Adrian Wojnarowski went on the “Russillo Show” early Thursday morning and talked about Giannis Antetokounmpo possibly leaving the Milwaukee Bucks.
Last year, Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City for the Bay Area. This year, Gordon Hayward left Utah for Boston. Not too long ago, LeBron James left Cleveland for Miami. All three of these situations have a common thread — a star ditched their small-market team for something bigger and also to have a better chance at winning. This isn’t something Milwaukee Bucks fans want to hear, but, there’s speculation that Giannis Antetokounmpo could follow in the footsteps of the three guys above.
Woj talked about this with Ryen Russillo, and the possibility of Giannis leaving is very real:
“Milwaukee’s going to go through this with the Greek Freak. That day’s coming, right? Where he’s going to look and say, ‘Where is this organization? What are they doing here?’ Like, you don’t think Giannis has been watching what went on there for the last several months? Of what they allowed to go on with the front office? He’s watching it. And the clock has started. Everybody in the league is trying to figure out how they are going to get him out of there. That has started.”
The Bucks are safe for now. Last September, Antetokounmpo signed a four-year, $100 million extension to stay in Milwaukee. That leaves him under contract until 2021, but he’s going to command whatever the max is at the time of his free agency. He won’t be 23 until this coming December, and his trajectory is off the charts. Giannis made his first All-Star Game last season and was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player after a remarkable campaign — 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.9 blocks, 1.6 steals and a field goal percentage of 52.1. He hasn’t hit his prime yet.
There’s a legitimate chance that Antetokounmpo becomes the league’s best player by the time he hits free agency. He does everything, and he does it without a jump shot.
Also Read: Could Giannis Be The Heir To LeBron James?
Milwaukee’s front office, however, isn’t having the same success. The team’s three owners recently butted heads when hiring their new GM. Eventually, they settled on Jon Horst. It’s not a big deal, but no one knows if this sort of friction is going to continue for every major decision. That would be an immense turn off for a young player. Moreover, constant divisiveness could lead to a lack of deals getting done. And we’ve seen that before.
If the Bucks fail to build a contender around Giannis, there’s no reason for him not to leave — especially since the Eastern Conference is as weak as it is. Front office ineptitude played a role in LeBron leaving for Heat, and I’m sure Durant thought about that when deciding to go to the Warriors. Hayward’s situation is different, but it’s focused on winning nonetheless.
It’s vital Milwaukee’s front office makes decisions with Giannis in mind. There’s nothing stopping him from leaving, and players of his caliber don’t come around too often; losing him would be a crushing blow to the franchise. However, adding the right pieces makes them a contender in a post-LeBron East.
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