Not to rub it in or anything, but ESPN just published an op-ed in which Malika Andrews discusses the prospect that Giannis Antetokounmpo might look to further his development if the Milwaukee Bucks don't reach a certain plateau (the NBA Finals) by the time his current deal expires.
Yes, the timing of this op-ed makes for a bitter pill to a crestfallen Milwaukee Bucks fanbase, albeit an issue that might impose itself in the coming months, if the team doesn't accomplish its goals in Free Agency. The basis for Andrews' write-up is centered around confidential information that was brought to her attention concerning the Bucks short-term prospects.
"With the Bucks season ending abruptly two wins shy of the NBA Finals, a source close to Giannis Antetokounmpo tells ESPN that a Finals run in 2020 could tip the scales for Giannis to sign with Milwaukee long term." - Malika Andrews - ESPN
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Apparently, a source within the Antetokounmpo camp told her that "getting to the NBA Finals is not just an ambition, it could tip the scales as he weighs his contractual future." Last I checked, Giannis comes off the books in 2020, in the first year of his Super Max eligibility.
Thanks to a generous CBA, the Bucks can offer their homegrown talent a higher mark-up. Yet, if the insider scoop is of provenance, the Greek Freak may be willing to forego those fiscal advantages if a better opportunity arises on the open market. As I briefly mentioned, the Bucks are facing a challenging offseason, in which they will more than likely be forced to replace George Hill and Brook Lopez with lesser parts, due to salary cap restraints.