The Existential Extension Crisis - Will Giannis Stay in Milwaukee?

Will Giannis Sign a Supermax Extension Before the December 21 Deadline?


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HowBoutDemSox

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Giannis and the Bucks have until a week from today, December 21, to sign an extension, otherwise he becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season. His teammates have resorted to leaving pens in his locker, just to make sure he knows he can sign anytime he chooses. but so far he's "just trying to focus on myself, how I can get better, how I can help my teammates get better " and not thinking too hard about the extension, a thought that most likely fills Milwaukeeans with dread.

His extension is eligible to be up to five years for approximately $228 million if he signs the designated veteran extension, known colloquially as the supermax. If he leaves in free agency next year, the most he can get is 4 years; Durant famously turned down the extension from OKC, played out his last year to become a free agent, then jumped ship. This will be another interesting point for the continued discussion of player movement, how small franchise can or can't compete with the big destination cities for star players, and the CBA generally. If he leaves, what chance does a team like the Bucks have a keeping home grown stars? Or should Milwaukee have done a better job of building around him, like the Cavs failed to do when spoiling LeBron's initial run in Cleveland with a weak supporting? Are there structural changes that need to be made to the CBA?

What say you, Port Cellar, does he stay in Milwaukee, or is he already shopping for property in Miami?
 

Sox Puppet

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Or should Milwaukee have done a better job of building around him, like the Cavs failed to do when spoiling LeBron's initial run in Cleveland with a weak supporting?
This. In an era when superstars are falling all over themselves to pair up with other superstars, the best Milwaukee could muster was Khris Middleton?

Also, maybe this is a bit controversial to say, but Milwaukee hasn't exactly been the best environment for African-American athletes, with at least a couple high-profile cases of harassment in recent memory. If I'm Giannis and can choose wherever I want to be, not sure Milwaukee is where I'd choose to plant my flag.
 

BillMuellerFanClub

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His extension is eligible to be up to five years for approximately $228 million if he signs the designated veteran extension, known colloquially as the supermax. If he leaves in free agency next year, the most he can get is 4 years; Durant famously turned down the extension from OKC, played out his last year to become a free agent, then jumped ship. This will be another interesting point for the continued discussion of player movement, how small franchise can or can't compete with the big destination cities for star players, and the CBA generally. If he leaves, what chance does a team like the Bucks have a keeping home grown stars? Or should Milwaukee have done a better job of building around him, like the Cavs failed to do when spoiling LeBron's initial run in Cleveland with a weak supporting? Are there structural changes that need to be made to the CBA?
I don't think you can simply bucket the reasons stars leave small market teams and then implement mechanisms in the CBA in an attempt to reduce their importance in the player's evaluations to leave a team. But let's go ahead and try to anyway. Here are a few categories of why players might leave their existing team (small market or otherwise).

1. Winning, or lack thereof
2. Lifestyle (Media Exposure/Glitz & Glamor, Branding/Marketing, Weather, Culture)
3. Team Up with Friends
4. Money / Respect

The pendulum appears to be swinging to the age of player-empowerment, starting with LeBron's "Decision" and probably right up until the CBA expires. We've seen high-profile stars move to new teams via free agency and by leveraging their position with a team where they are under contract to facilitate a move somewhere else. Players have taken less money to go play with their friends. LeBron chose LA to pursue his legacy after basketball and get into acting.

Looking at Giannis' situation specifically, the Bucks had (have) a core advantage - money. The CBA allows for MIL to pay him more than any other team can and that is a pretty powerful mechanism to overcome shortcomings in the other categories. MIL misses out massively on #2 and #3. The weather sucks, the local culture didn't exactly cover itself in glory this year, and MIL has brought in just one other second tier player to improve the product on the court, potentially making #1 an issue again. If I'm evaluating opportunities, I am probably not bullish on their ability to make enough movement in any of these deficiencies for me to commit to another 5 years at this point in time, even if they can pay me more than anyone else.

Edit:

Playing out this thought process with MIA, I can't see how they aren't a better situation for him.

1. Window is open
2. Superior in every way compared to MIL
3. More even talent distribution on the court, though no idea if he's close with Butler
4. Can pay him as much as anyone other than MIL
 
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NomarsFool

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IF Giannis intends to resign with the Bucks, is he at any disadvantage to wait (aside from injury risk, COVID impact, etc.)? He'd still be eligible for the same supermax next summer, right?
 

