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The Milwaukee Bucks were aggressive in the trade market this offseason, mostly to keep two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo happy. After the team traded for Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday, most NBA executives saw Giannis’ extension with the Bucks as inevitable, and I actually agree that the team has done enough to secure a long-term partnership.
Apparently, Giannis doesn’t.
“Right now, I’m not focused on that. I’m just trying to focus on myself.”— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 9, 2020
Giannis on signing a potential contract extension pic.twitter.com/E2oqUDpgEi
This super-max extension would land the Bucks star around $250 million. No other team can afford that. At this point, we’re wondering what Giannis is waiting for.
Antetokounmpo insisted his Bucks front office get “creative,” and they did. They traded every possible asset to acquire Jrue Holiday. Rival executives raved about the deal. A small market team trading future picks is the ultimate win-now move that, in theory, should make Giannis happy. It obviously hasn’t. Giannis’ focus on himself screams, “I can do better.”
If the Bucks fall short in the Eastern Conference Playoffs next season and Giannis then decides to skip town, Milwaukee should never forgive him. He asked for his small market team to mortgage their future and pursue an NBA championship. He should return the favor. NBA players claim they want their owners to treat their tenures like a partnership, a marriage of sorts, but that means both sides have to show some loyalty. The Bucks have shown their loyalty–now where’s Giannis’?
Bucks fans should worry that Giannis hasn’t signed his name or given a public statement that would at least ease their minds. He’s done nothing to demonstrate his appreciation for the Bucks’ efforts. He looks to be in “wait and see” mode.
The Bucks have offered Giannis a ring, and he has yet to give them an answer. Not responding to their proposal indicates a lack of commitment.
Giannis owes Milwaukee a favor
Giannis’ one-liner makes no sense at all.
“I’m leaving those talks between my agent and the front office.”
What talks? Milwaukee has already gone all-in on their best possible offer. At 26-years-old, he can sign for max dollars if he stays in Milwaukee. So the idea that he doesn’t know or understand the contract details is a flat-out lie.
Giannis needs to remedy his situation in Milwaukee before this fan base turns on him for good. If that fan base turns, he isn’t the type of player who can return like LeBron and make it right.
The time is now to accept Milwaukee’s proposal. It’s time for Giannis to marry rich.