Picture Giannis Antetokounmpo’s situation right now: Being the reigning NBA MVP, everyone expects a lot out of him. Currently, the Milwaukee Bucks are ranked first in the league with a 53-12 record, so that isn’t quite a problem. Yet.
Due to an unfortunate left knee sprain on March 6th, Giannis exited the Bucks-Lakers game early — which contributed to their tenth loss of the season. The next two games following, the Greek Freak was out, and guess what else has been happening since? They have began to tank. Why? Because the Greek Freak has been carrying the team, and without him the Bucks are just an average team in the East with a few good shooters.
But even when he has played with Milwaukee, the team hasn’t been able to make the Finals. Last season, the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals in six games. Or like how in 2018, they were knocked out of the playoffs after a seven-game series in the first round by the Boston Celtics. Boston was the team that faced LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers squad in the Eastern Conference Finals that year. Or like how they also lost to the Raptors in the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs. He has got to be sick of losing.
History has shown that if the best player in the league can’t win a championship with their team, they are likely to move: Just like when LeBron went to the Miami Heat or when Kevin Durant joined the Warriors. Giannis could be thinking the same thing.
That said, this NBA shutdown could actually help the Bucks keep Giannis possibly for one more year. If the Bucks lose this year again, then he might think that it was because of the overall league inconsistency due to the Coronavirus — because everyone is at home, each player grows more inconsistent. This makes it even harder to determine what team truly is the best because everyone is off. Only luck can win games at that point. This might not be the case, but it could give Giannis another reason to stay in Milwaukee for another year after his contract expires.
The reason why the idea of Giannis moving teams is so relevant is because his contract expires after the end of the 2019-2020 NBA Season. Currently, he is on the fourth and final year of his $100,000,000 contract with the Bucks. After it expires, he has two options: Stay in Milwaukee and sign a 5-year, $253 million contract extension with the Bucks, or opt out to become a free agent — where he would make less money. But as many NBA players have said before, money can’t buy championships. And quite frankly, any amount of money seems to not give as much of a thrill for a player than for them to write their name in the history books with an NBA Finals win.
So for the Bucks’ sake, they better win this year’s NBA Championship, because if not, Giannis will most-likely be on the move.