PedroKsBambino

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IF Giannis intends to resign with the Bucks, is he at any disadvantage to wait (aside from injury risk, COVID impact, etc.)? He'd still be eligible for the same supermax next summer, right?
Yes. There's pretty much no reason for him to sign now, and not signing now locks up Miami, Toronto a bit (of course, it's distraction for Milwaukee is likely greater than etiher of those benefits)
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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IF Giannis intends to resign with the Bucks, is he at any disadvantage to wait (aside from injury risk, COVID impact, etc.)? He'd still be eligible for the same supermax next summer, right?
Giannis is ineligible to sign a Supermax Deal after Dec 21. Supermax deal is 5 year extension worth somewhere between $220 million and $250 million. If Giannis chooses to hit free agency, the most he could secure is“a four-year deal worth between $140 million and $160 million, plus whatever he would make in year 5.

I think he'll sign and if he doesn't like the situation, he'll Force a trade after 1 year.

 

BaseballJones

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This. In an era when superstars are falling all over themselves to pair up with other superstars, the best Milwaukee could muster was Khris Middleton?

Also, maybe this is a bit controversial to say, but Milwaukee hasn't exactly been the best environment for African-American athletes, with at least a couple high-profile cases of harassment in recent memory. If I'm Giannis and can choose wherever I want to be, not sure Milwaukee is where I'd choose to plant my flag.
There's lots of reasons why people would prefer places like Miami to Milwaukee.

There's nothing wrong with Middleton at all. Damned fine player. 20.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, shoots the lights out. 2x all-star. In some ways, an ideal #2 on a really good team. 20+ points in 37 games this year. 30+ points in 6 games. Even put up 51 once. Guy can absolutely ball, but isn't a guy who whines when he isn't the focal point of the offense.

Doesn't mean there aren't even better guys they could have paired with Giannis. But Middleton is terrific.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Not to overstate the impact that Bogdanovich would have had on that team but failing to lock him down was a pretty big miss given his complimentary skill set. I wouldn't be shocked if we look back at that botched deal as a tipping point in Giannis' Bucks career. They really need more if they want to hang with teams like the Lakers and the other West juggernauts.
 

lexrageorge

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Sorry, I’m not up on my NBA cap details. Could he sign a one year deal with Miami at low dollars and then sign a max extension them the following year?
Only if Miami has the cap space to accommodate the larger 2nd contract. Bird rights don't kick in until 3 years, after which Miami could sign him to anything. If Giannis did this, his year-to-year raises would be capped, and he would likely be leaving tens of millions on the table.

Giannis can sign a Designated Veteran Contract w/ the Bucks during the next offseason. It's just that then the Bucks are taking the chance that he may turn down the extra money that Supermax gives him.
 

nighthob

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Sorry, I’m not up on my NBA cap details. Could he sign a one year deal with Miami at low dollars and then sign a max extension them the following year?
The short answer is No. So's the medium answer.

The long form is that Milwaukee can sign him to a 35% max deal now if he signs the extension by next Monday. If he goes the UFA route next summer the maximum amount of the cap that he can receive is 30%. That means over a five year period he would make roughly $200 million if he leaves Milwaukee vs. roughly $240 million with Milwaukee. So I'm with DeJesus, he likely signs the extension and then demands a trade after the first year or so. Which allows him to leave the Bucks on good terms (as someone will pay up for him).
 

Beomoose

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I know the economy of trades and trade exceptions is a bit odd, but is Milwaukee likely to get better value (players, picks, whatever) back trading him with or without the Supermax contract?
 

lexrageorge

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The short answer is No. So's the medium answer.

The long form is that Milwaukee can sign him to a 35% max deal now if he signs the extension by next Monday. If he goes the UFA route next summer the maximum amount of the cap that he can receive is 30%. That means over a five year period he would make roughly $200 million if he leaves Milwaukee vs. roughly $240 million with Milwaukee. So I'm with DeJesus, he likely signs the extension and then demands a trade after the first year or so. Which allows him to leave the Bucks on good terms (as someone will pay up for him).
I believe it is also true that the Bucks could still sign Giannis to a 35% supermax this coming offseason. I don't believe there is anything in the CBA that closes the window on that if they miss the Monday deadline.
 

nighthob

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Yeah, sorry, I was trying to say that if he left he was getting 30%, but looking at it I was definitely not clear about that. That’s what I get for posting while drinking scotch.
 

nighthob

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I know the economy of trades and trade exceptions is a bit odd, but is Milwaukee likely to get better value (players, picks, whatever) back trading him with or without the Supermax contract?
They’d get more if he was locked up for multiple years. Because then bad teams with better prospects would feel better bidding. Like OKC or New Orleans.
 

