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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Palmore

Is There Any Chance Giannis Leaves the Bucks?

Recently, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo commented on his thoughts about committing to the team long term in an interview with the New York Times. The comments Antetokounmpo made did not sound like it is guarantee he will stay with the team past his current deal. However, the comments may just be Giannis' way of keeping the Bucks' front office on its toes.



Image provided by CBS Sports

In an interview with the New York Times' Tania Ganguli, Antetokounmpo said, "I would not be the best version of myself if I don't know that everybody's on the same page, everybody's going for a championship, everybody's going to sacrifice time away from their family like I do. And if I don't feel that, I'm not signing."


Most NBA fans who may not follow the Bucks that closely took this as a sign that Antetokounmpo won't be in Milwaukee once his current deal ends. Shortly after these comments surfaced, rumors of the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks having interest in pursuing Antetokounmpo surfaced. It shouldn't be too surprising that one of the top players in the NBA, who plays in a small market, is garnering interest from the teams who play in the two biggest media markets in the United States.



Image provided by USA Today

In the past, Antetokounmpo has said it would be a dream of his to play 20 seasons with one franchise like all-time great players such as Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki did. Giannis has also expressed his desire to end his career as a player that wins multiple championships. Before Milwaukee's championship title in 2021, the Bucks had not been to the NBA Finals since 1974. Additionally, before Giannis really hit his prime in the 2018-19 season, the franchise had not won a single playoff series since 2001. That is to say, the Bucks absolutely cannot afford to lose Giannis in free agency.


One thing that should give Bucks fans reason to believe the front office won't get complacent is that ever since it was known they had a star in their hands in Antetokounmpo, they have made the necessary moves to allow the team to have regular season success and postseason success. Acquiring Brook Lopez in free agency in 2018 proved to be a great move and the Bucks were able to retain him in free agency this past summer. The team also extended Khris Middleton, Giannis' longest tenured teammate and hired his preferred choice for the team's head coaching position in Adrian Griffin. Last but certainly not least, Jrue Holiday has had some forgettable playoff moments offensively, but the move to acquire him was one of the biggest of the 2020 offseason and he will also look to have a bounce back season this year.



Image provided by ESPN

At the end of the day, Bucks fans can relax knowing that their star player still has two full seasons left on his five-year $228 million contract he signed back in 2020. As long as Antetokounmpo, Middleton, Lopez and Holiday are all able to stay healthy, the Bucks will be a contender in the East and may even get better under new coaching this year.


Giannis has always expressed his commitment to the Bucks and Bucks fans, and basically all he said with his comments is that he will stay with the team long term if they continue to show that same commitment to him and to winning.



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