the 2019-2020 season while shooting 37.2% from three-point range.

If the Bucks don’t have a commitment from Antetokounmpo, the trades are risky. Holiday can become a free agent next year, so giving up all those picks and young players would significantly hurt Milwaukee’s ability to rebuild the roster if Antetokounmpo heads elsewhere.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Jrue Holiday Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives against Jrue Holiday #11 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at the Smoothie King Center on February 04, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images