Well, it’s Mid-June. Normally around this time, there’d be a crowned NBA champion, and teams would be shifting their focus towards the Draft and Free Agency. But of course, this season is nothing short of normal.
However, there are teams already preparing for the 2021 offseason & free agency for one reason, and one reason only: Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 25-year old is already a 1x (probably 2x) MVP and has a solid chance to become a champion in Orlando this postseason.
Teams such as Miami, Golden State, and Toronto have already made their efforts clear on their pursuit of the Greek Freak. With that being said, we’ve seen megastars such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant sign with other stars to create championship level teams and dynasties. However, when it comes to Giannis, I don’t see that same instance occurring…and here’s why.
#1: Supporting Cast
There’s no doubt that Giannis has players put around him that allow him to be the superstar of a championship-level team. Khris Middleton, who’s coming off back-to-back all-star appearances, is definitely one of the more underrated players and scorers in the entire NBA. Not only that, but he’s had 49.9/41.8/90.8 shooting splits, something that’s gone very unnoticed across the NBA landscape.
Executive of the Year, Jon Horst, did a fantastic job of putting the talent around Giannis that he needed. He paired Giannis with one of the top rim-protectors in the league in Brook Lopez, an outstanding 3PT shooter, as well as a role player in George Hill, and the previous COTY, Mike Budenholzer.
#2: Previous Success
Back in July 2019, in an interview with ESPN, Giannis said, “As long as we have the same mindset and same approach to the game, there’s no reason for me to move and not be like Steph [Curry], not like be like Dirk [Nowitzki] or Kobe [Bryant] or Tim Duncan.” He’s also said on numerous occasions in the past that as long as the Bucks are maintaining a winning style of basketball, that there’s no reason for him to leave. Well, I believe they’ve done just that.
Giannis and the Bucks have gotten better every year since he was drafted back in 2013, and look to make a serious championship run this postseason in Orlando, and ideally in the 2020-21 season, as well.
Of course, there’s no true way to know if he’ll stay or go in 2021, but if I’m a betting man on the subject, it’s safe to put a hefty wager on Giannis staying loyal to the city that helped build him to what he’s become today.
Photo Credit: AP Photos / Nick Wass