Swedgin

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Giannis is ineligible to sign a Supermax Deal after Dec 21. Supermax deal is 5 year extension worth somewhere between $220 million and $250 million. If Giannis chooses to hit free agency, the most he could secure is“a four-year deal worth between $140 million and $160 million, plus whatever he would make in year 5.

I think he'll sign and if he doesn't like the situation, he'll Force a trade after 1 year.

This is not completely accurate. He can sign the exact same Supermax deal with the Bucks at the end of the year. He just cannot extend during the year.
 

scottyno

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I'm in favor of getting rid of the max contract, because clearly the superstars are worth much much more to a team than the just all stars who are making the same money in many cases, but I'm not really sure it would matter.

We're already seeing superstars leave tens of millions on the table because they want to go play with their friends, or in a big city, or on a team that's an instant contender. Does Lebron not join the heat or the lakers because another team can offer him 60m instead of 30?
 

lovegtm

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I'm in favor of getting rid of the max contract, because clearly the superstars are worth much much more to a team than the just all stars who are making the same money in many cases, but I'm not really sure it would matter.

We're already seeing superstars leave tens of millions on the table because they want to go play with their friends, or in a big city, or on a team that's an instant contender. Does Lebron not join the heat or the lakers because another team can offer him 60m instead of 30?
Yeah, for basically everyone who has earned $150M+ and isn't named Gordon Hayward, max-type guys seem to prioritize playing with guys they like in winning situations rather than squeezing out the last dollars or being the #1 option.
 

scottyno

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Yeah, for basically everyone who has earned $150M+ and isn't named Gordon Hayward, max-type guys seem to prioritize playing with guys they like in winning situations rather than squeezing out the last dollars or being the #1 option.
I'm sure the knicks would be something absolutely insane and offer like $60m to a demar derozan type player though just to get someone to sign with them so that would be amusing
 

lovegtm

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But the NBA wants to see the best players in the league in the Finals. It's good for the league. The max contract was created so as to enable superteams.
I'm quite fine with superteams in general. The Heat produced 2/4 really competitive Finals, and won 1/2 non-competitive ones. The Warriors situation was a salary cap fuck-up that probably won't be repeated.

Basketball is better when good players play together. If those clusters are distributed between 3-8 teams, so much the better. But I definitely don't want even talent distribution.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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This is not completely accurate. He can sign the exact same Supermax deal with the Bucks at the end of the year. He just cannot extend during the year.
edit: I think I see what is going on here. Marks is technically correct that a Supermax extension has to be signed by Dec. 21. Any other extension would be less. But after season ends, MIL can offer 5 yr supermax contract.

Seems like NBA should add more incentives to have stars sign extensions with their own team.
Better explanation here: https://www.progambler.com/giannis-antetokounmpo-extension-deadline-things-to-know-as-dec-21-approaches/


I'm no cap expert so I'll defer to anyone who has knowledge but Bobby Marks on twitter said what appears to be something different so anyone want to explain, I'm open ears.

Dec. 21 is not a drop dead when it comes to a new contract for Antetokounmpo. The MVP is still extension past Dec. 21 and can dictate the length of the contract but at less money. Super max extension has to be for 6 seasons (including what is left on the current contract).
View: https://twitter.com/BobbyMarks42/status/1336775696409112583
 
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lexrageorge

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I'm no cap expert so I'll defer to anyone who has knowledge but Bobby Marks on twitter said what appears to be something different so anyone want to explain, I'm open ears.

Dec. 21 is not a drop dead when it comes to a new contract for Antetokounmpo. The MVP is still extension past Dec. 21 and can dictate the length of the contract but at less money. Super max extension has to be for 6 seasons (including what is left on the current contract).
View: https://twitter.com/BobbyMarks42/status/1336775696409112583
There are basically 3 options available for Giannis and the Bucks now, one of which one will close on 12/21:

1.) Giannis could sign a Designated Veteran Extension, aka supermax. Term will be for 6 years, which counts the upcoming season, so basically 5 "new" seasons. This option becomes unavailable after 12/21.

