Giannis wants Bucks stay but only if Milwaukee commits to building Championship team
Giannis Antetokounmpo has won back to back league MVP's, was named 2020 DPOY and his team have held the best record in the league for two seasons in a row, you would think there would be no doubt in saying Milwaukee and Giannis was a match made in heaven but not so.
In those two years of regular season dominance, they have failed to get past the Eastern Conference finals. Giannis has done all in his power to will his team to success but when it comes to crunch time in the post season they always seem to be second best despite 116 regular season wins since Mike Budenholzer took charge in 2018.
Giannis is eligible for the super max extension next season and in his latest interview, with a Swedish newspaper, he has laid his cards clearly on the table, either the Bucks make some big moves in the trade market/free agency or he will look elsewhere.
"There are a lot of rumors. Everyone has opinions. But at the end of the day, I will do what is best for my family. I do not see why I could not be in Milwaukee for several years. As long as Milwaukee and I are on the same page when it comes to being one of the best teams in the league and winning championships, that's fine. When it changes, it will not be good. It's easy, I want to be a winner. I do not care about the money. My family is fine and I can take care of my children and grandchildren so that's not the most important thing right now, it's winning. As long as we can win and create a winning culture, it will be good."
The Greek Freak has made it clear that he wants team success to go along with the individual success he has enjoy over the past two years.
"I do not know what the plan is. It depends on what decisions they make. If they make the right decision, I'll be there for many years. If they do not, we'll see. The NBA is business and we take it day by day. Hopefully we can succeed together."
Antetokounmpo has put the ball in Milwaukee's court, the question now is, how will they respond to the demands of their superstar? The Bucks have already shown their cards in terms of committing to a win now regime by casting doubt over trading for Chris Paul as they don't want to pick up his 2 year $85 million contract. Maybe that's fair but they need to be willing to make big moves if they want to keep Giannis in Milwaukee for the best years of his career and keep themselves in contention in the East.
Giannis continues to make it clear that the money is not something that is crossing his mind but he is the only one that knows if that is actually the case or if he is just trying to build a persona of success being no.1 for himself.
Super Max with Milwaukee-$221 million over five years
Max contract with another team- $140 million over four years
The Bucks are looking for playmaking ability and quality guards that can space the floor and shoot the three. Three guards that would fit the bill-Chris Paul, Victor Oladipo & Jrue Holiday, all three are believed to be on the trade market heading into to 2020/21 season and all three have the quality the Bucks need and Giannis is demanding.
Free Agency Options:
Top free agents the Bucks should consider- Joe Harris and Justin Holiday, Harris is a high quality shooter and would fit in great alongside Giannis while Holiday is also a 40% three point shooter, who can space the floor and defend multiple positions. Unfortunately for the Bucks, the most the Bucks could offer the guard is their $9.7 million mid-level exception, far below what Brooklyn could give him. As for Holiday, if he is looking for a new home this season the Bucks should definitely try and lure him away from Indiana.
At this very moment, the two most likely destinations for Giannis, were he to leave Milwaukee in free agency next summer, Miami & Golden State, are both much better fits for the two time MVP. Giannis' front court domination combined with the shooting and all round play of Steph and Klay, instant championship.
Antetokounmpo has said he will not request a trade this year but he has let the Bucks know they have some moves to make in order to keep him in Milwaukee beyond that.
Still a long way to go in this saga!