NBA 2020-21: Giannis Antetokounmpo is the superstar every team wants but will he leave the Milwaukee Bucks?
Essentially, he's in as long as the Bucks stay on track with wins and give him a team that could play around him
Giannis Antetokounmpo has been a topic of discussion since the time the Milwaukee Bucks made it to the second round of NBA playoffs. The "Greek Freak" was the Neo of the side. He was the chosen one and considering the brand of basketball the team has played, a finals berth was almost certain. Except, Miami Heat was not in the mood to cool down. They intended to pull off a major upset over Giannis and the Bucks and they managed to by wrapping up a 4-1 win.
And while that ended the Bucks' run in the season, it was a bittersweet finish for Giannis. The season saw him notch up 29.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG, a 5.6 APG, and 23.9 PIE. He was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year on August 25 for the 2019-20 season. With this, Antetokounmpo, who was the MVP of the 2018-19 NBA season, becomes the fifth player to win DPOY and MVP in his career along with Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Kevin Garnett and Hakeem Olajuwon.
According to ESPN, Antetokounmpo won with a great margin as he earned 42 points from a panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. He had 75 first-place votes followed by Lakers star Anthony Davis with 200 points and Jazz's Rudy Gobert (187). Ahead of the NBA 2020-21 season, there have been questions over the forward's journey with the Bucks. For starters, 2021 is the final year of his contract with the team before he enters free agency.
On his part, Giannis wants to stay with the side he's played for since 2013. He was lapped up by the Bucks in the 2013 NBA Draft and 2016 was the breakout season when he announced himself to the world. Soon after their exit from the playoffs, he told ESPN: "Hopefully, we can build a culture in Milwaukee for many years [and] come out here and compete every single year for a championship."
Does that mean he's willing to stay?
The answer, for now, seems to be yes. Essentially, he's in as long as the Bucks stay on track with wins. The most probable route they would look to take is to build a roster of players who could play around him. In addition, there's that chemistry between him and coach Mike Budenholzer that's produced results. He's led the side to have the best regular-season record. At the moment, he has by his side a coach and management that are ready to go the distance.
According to Fansided, a meeting between Bucks co-owner Marc Larsy and Giannis post their season saw the former discuss the future with the Greek talent. Reportedly, he was to have told Giannis the franchise is willing to splurge into the luxury tax to equip him with the best talent out there. Right now, he's part of a team that's ready to possibly give him what he's asking for, even if it means breaking the bank. Should he decide to take his talents elsewhere, it will be another LeBron James and the Cavaliers scenario which the Bucks will look to avoid.
Right now, he's the superstar every team wants. The decision to sign the five-year extension would mean he and the Bucks would be bonafide contenders. However, this would mean other teams ready to dole out the moolah will have to wait to bolster their rosters, especially Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks, who have expressed keen interest in acquiring the forward.