- The Milwaukee Bucks have reiterated that they will not trade Giannis Antetokounmpo if he doesn’t sign an extension.
- Antetokounmpo will enter the final year of his contract during the 2021 NBA season.
- The back to back NBA MVP is eligible to receive a super max deal worth an estimated $254M.
We’ve heard this before but let’s say this one more time: The Milwaukee Bucks will not trade Giannis Antetokounmpo even if he declines a max extension offer.
Instead of letting him go, Milwaukee wil try to improve its roster and use the 2021 season to show Antetkounmpo why he should stay. The Bucks management has already informed its best player that they are willing to spend beyond the luxury tax line if that is what’s needed to keep him on their side.
Antetokounmpo will be heading to the final year of his contract and the Bucks are hoping that he will sign a super max extension that will keep him in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future. If he doesn’t sign Milwaukee’s extension offer, he becomes an unrestricted free agent during the 2021 offseason.
More Reasons To Stay Than Leave
Giannis claims he wants to stay in Milwaukee, but the Bucks need to upgrade if they want to keep their MVP around
? @HowardBeck pic.twitter.com/69A1mBgkxO
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 10, 2020
Financially, the Bucks have the advantage over the other teams. They can offer Gianis more money than the rest of the league. Milwaukee could dangle an offer of 35% of the salary cap for five years to keep its superstar. No other team can offer him more than 30% of the cap for four years.
The Bucks are the only NBA team he has ever played for and Milwaukee is the only home in the United States that he and his family have ever known. The Bucks drafted him when he was merely a potential. They were patient with him until he grew his wings. Now that he is a star, there are more reasons to stay than to leave.
But then the NBA is a business and the players are after championship rings more than anything else. We’ve seen this story before. LeBron left Cleveland to win titles in Miami. Kevin Durant deserted OKC to pursue his championship aspirations in Golden State. And so on. No matter how green the grass looks, its never better than winning an NBA title.
Giannis’ Potential Suitors
Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors are just 4 out of 30 teams that would like to see Giannis Antetokounmpo on their roster next season ? pic.twitter.com/ymar0wHLFw
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 20, 2020
Miami is the team that is linked most to Antetokounmpo rumors. The Heat are reportedly going all-out to sign the 2019 and 2020 NBA MVP during the 2021 free agency. According to rumors, the Heat plan to wait on All-Star center Bam Adebayo’s contract extension to allow as much cap space as possible in 2021. Adebayo and Antetokounmpo have the same agent. If both don’t sign extensions this this offseason, teams better watch out for the Heat.
The Mavericks are another team that is linked to Antetokounmpo. According to sources, the Mavericks intend to be low-key this offseason so they can prepare for the 2021 offseason when Antetokounmpo is potentially a free agent. Outside Tim Hardaway Jr.’s $19M player option this season, the Mavs aren’t expected to add anyone significant this offseason. Dallas is going to play the waiting game.
The Golden State Warriors may have a better shot than the other potential Giannis suitors. That’s because they have the best trade assets possible if in case Antetokounmpo doesn’t intend to re-sign with the Bucks. The Warriors have the 2nd pick of this year’s draft, Andrew Wiggins, and a 2021 first round pick ( Top 3 protected ) from Minnesota which will become unprotected in 2022.
Clock is Ticking on The Bucks
Miami, Dallas, and Golden State are just three of the many teams who are expected to go after Antetokounmpo if he hits the free agent market. Given how dominant he has been in the last two seasons, every team in the league would wish Giannis were playing for them instead of the opposing side.
Time and again, Antetokounmpo has professed his loyalty for the Bucks. Right after they were eliminated in the recent playoffs, Antetokounmpo said he’d rather plough through the wall rather than go in another direction. But given how they have failed the last two seasons, time is indeed ticking on the Bucks clock.
Giannis has said he can play 25 years for the Bucks and even work with the franchise even after his retirement. However, he added that they must be have one principle, one goal, and that is winning the championship. There’s not question that Milwaukee is doing everything in its power to keep its franchise player. However, the issue is whether their best is good enough to make him stay.