Former league MVP and current two-way superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has been making headlines with some recent comments that he won’t sign an extension with the Milwaukee Bucks until he’s sure that they are all on the same page. Here is what he told Tania Ganguli of the New York Times:
"“You’ve got to see the dynamics,” Antetokounmpo said. “How the coach is going to be, how we’re going to be together. At the end of the day, I feel like all my teammates know and the organization knows that I want to win a championship. As long as we’re on the same page with that and you show me and we go together to win a championship, I’m all for it.”"
Antetokounmpo is still under contract for the next two seasons, with a player option in 2025-26. However, he is eligible to sign a three-year extension with the Bucks in September. But based on his quote, that isn’t something he is going to be doing anytime soon.
Now, this probably means nothing. And even if it did, the chances of him leaving the Bucks to come to the New Orleans Pelicans are slim. But with a player as talented as he is, you can’t help but fantasize about the possibility that he might become available, especially when you have as many assets as the Pelicans do.
On a more realistic note, though, this news could have some long-term positive impact on the team. The Bucks owe us a first-round pick swap in 2024 and their first-round choice in 2025, courtesy of the Jrue Holiday deal in 2020.
If s*** hits the fan for Milwaukee and Antetokounmpo leaves town, those draft picks increase in value (as the Bucks would likely become far worse after losing Antetokounmpo). So, it looks like we, as Pelicans fans, have two reasons to keep a close eye on this developing storyline.