After a disappointing end to the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo has reportedly met with Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry to discuss the team’s future.
As teams around the NBA continue to salivate at the prospect of luring Giannis Antetokounmpo to their cities, the Milwaukee Bucks superstar’s future remains very much in his own hands. In truth, the Bucks still control their own destiny with Antetokounmpo too.
A second round exit at the hands of the Miami Heat isn’t exactly what anyone in Milwaukee would have drawn up as part of any pitch to convince the reigning MVP to re-sign long-term, but with another season remaining on his current deal, the Bucks still have the opportunity to convince Giannis to stay.
On that front, arguably the biggest advantage Milwaukee has is the ability to sit down and have an ongoing and open dialog with the league’s most highly coveted superstar.
According to a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, such a conversation took place on Saturday afternoon, as Giannis met with Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry.
Haynes characterized this coming together in his article as a meeting “to discuss the future of the franchise.” That stands as an important distinction, as it suggests a very different dynamic to what would have been the case if Antetokounmpo had demanded a meeting to discuss his own future.
Essentially, a sense of the two parties still being at least somewhat on the same page remains.
Haynes also noted:
“The Bucks are committed to building and sustaining a championship roster around Antetokounmpo and are expected to be one of the busiest teams this offseason.”
Given Antetokounmpo’s influence within the organization, and the team’s ultimate goal to win and build a roster to their star’s satisfaction to ensure a long and happy marriage between the two, it’s no real surprise that a member of the ownership group would be meeting with Giannis.
If the team are weighing up larger changes, whether those be trading some of Giannis’ teammates, or the future of his coach, Mike Budenholzer, at this point it’s certainly important for decision-makers to have some sense of Antetokounmpo’s thoughts before pulling the trigger on any drastic moves.
As a reminder, Antetokounmpo spoke to Haynes of Yahoo! Sports just after the Bucks’ postseason came to a close, stressing that he wouldn’t be seeking a trade this offseason.
As things stand, the Bucks’ sole focus for the coming months appears to be on finding ways to get better, and ensuring that they aren’t set to be in for a third season of falling short as a title contender. To pull off any moves of real note will require significant creativity, but before even going down that path, it certainly seems wise to have had a discussion with the team’s best player on what comes next.