One of the underlying storylines around the Milwaukee Bucks this season has concerned star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s long-term future with the franchise. Antetokounmpo has remained quite mum regarding his next contract, which has drawn some intriguing as to how he will handle the situation. He’s currently on pace to hit the open market in the summer of 2021. That has put the possibility of him exploring free agency, which recent comments may have suggested possible interest for the Los Angeles Lakers for one reason.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s contract situation
Back in September 2016, the Bucks inked Antetokounmpo to now what has become a bargain extension of four years for $100 million.
During the duration of the deal, he has emerged further as one of the top players while leading the franchise to a tremendous amount of success. He has become one of the faces of the NBA while putting the Bucks into the championship picture in the Eastern Conference.
Things have shifted a bit over the last few months with the conversation around his contract as he’s in the third year of that deal. It has reasonably brought into the conversation the possibility of an extension with the Bucks.
Milwaukee hasn’t delved too much into the topic, but general manager Jon Hurst was fined $50k for his comments over the offseason that the team would offer Antetokounmpo a super-max deal. The current estimation has the five-year deal worth around $247 million.
The Bucks are willing to go to any extent to keep the reigning league MVP with the franchise, but the temptation to play elsewhere could come into play. That may lie with playing for the Lakers, but not for the reason many would initially think.
How Giannis Antetokounmpo could join the Lakers
Although Antetokounmpo has stayed the course of the focus being on this season, it hasn’t prevented the chatter from creeping in around his future with the Bucks.
That was once again the topic of discussion during the All-Star break as he may have given some insight during an interview with MacKenzie Salmon of Sports Pulse on what could land him with the Lakers. Antetokounmpo was asked about playing with both his brothers in the NBA as one is with him with the Bucks and the other in Los Angeles, which he suggested that he could envision himself playing with both of his brothers in the latter location.
It may just be hypothetical situations, but he had never openly voiced any potential interest in playing elsewhere, especially with the Lakers. These comments flew under the radar over the weekend, but it now puts Los Angeles on the radar if he does have any sincerity to his recent comments.
That may push the Lakers to keep Kostas Antetokounmpo on the roster over the next couple of years to leave that possibility on the table. What that does now begins the dialogue about the Lakers being a potential landing spot.
What will Giannis Antetokounmpo do?
The Bucks are in the spot of holding uncertainty of what Antetokoumpo will do next regarding his pending free agency.
The star forward has remained firm that he has some keen interest in staying with the franchise if they continue to win. Meanwhile, he has voiced that the allure of playing in a big market is one that will sway him.
Once the 2019-29 season wraps up, Antetokounmpo will have some major decisions ahead of him as the Bucks will offer him that super-max deal. What he does with that contract offer will be indicative of what will ahead of him as that puts him on course to hit the free-agent market.
If he heads that route, it’s a certainty that the Lakers will be among the teams making a strong push to add him to the mix. Ultimately, there won’t be clarity on this front until he decides what he will do with the super-max deal when its offered in the coming months.