After winning his second consecutive MVP award, Giannis Antetokounmpo gave some insight into his long-term future with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Last offseason, Giannis Antetokounmpo won his first MVP award, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only two players in Milwaukee Bucks‘ history to take home the trophy. As prestigious of an honor as that was, Antetokounmpo told fans not to call him the MVP until he won it again in 2019-20.
Sure enough, the reigning MVP was a man of his word and took home the honors once again this season.
As Antetokounmpo accepted the award virtually from Greece, TNT’s Ernie Johnson asked him what his future with the franchise might look like. Heading into the offseason with one year left on his current contract, eligible to sign a supermax deal worth north of $200 million, Antetokounmpo answered with some encouraging words to Bucks fans everywhere:
“Obviously I had a great meeting with the owners, talked about the team, talked about what went wrong, what can we improve.
As long as everybody is on the same page and as long as everybody is fighting for the same thing every single day, which is to be a champion, I don’t see why not be in Milwaukee for the next 15 years.”
This comes days after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Antetokounmpo had a three-hour lunch meeting with the team’s co-owner/governor Marc Lasry to discuss the future of the franchise. The hot topic of the discussion was reportedly the franchise’s willingness to spend into the luxury tax to deliver a championship-caliber cast for the two-time MVP, and everyone left in good spirits.
Between the meeting and Antetokounmpo’s comments, it is relatively apparent that the two-time MVP hopes to re-sign with Milwaukee long-term. However, that does not mean he will jump at the first chance he gets to put pen to paper if the team fails to establish that winning culture he craves. With Giannis making it clear his ultimate goal is to win a title with the Bucks, all pressure switches to ownership and the front office to give him the best opportunity to achieve that.
Already a Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time MVP award winner at just 25-years-old, skill like Antetokounmpo’s is unquestionably hard to come across. His talent level is certainly not in question. However, the team needs to evaluate Giannis’ supporting cast following back-to-back playoff exits to determine who gives them the best opportunity to win, as they discussed in the meeting.
With point guard Eric Bledsoe reportedly on the trade market, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania ($$), it appears the Bucks have begun the process of a roster revamping. Who that might entail bringing in or shipping out is up for debate, but there is no doubt that there will be some new faces in Milwaukee next season.
Whether the Giannis Antetokounmpo intends on signing the supermax extension or not, the Milwaukee Bucks will undoubtedly have a busy offseason ahead as they gear up for 2020-21.