The Milwaukee Bucks, known for having two Antetokounmpo brothers on their team, have added a third, The Bucks signs Alex Antetokounmpo, in a rather unusual move. They signed Alex, the youngest of the basketball-playing siblings, only to release him shortly afterward. This decision appears to be a strategic move to secure his rights for their G League team, the Wisconsin Herd, as their NBA roster was already at full capacity. If Alex spends at least 60 days with the Wisconsin Herd, he becomes eligible for a bonus of up to $75,000, as reported by The Athletic’s Eric Nehm. In the previous season, Alex played 32 games for the Herd and averaged 5.8 points per game.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, a two-time MVP for the Bucks, and Thanasis, a long-standing presence on their bench, make up the rest of the basketball-playing Antetokounmpo brothers. Bucks signs Alex Antetokounmpo adding to the Herd’s roster means that all but one of the four brothers who play professional basketball, Kostas, has been associated with the Bucks organization at some point. Kostas notably won an NBA championship as a two-way player for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 but now plies his trade in Greece for Panathinaikos.
While G League signings typically don’t have a significant impact on NBA teams, the Bucks find themselves in a unique position. Giannis is two years away from free agency and has indicated that he doesn’t plan to sign an extension with the Bucks this offseason. Consequently, Milwaukee must ensure his happiness going into the next offseason when he’ll be just a year away from free agency. Winning another championship would be the easiest way to achieve this goal, although it’s not entirely within the Bucks’ control. However, bringing more Antetokounmpo siblings into the fold is a more achievable aim, one that other teams have also explored.
The Lakers were among the teams expected to pursue Giannis if he had become a free agent in 2021, and they reportedly remain of interest to him now. This likely factored into their decision to sign Kostas for the 2019-20 season. Another team that seems to intrigue Giannis is the New York Knicks, who reportedly made a run at signing Thanasis this offseason.
Milwaukee’s entire roster is built around Giannis, so investing in a possible $75,000 bonus for his brother is a small price to pay to keep him content. While the Bucks still have work to do to ensure they retain their former MVP for the long term, this move is a positive step in that direction.