Cavs: What Giannis Antetokounmpo’s extension with Bucks means for CLE

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts in-game. (Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images)
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts in-game. (Photo by Ashley Landis - Pool/Getty Images) /

The Milwaukee Bucks got a major win for the franchise long term when Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly agreed to sign a supermax extension. So how exactly does that impact the Cleveland Cavaliers?

During this entire offseason and the better part of the past year, one of the biggest questions was will Giannis Antetokounmpo sign that supermax extension? If Giannis left, it seemingly meant rebuilding for the Milwaukee Bucks, while they obviously remain contenders If he stays.

This was something the Cleveland Cavaliers are heavily-impacted by as well. When the Bucks traded for Jrue Holiday they took off the protections on the originally top 10 protected pick.

For a while it was believed and looked like 2022 would be the double draft, but there has been hang-up with that and per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, there’s reportedly “growing pessimism” about the age limit being eliminated in time for that draft.

Still even if it wasn’t going to be a double draft you would still have guys like Chet Holmgren, Patrick Baldwin Jr., Jabari Smith, Adrian Griffin Jr. and Jaden Hardy. The Bucks’ pick, if Giannis left, would be an incredibly valuable pick even without a double draft.

However that possibility came to an end on Tuesday afternoon. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, Giannis signed a record five-year, $228.2 million supermax extension to stay with the Bucks.

This definitely hurts the Cavs from having a super valuable pick. Instead of potentially having a top 5-7 pick and getting a top prospect or it being a major trade piece, it’ll likely fall between the 26-30 range.

Again it would’ve been a major help to have an asset like that, but this could be another win for the Cleveland Cavaliers and other small-to-mid market teams.

This Antetokounmpo extension is a win for a team like the Cavs.

We’ve seen in the last few years megastars understandably leave for better situations.

The question has been can you get a superstar to sign that second contract and stay long term? For Giannis to sign that second contract and stay for the long haul is a major win for all small-to-mid-sized market teams.

The Bucks deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve done. Adding players that fit well next to Giannis such as Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez has been huge. Nonetheless, it was a big question whether or not Giannis would sign that extension.The Bucks were aggressive this offseason, though.

They wasted no time in a major move acquiring Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans, formally via multi-team mega deal. The upgrades they made had to have convinced Giannis he can win a championship in Milwaukee and that the organization will do what it takes to win.

The next couple years you have draft prospects such as Cade Cunningham, Emoni Bates and Victor Wembanyama. If the Cleveland Cavliers were lucky enough to land one of them, Giannis’ decision to stay gives a team like Cleveland hope that they could keep a potential superstar around in a similar way.

If you’re able to build a team around them, the organization would show it is staying aggressive where they’re consistently willing to make the moves to continue to be a championship team a superstar will stay with, regardless of market size.

If you aren’t familiar with Wembanyama, you’ll hear more about him more in the next year. Wembanyama plays in Europe and Mike Schmitz of ESPN believes he’s argubly the best prospect in the world, regardless of class.

Emoni Bates is someone well known for what he’s doing here in the U.S. Being 6-foot-8 with a handle, he can get to the rim and can pull up from the outside and mid-range with ease. Also back in April, he became the first sophomore to win National Gatorade Player of the Year for boys basketball, as pointed out by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello.

Cleveland Cavaliers fans already know Cade as his college career at Oklahoma State is underway.  Through six games, he’s 18.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks while being very efficient in shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from three-point range.

Moreover, the 2021 NBA Draft is deep, but Cade is a special prospect and the prize of that next draft. He could open up so many opportunities for guys like Collin Sexton, Kevin Porter Jr. and Dylan Windler with his playmaking abilities, albeit he’s become so well-rounded as a scorer and overall.

Next. Cleveland Cavaliers: Top 30 all-time greatest players. dark

Anyhow, if the Cavs are lucky enough to get one of these guys, Giannis staying in Milwaukee for the long haul gives mid-market teams like the Cavs some optimism.