NBA Rumors: Giannis Antetokounmpo eyeing departure from Milwaukee Bucks?

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

NBA Rumors: Giannis Antetokounmpo had some interesting comments that could point to the possible future departure from the Milwaukee Bucks.

To say that the Milwaukee Bucks’ championship window has closed would be a huge overstatement. However, at the same time, it’s hard to view this team as an overwhelming favorite in the Eastern Conference. In short, the Bucks have work to do to re-establish themselves as a legit contender in the conference. Especially after being embarrassed in the first round of the playoffs at the hands of the 8-seeded Miami Heat this past season.

That said, at least for now, the Bucks should be considered contenders. However, the future of the team is still very much up in the air. That also goes for Giannis Antetokounmpo. And his recent comments did little to comfort the franchise.

Giannis still has two years remaining on his contract (possibly a third if he exercises his player option), but he’s eligible for an extension soon. However, Giannis says he’s not signing an extension with the team until at least next season.

Part of it is due to the fact that he can make more if he waits until next season and part of it is that he wants to wait and see if the franchise has a plan for the future. But the threat of free agency is very much evident.

Giannis Antetokounmpo could be the next superstar to shake free agency

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a superstar leave in free agency. In the player empowerment movement, it’s been stars forcing their way via trades that have dominated the headlines. In fact, the last time a superstar left in free agency for a new team was probably Kevin Durant (back in 2019). However, there’s a strong chance that Giannis ends up being the next free agent to actually (and genuinely) test the market.

Giannis has the opportunity to test the free agency market after the 2024-25 season. The Bucks can offer Giannis an extension in September, but if his recent comments were any indication, it would be surprising if he didn’t at least wait until next summer to make a concrete decision on his future.

That said with how the Bucks’ core contracts line up, it would be smart for Giannis to keep his options open heading into the next couple of seasons. Jrue Holiday can opt out of his current contract with the team after next season and even after signing an extension this summer, Khris Middleton’s contract lines up exactly as Giannis’.

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If the Bucks have another disappointing end to their season in 2023-24, the whispers surrounding Giannis’ potential exodus from Milwaukee will only continue to grow. At the very least, this is a situation to continue monitoring.