The Milwaukee Bucks have done quite well with two Antetokounmpo brothers on their team in recent years, so why not spring for a third? On Friday, the Bucks signed Alex Antetokounmpo, the youngest of the basketball-playing brothers, only to waive him soon after. They did this seemingly for the sake of retaining his G League rights, as their NBA roster was already full. Now, if Antetokounmpo spends at least 60 days with the Wisconsin Herd (Milwaukee’s G League affiliate), he will be eligible for a bonus worth up to $75,000, according to The Athletic’s Eric Nehm. Antetokounmpo played 32 games for the Herd last season and averaged 5.8 points per game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a two-time MVP for the Bucks, and Thanasis has been a staple on their bench for the past several years. Factor in Alex’s time with the Herd and only one of the four brothers to play professional basketball, Kostas, has not been a member of the Bucks organization at some point. Kostas notably won a championship as a two-way player for the 2020 Los Angeles Lakers, but now plays in Greece for Panathinaikos.
G League signings rarely have much of an impact on NBA teams, but the Bucks are in a somewhat unique position. Giannis is two years away from free agency and has already said that heto sign an extension with the Bucks this offseason. It therefore falls upon Milwaukee to make sure he’s happy going into next offseason, when he will be only a year away from free agency. The easiest way to do that would be to win another championship. That is largely out of Milwaukee’s control. But signing other Antetokounmpo siblings? That is a more attainable goal, and it’s one that other teams have tried to replicate.
The Lakers were among the teams expected to pursue Antetokounmpo if he had become a free agent in 2021, and they are a team thatnow. That likely played a part in their decision to sign Kostas for the 2019-20 season. Another team that apparently intrigues Giannis? The New York Knicks, who reportedly made a run at Thanasis this offseason.
Milwaukee’s entire roster is built around Giannis. A possible $75,000 bonus for his brother is a small price to pay to keep him happy. The Bucks still have a lot of work to do if they plan to retain their former MVP for the long haul, but this is a nice step in that direction.