In the past months, rumors have been continuously swirling around reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and his future with the Milwaukee Bucks. Though he’s currently focused on helping the Bucks fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win the NBA championship title in the 2019-20 NBA season, some people are already starting to talk about his impending free agency. After the season, the Bucks are expected to offer Antetokounmpo a massive contract extension that would prevent him from testing the free agency market in the summer of 2021.
According to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, the result of the contract extension talks between Antetokounmpo and the Bucks next summer is set to determine Giannis’ future in Milwaukee. If he agrees to ink a new deal, the Bucks would continue to become a team to fear in the Eastern Conference for years. However, if he decides to become an unrestricted free agent, the Bucks could be left with no choice but to listen to trade offers for him in the 2020 NBA offseason.
“If Giannis stays and signs a five-year supermax extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, they become a firm title contender for years. And taking him out of the 2021 free-agent class could inspire movement from teams that were holding onto space. But if Antetokounmpo doesn’t commit right away, every franchise with a chance will be putting together trade offers.”
If Antetokounmpo won’t give them an assurance that he intends to stay in Milwaukee, trading him next summer might be the best option for the Bucks than risk losing him in the 2021 NBA free agency without getting anything in return. Several NBA teams have already been linked to Antetokounmpo, including the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers. In Golden State, Antetokounmpo could help Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green build another dynasty while in Los Angeles, he would be given the opportunity to create the Lakers’ “Big Three” with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
However, according to Bontemps, all the league executives he spoke to believe that Antetokounmpo wouldn’t be leaving the Bucks in the 2021 NBA free agency.
“Given how well the Bucks are playing, every executive we spoke to expects Antetokounmpo to re-sign with Milwaukee. The Bucks are overwhelming favorites to reach the NBA Finals, and falling short of that bar looks to be the only thing that could put Milwaukee’s MVP in play.”
It’s definitely not a surprise why most league executives think that way. The idea of being part of the Warriors’ “Super Team” or teaming up with James and Davis would undeniably be intriguing for any player in the league, but Antetokounmpo is different. Even before the Bucks turned into a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference, Antetokounmpo has already said on numerous occasions that he has no interest in leaving the Bucks to take the easier road to win his first NBA championship title.