Blogtable: Most impactful signing since end of last season
Our scribes chime in on the most significant move since the bubble.
From NBA.com Staff
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What’s been the most impactful signing since the end of last season?
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Steve Aschburner: Milwaukee re-upping Giannis Antetokounmpo. Same guy, same place, but an entirely different vibe and future for both the two-time MVP and the Bucks. They can concentrate on the business of chasing an NBA championship not just this season but for several years to come. Heck, imagine the fretting and edginess of 2020-21 for all concerned in Milwaukee if Antetokounmpo had not signed his five-year, $228 million “super-max” extension. This could have slammed shut their window as title contenders. There also is carryover impact to the NBA at large with this signing, in what it means for a smaller market to hang onto one of the league’s very best. That’s been a flaw in the NBA – far fewer superstars than teams – but now we’ve seen the Bucks hang onto its MVP as surely as the MLB Brewers (Christian Yelich) and the NFL Packers (Aaron Rodgers) did theirs.
Shaun Powell: Are we counting Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract extension here? If so, that’s the one. If not, then Jrue Holiday. Not because I’m as bullish on Jrue as everyone else — he’s only made one All-Star team and no All-NBA teams and his teams have only reached the playoffs twice since 2012 — but his signing swayed Giannis into inking that extension.
John Schuhmann: Giannis Antetokounmpo putting pen to paper on the extension that has him under contract for at least five more seasons is more important than any free agent contract that was signed. Not only is the two-time Kia MVP a two-way force who would have changed the league landscape by leaving Milwaukee, but that signature should help the Bucks over the next six months. They won’t have the distraction of impending free agency and, with less pressure to win this season, they can experiment more with their rotation and schemes. That could, in turn, lead to more versatility and better preparedness for the playoffs.
Sekou Smith: Hands down it’s Giannis Antetokounmpo signing that super max extension in Milwaukee. Not only was it a glorious Christmas present for Bucks fans, the city of Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin, it removes a layer of foolishness from this NBA season now that there won’t be speculation every time the Bucks roll into certain cities. When you keep the reigning and two-time Kia MVP in the fold, it’s obviously a monstrous victory for the front office crew that worked to make it happen.
Michael C. Wright: Pairing Jrue Holiday with Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee comes to mind immediately, as does the Russell Westbrook trade to Washington. But the Chris Paul trade to Phoenix should lead to immediate results for an up-and-coming Suns team, where young stars Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton will benefit from the veteran’s leadership and tutelage. Paul’s past experience with Monty Williams should contribute to a level of trust between those two, while making the point guard an extension of the coach on the floor. It’s a move that could push the Suns into the playoffs for the first time since 2010 in an already tough conference that only continues to improve.