The free agency in the NBA is in full swing, and we are already seeing numerous big contracts being handed out to players around the league. Some of them make sense from a financial standpoint, and the fact you could say players deserved them, but they're also quite a few contracts that made no sense, and you could initially say the teams made a mistake.
On ESPN's show First Take, the team commented on the potential max contract the Milwaukee Bucks are willing to give Giannis Antetokounmpo. If he resigns with the Bucks, he is eligible for an incredible $230 million supermax deal, which would make him the most paid player in NBA history. That is the type of contract that made former NBA players Paul Pierce and Vince Carter roll their heads, and Pierce made an interesting point when talking about it.
Pierce is known for making some pretty ridiculous statements while being live on TV, but this time he said something completely valid and probably accurate. He argued that a significant majority of current NBA players, 99 percent of them, would instead get the 230 million than win an NBA championship.
Listen, we are in the era right now that if you asked all the players in the league would you rather have 230 million or a championship ring, I bet you 99 percent of them would say 230 million dollars. Take the money, secure the bag. The money is so great now, the number is so great. When me and Vince played, our max was 70,80, which was a great number but 230, come on, man. Give me 230, and yall can have that ring.
Paul Pierce, via First Take
Whether you like it or not, it's probably true what Pierce said, and if you had an anonymous poll around the league, the majority of players would say they want the money first, and then the championship. That is entirely valid because money solves every existential problem while the championship ring is a nice trophy, but it's not essential.
The NBA is all about making sound business decisions, from the players' perspective and the teams. It's been like that for a while now, especially after the NBA expanded internationally, increasing its revenue. Money comes first, and than everything else follows, which Paul Pierce knows the best because he's been apart of that system for multiple years and knows how players think.