2.) Giannis could wait until next offseason, and sign a Designated Veteran Contract for the same terms (same years, same money) with the Bucks , but he will be a full UFA by then. There's also the risk of injury Giannis would be taking by waiting. Only the Bucks can offer the extra year and extra $$$ that come with the supermax.

3.) Giannis could forgo the supermax and sign a vanilla Veteran Extension contract at any point until the end of the regular season for max money, and for 6 years (counting this season) with the Bucks. I think he would be losing about $6M/year versus the supermax, or $30M total. He would still make slightly more money than he could by signing with another team (8% annual raises vs 5%).
 

Cesar Crespo

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But the NBA wants to see the best players in the league in the Finals. It's good for the league. The max contract was created so as to enable superteams.
The Max contract was created so a team like Orlando could afford to pay Shaq and he wouldn't just end up in LA every time.

Oops!
 

benhogan

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2.) Giannis could wait until next offseason, and sign a Designated Veteran Contract for the same terms (same years, same money) with the Bucks , but he will be a full UFA by then. There's also the risk of injury Giannis would be taking by waiting. Only the Bucks can offer the extra year and extra $$$ that come with the supermax.
Thanks for that recap

But even a season-ending (and out next season) injury is irrelevant for a max deal.

see Durant, Kevin
 

Jimbodandy

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But the NBA wants to see the best players in the league in the Finals. It's good for the league. The max contract was created so as to enable superteams.
The max contract was created to drive player salaries down and to protect dumb team owners from themselves. It does appear to be contributing to a rise in players teaming up with their buddies.
 

Nick Kaufman

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But the NBA wants to see the best players in the league in the Finals. It's good for the league. The max contract was created so as to enable superteams.
The max contract isn't there to enable super teams. It's there because the player union demands it so that the worst players will get better contracts.

I think the notion that people want super teams is post facto justification. I think people would enjoy parity and competitive series throughout the playoffs instead of preordained champions more.
 

benhogan

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I can't believe people criticize players for taking less money + play more playoff games for the chance to win a championship.

I'd like the NBA a lot less if guys took the most money and didn't give a damn about making the playoffs
 

Cesar Crespo

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I can't believe people criticize players for taking less money + play more playoff games for the chance to win a championship.

I'd like the NBA a lot less if guys took the most money and didn't give a damn about making the playoffs
No one is criticizing the players. We are criticizing the flawed system.
 

lexrageorge

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Thanks for that recap

But even a season-ending (and out next season) injury is irrelevant for a max deal.

see Durant, Kevin
Depends upon the type of injury and the timing. Klay Thompson probably lost multiple tens of millions in potential earnings. Granted, Giannis is in the KD tier as opposed to the KT tier, but it something players and agents do think about. But probably 90% irrelevant in this example.

The max contract was created to drive player salaries down and to protect dumb team owners from themselves. It does appear to be contributing to a rise in players teaming up with their buddies.
The max contract isn't there to enable super teams. It's there because the player union demands it so that the worst players will get better contracts.

I think the notion that people want super teams is post facto justification. I think people would enjoy parity and competitive series throughout the playoffs instead of preordained champions more.
Max contracts are one of the many somewhat unwieldy compromises between big and small market teams, star players, and rank-and-file players. Players will never agree to a hard cap; owners will never agree to an uncapped league. Small market teams want to ensure they can keep star players under contract for as long as possible. The max contract makes the superteam easier to create, but removing the max altogether would not necessarily prevent players from deciding to team up if they agree to sign for a team for lesser money.

EDIT: Yikes. Bad mistake on the KT contract. Thanks @the moops
 
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Nick Kaufman

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Obviously it won't. But it's a matter of degrees. if a superstar has to choose between offers whose differences are marginal, then non monetary criteria, like the city, the weather, the guys he teams up will play an outsized role. But if the small market team's offer is 1.5x or 2x bigger, then all those non-monetary considerations become weaker by comparison.

The result will be many competitive, yet flawed teams.

I should remiss if I didn't say that the current salary rules are impossible to follow for casual fans. The current system is more byzantine than Byzantium.
 

the moops

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Depends upon the type of injury and the timing. Klay Thompson probably lost multiple tens of millions in potential earnings. Granted, Giannis is in the KD tier as opposed to the KT tier, but it something players and agents do think about. But probably 90% irrelevant in this example.
Klay Thompson is being paid the max through 2024. What tens of millions is he missing out on?
 

benhogan

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Depends upon the type of injury and the timing. Klay Thompson probably lost multiple tens of millions in potential earnings. Granted, Giannis is in the KD tier as opposed to the KT tier, but it something players and agents do think about. But probably 90% irrelevant in this example.



