NBA Rumors: Giannis Antetokounmpo Could Become ‘Another Kevin Durant Situation,’ Says Charles Barkley

Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors and Team LeBron defends Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks and Team Giannis during the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center.
Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

Since the 2019 offseason, the Milwaukee Bucks have revealed their plan to offer reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo a massive contract extension this fall. However, as of now, the “Greek Freak” still hasn’t indicated whether he’s planning to ink a new deal with them in the 2020 offseason or test the free agency waters in the summer of 2021. There are several factors that could affect Antetokounmpo’s decision to stay in Milwaukee, including the outcome of the 2019-20 NBA season.

If they succeed in bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy this year, it is more likely for Antetokounmpo to sign a max contract extension with the Bucks. However, if they once again fail to achieve their main goal, some people think he could follow in the footsteps of other superstars and start finding his way out of Milwaukee. In a recent appearance on ESPN’s Get Up, via Youtube, Charles Barkley said that if the Bucks are unable to win the championship title this season, Antetokounmpo could become “another Kevin Durant situation.”

“That concerns me — that we’ll have another Kevin Durant situation, and we really don’t want that,” Barkley said, as quoted by Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I think it would be great for basketball if the Bucks won. Giannis is such a great kid, and Milwaukee is one of the most underrated cities in the NBA. (When) Toronto won the championship — it was great for the NBA. And I think it’ll be great if Milwaukee won it this year.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks in action against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena on February 24, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  Patrick Smith / Getty Images

According to Shiller, Barkley might be referring to the time when Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2016. After multiple failed attempts to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in Oklahoma City, Durant parted ways with Russell Westbrook to form a superteam with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala in Golden State. In his brief stint with the Warriors, Durant appeared in the Finals for three straight years and captured back-to-back championship titles.

Barkley didn’t mention where the “Greek Freak” would be heading if ever he leaves the Bucks, but in most rumors involving Antetokounmpo, Golden State is frequently mentioned as a potential landing spot. It’s hard to blame Barkley for worrying that Antetokounmpo could become another KD situation. Compared to the current season, the league could become predictable and less exciting once again if Antetokounmpo follows Durant and takes the easiest path to become a champion.