For months, there has been a lot of speculation regarding Giannis Antetokounmpo’s future. It’s been said that he’s going to ask for a trade or leave in free agency unless the Milwaukee Bucks made it to the NBA Finals this season, which obviously, didn’t happen.
Giannis was quick to shut down that narrative following his team’s heartbreaking elimination to the Miami Heat in the second round of the NBA playoffs, claiming that he wants to win with the Bucks:
“It’s not happening. That’s not happening. “Some see a wall and go in [another direction]. I plow through it. We just have to get better as a team, individually, and get right back at it next season. If winning a championship was easy, everyone would have one,” Antetokounmpo said. “We lost. Everyone saw that we lost. It’s disappointing, but what are we going to do? We’re going to keep working. I’ve got confidence in my teammates,” Giannis told Yahoo! Sports.
However, we’ve seen and heard that kind of thing before. Until he doesn’t sign his contract extension, there’s nothing on earth that can stop the rumors of his departure.
And, according to a former Eastern Conference executive who spoke to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pinus, the Bucks should explore his trade value if he doesn’t sign an extension this offseason:
“If he doesn’t sign the [supermax] this offseason, I think the Bucks have to look at exploring the trade market,” the report claimed.
Moreover, a Western Conference executive feels that the Golden State Warriors – who are set to be heads-over-heels on their pursuit of Giannis – have “the only true leverage” on a potential deal:
“He could be on the Warriors in three months. Time is on their side. They would get a huge deal,” the executive said.
Nobody knows for sure what Giannis is going to do. He doesn’t strike as the kind of player who gives up on his small-market team to join sides with other stars but hey, we’ve seen that happen over and over, and the Warriors have plenty of assets – including the 2nd overall pick – to get a deal done.