The Milwaukee Bucks just won an NBA championship with Giannis Antetokounmpo, but it’s been reported that they will still lose quite a bit of money this upcoming season.
The Milwaukee Bucks just won the NBA Championship with Giannis Antetokounmpo, but will reportedly still lose quite a bit of money this upcoming season.
The club governors’ reluctance to go into the NBA’s luxury tax has been one of the greatest — if not the largest — concerns Milwaukee Bucks supporters have had in recent years. That hesitation was evident in the trade of former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for draft choices. However, now that those majority governors have helped the club win its first NBA Championship in 50 years (thanks to Giannis Antetokounmpo), it may be time to pay the tax to keep a championship team’s core intact. That seems to be the case, since the governors are expected to lose “quite an amount” of money this season.
Is this something that fans care about? No. Does it make a difference to the players? Not at all. Back-to-back championships are the primary goal for both of those teams. But it’s obvious that the additional cash is important to the organization’s leaders.
After winning the NBA Championship in 2021, the Milwaukee Bucks are bracing for a large luxury-tax penalty.
During the Milwaukee Bucks’ 2021 NBA Championship Victory Parade and Rally, P.J. Tucker celebrates. | Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
After choosing to re-sign with Milwaukee on a five-year, $228 million max contract, Antetokounmpo helped the Bucks win the championship in 2021. In the last year of his contract (a player option) in 2025-26, the Greak Freak is owed almost $52 million.
Outside of Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton was the team’s second-leading scorer and most important component. Khash agreed to a five-year, $177.5 million contract to remain in Milwaukee.
The Bucks had the best record in the NBA for two years in a row from 2018 to 2020, but it wasn’t until they traded for point guard Jrue Holiday that they were able to break through and win a championship. The team subsequently signed the 31-year-old to a four-year, $135 million contract extension.
Next season, the three will account for 65.6 percent of the team’s payroll.
Championships aren’t cheap, and the majority of the team’s governors have finally agreed to pay the price.
Marc Lasry, Wes Edens, Jamie Dinan, and Mike Fascitelli are the four majority governors in Milwaukee. (Despite his ownership of the franchise, Aaron Rodgers is not a majority governor.) Lasry acknowledged that the luxury tax plays a significant role in the team’s budget in an interview with The Athletic (h/t Yahoo Sports):
“Let’s face it, we’re a small-market club. It’s not cheap. We’re going to lose a lot of money this year, for example.
“What we’re going to lose is the tax.” You’ll make something up. Obviously, you’ll make up part of it as the playoffs go, and that factored in. ‘Look, I know I’m going to lose ‘X (amount of money),’ but once we get to the playoffs, it begins to go down,’ you say. But, yes, we’re dealing with actual money.“
Mac Lasry discusses the luxury tax issue with the Milwaukee Bucks
The financial impact of not having spectators in stadiums for the most of previous season due to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is felt by all 30 clubs. Milwaukee will pay approximately $42 million in luxury taxes this season, according to the same Yahoo story. That’s a substantial sum of money.
It’s worth noting, though, that Lasry and Edens paid $550 million for the franchise in 2014. The Milwaukee Bucks were valued $1.625 billion in February 2021, according to Forbes, before they won an NBA Championship.
But, as Lasry pointed out,
“At the end of the day, the objective is to keep winning a championship, therefore you’ll spend the money.“
The significance of winning a championship at the cost of franchise income, according to Lasry
It’s simple to spend other people’s money, yet money plays a role in every professional sports company.
Money speaks, whether fans like it or not. Some governors are prepared to spend more money on championships than others. In this instance, Lasry, Edens, and the rest of the team have made it plain that they are ready to pay for the opportunity to win another championship, at least this year. It’s unclear if this will continue to be the case in the future.
Antetokounmpo, Middleton, and Holiday have long-term contracts with the Bucks. The remaining members of the roster will fill in if required.
Championships, on the other hand, are costly. If the team wants to win more games, it will have to spend more money.
Basketball-Reference provided all statistics, while Spotrac provided salary information.
RELATED: With Head Coach Mike Budenholzer’s 3-Year Extension, the Milwaukee Bucks are Taking a Huge Risk.
The Milwaukee Bucks just won an NBA Championship with Giannis Antetokounmpo but will reportedly still lose quite a bit of money this upcoming season. Reference: milwaukee bucks trades 2020.
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