Max contracts are one of the many somewhat unwieldy compromises between big and small market teams, star players, and rank-and-file players. Players will never agree to a hard cap; owners will never agree to an uncapped league. Small market teams want to ensure they can keep star players under contract for as long as possible. The max contract makes the superteam easier to create, but removing the max altogether would not necessarily prevent players from deciding to team up if they agree to sign for a team for lesser money.
nm
 
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ManicCompression

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I'm not sure it's quite as simple as saying small market teams are getting screwed. I chalk all of this player movement up to ownership dysfunction and managerial incompetence. All things being equal, I would imagine that most players would stay where they are if it's a winning situation. Outside of Kawhi, it's hard for me to think of players who had a good thing going and opted to leave for a bigger market -

Anthony Davis was a victim of many years of malpractice by Dell Demps. The way he went out was pretty embarrassing, but I don't blame him for wanting to run from the Benson family.
Durant was tired of the legendary cheapness of the OKC owners. They could never make up for the original sin of selling off Harden for peanuts.
Lebron's first run in Cleveland was embarrassing from a roster building standpoint. Donyell Marshall was practically the second best player (that's only a slight exaggeration). Had he a good enough supporting cast, or the confidence that they could get him that, I doubt he would've left for Miami. That should be evident by the fact that he returned to Cleveland - winning for the home fans was clearly important to him.

In Giannis' case, Milwaukee has had some really bad fuck ups. One example is cheaping out on Brogdon when he brought a lot to their team in terms of two-way competence (that Eric Bledsoe could not). Another is this Bogdanovic fiasco where they possibly didn't understand the cap ramifications of the deal and it fell apart because they couldn't pay him what they promised due to the hard cap. How could any player look at that Bogdanovic chain of events and feel like their career is in good hands?

The small market thing, to me, gets overblown. I remember ten years ago when people were calling Golden State a small market team. Miami is simultaneously a small market team in baseball and big market team in the NBA. Chicago, Atlanta, and Houston are three of the five largest cities in the US and they're owners run them like a Dollar General. Being in NYC hasn't helped the Knicks in a decade and it didn't help the Nets until they had competent management (not Billy King). It just so happens that there's incredibly stable, hands-off (in a good way) ownership for both of the LA teams, GSW, Dallas, Boston, Miami, etc. while the cellar dwelling teams constantly trip over themselves.

If Giannis leaves Milwaukee, I'd point the finger at the GM and above, not him. Two of the top teams rumored for their services are Dallas and Toronto - are those super teams? Or even glamour markets by NBA standards? No, they're just well run franchises consistently put together winning rosters.
 

Toe Nash

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The max contract isn't there to enable super teams. It's there because the player union demands it so that the worst players will get better contracts.

I think the notion that people want super teams is post facto justification. I think people would enjoy parity and competitive series throughout the playoffs instead of preordained champions more.
I don't think this is true at all. Super teams are really popular and drive casual fans' interest in the league. Especially when they have the best player in the world.

Die-hard fans of teams that aren't in LA or otherwise well-run may want more parity so they have a chance to win more often, but the league knows they're going to get their money / eyeballs anyway. The superteams get more viewers in the short term and drive newer fans to the game so the league is going to be fine with that.
 

Swedgin

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The max contract isn't there to enable super teams. It's there because the player union demands it so that the worst players will get better contracts.
This is an ahistorical take. The CBA is complicated, because the owners are constantly bargaining for adjustments to ameliorate the unintended consequences of their last adjustment.

The owners locked out the players in 1998-1999. The big concessions they got from the lockout were the rookie scale and the max. Owners wanted to be saved from themselves.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Well the verdict on the Holiday trade is already in: worth it.
 

BaseballJones

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Well the verdict on the Holiday trade is already in: worth it.
Yeah, if Holiday is the reason Giannis stayed, then getting Holiday was 100% worth it. Even before he plays a minute for the Bucks. And honestly...probably even if he never does.
 

ManicCompression

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Kind of confused why Giannis did this - it's all downside and no upside. He could've played out the year, see where the team's at, and signed the exact same contract in the summer.