One of the underlying storylines that have continued to linger around the NBA has been Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s contract status with the Milwaukee Bucks. Antetokounmpo has yet to ink a lucrative extension that will keep him with the franchise for many years. That alone has opened the door to the possible dialogue concerning him leaving the Bucks in free agency with the Los Angeles Lakers being prominently mentioned as a landing spot. However, it appears his standing with the Bucks may come down to one factor above all else.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract with Bucks
Over the last few years, Giannis Antetokounmpo has worked his way into being recognized as one of the best players in the league.
Antetokounmpo is coming off his first MVP award and is in the midst of potentially a second straight campaign earning the honor. He has become the driving force to one of the best teams in the league that has the Bucks possibly in a position to secure an NBA title this season.
He is currently under a four-year, $100 million deal that runs through the 2020-21 season that has become the topic of conversation. There isn’t any clarity to if or when his next contract with the Bucks will get done, but one factor could sway things in the franchise’s direction.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s future with Bucks could hinge on an NBA title
Regardless of whether Giannis Antetokounmpo wants to discuss his contract situation, it’s becoming an increasingly pressing matter for the Bucks.
Things could become quite revealing this upcoming offseason as the Bucks will have the chance to offer him a supermax deal worth north of $250 million. However, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, the scenario will be highly influenced by the Bucks’ winning an NBA title.
Milwaukee is still considered likely to keep Antetokounmpo long term, but insiders cited the potential of the salary cap dropping both this offseason and in future years as a reason Giannis might take a wait-and-see approach. Still, the overriding belief is that whatever happens on the court will play the biggest role in his decision.
“I always have said: Ask me once he has to make a decision,” one Eastern Conference scout said. “It all comes down to timing. So many things can change.
“If they win it all, if they come through this and do that? There’s no way he’s leaving.”
Antetokounmpo has at least made it clear that what will keep him in Milwaukee is winning. He is in the prime of his career and looking to compete for NBA titles, and the standard has become that with him elevating himself to an elite player in the league.
The Bucks have the chance to make that run this season, which makes their playoff push this season, and next year that much more critical if they hope to keep their star player in the fold.
Bucks’ NBA title chances
All along the Bucks have known what must be done to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo as their centerpiece.
Antetokounmpo is well aware that NBA titles will define his legacy, and he will play where that provides him the best chance to do that. The Bucks currently hold the best record in the league this season, and with the 2019-20 campaign expected to resume, it will provide Milwaukee a chance to make a run at a championship.
The Bucks’ biggest challenge could come in the Western Conference from the Los Angeles Lakers or LA Clippers. There is plenty of pressure for the Bucks to get the job done, but the opportunity is there for them to add to their trophy case and keep Antetokounmpo for many years to come.