Now we can all put an end to the endless trade rumours surrounding Giannis Antetokounmpo after he has reconfirmed his commitment to the Milwaukee Bucks for the next five years. The NBA’s double MVP announced Tuesday that it would sign a massive $228.2 million contract extension – the most lucrative contract in the NBA’s history.
If Bucks’ bosses and their fans can now sigh a sigh of relief, there’s still work to be done. Milwaukee needs more talent than Greek Freak to finally get over the mountain it hasn’t been able to climb in the last two seasons.
Just as the interior rebuilding looks good in theory, the Bucs know that recruiting another All-Star player will be a move that will take them to the next level. Giannis Antetokounmpo certainly understands the role he has to play in this area. He should be a voice recruiter for other superstars who are considering bringing their talents to Wisconsin.
If you think about it, Giannis seems to be in the same boat as LeBron James a few seasons ago. It is not difficult to see the similarities between the two MVPs. Both are practically freaks of nature and rarely spend time in the open garden. Before LeBron found a house in Los Angeles, he also carried the burden of playing on a small market team in the East.
James has played two offers for his hometown, Cleveland Cavaliers, which are not the most popular destination for free agents. Let’s face it, Cleveland is not the first place young people think of when they dream of being in the NBA. It was LeBron who practically put Cleveland on the basketball map, especially his little hometown Akron.
King has long been open about the battle, trying to convince other players to join him, simply because of the situation.
I’ve been rejected many times. But I haven’t been rejected much either, James once said in an ESPN report.
A lot of people didn’t want to come to Cleveland, let me just say that.
To this day, most players would kill to work with a selfless superstar like James. But playing in Ohio, as opposed to the larger, more attractive markets, has certainly reversed it. Is location really an important factor in attracting big players? The quadruple MVP thinks so.
It wasn’t hard to find guys in Miami, I can tell you that, James added.
Now back to Giannis. So far he’s said all he needed to say to invite more talent to Milwaukee.
The 26-year-old megastar, who has been called the league’s MVP for the past two years, said he would not hesitate to step back from the Bucks if it meant playing with two other All-Stars. He even mentioned the names of LeBron, Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant.
Although these three stars are virtually unavailable at the moment, Antetokounmpo and the Bucks may be looking for more important talent in the coming years. Will he face the same dilemma as James did a few years ago? It’s very likely.
The rise of Giannis Antetokounmpo as a major player has made Milwaukee much more attractive in recent years. Last year they beat other candidates for the Brooke Lopez upscale center. However, it is quite clear that free agents of superstar caliber are probably more difficult to convince and will have their own demands before they commit to Milwaukee.
In addition to a large salary, the players want to go to a franchise with a winning culture. It doesn’t help that the Bucks haven’t even managed to get out of the East, despite their better track record in the last two seasons of the league. If Giannis can’t make other players understand how good life is in Milwaukee, he’ll probably find it harder to use the recent results as a bargaining tool.
The 2020-21 season will indeed be crucial to determine whether Antetokounmpo can attract more talent in the coming years. They have made great improvements to their list this season, but it remains to be seen if they can finally shake the monkey off their backs.
LeBron James understood this challenge years ago, which is why he only accepted short-term contracts during his second term with the Cavs. Or maybe he just wanted to get away with it in case his team couldn’t get more talent.
But Giannis will not have the same luxury, as he has accepted maximum bets. This could also work to the benefit of the Bucks, as potential free agents could benefit from the fact that the quadruple All-Star will go nowhere in the near future. Antetokounmpo had his options, as the major market teams Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat would have prepared huge offers to sign him for next season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has every means to save the Bucks. Of course, he’ll probably have a harder time recruiting players than James. But in the end, it looks like he’s up to the task.
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