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#pounditSaturday, April 13, 2024

Giannis Antetokounmpo makes notable comments on his future with Bucks

Giannis Antetokounmpo wearing headphones

May 13, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) shoots during warmups prior to game six of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo looks to be dialing up the heat a bit on the Milwaukee Bucks.

The two-time MVP Antetokounmpo gave an interview this week to Tania Ganguli of the New York Times. Most notably in the piece, Antetokounmpo spoke on his outlook for the future with Milwaukee. He said that next year would make more sense for him to potentially sign an extension with the Bucks … but stressed that it was not a foregone conclusion.

“The real question’s not going to be this year — numbers wise it doesn’t make sense [to extend this year],” said Antetokounmpo. “But next year, next summer it would make more sense for both parties. Even then, I don’t know.

“I would not be the best version of myself if I don’t know that everybody’s on the same page, everybody’s going for a championship, everybody’s going to sacrifice time away from their family like I do,” he continued. “And if I don’t feel that [in Milwaukee], I’m not signing … Winning a championship comes first. I don’t want to be 20 years on the same team and don’t win another championship.”

Antetokounmpo did also say in the interview though that “there will never be hard feelings” with the Bucks and that “I am a Milwaukee Buck. I bleed green.” You can read his full interview with Ganguli here.

For the moment, Antetokounmpo is under contract with the Bucks for two more guaranteed seasons (with a $51.9 million player option in 2025-26 that he can turn down to test free agency). A report earlier this month indicated that Antetokounmpo may indeed take his time on a possible extension with the Bucks.

Milwaukee fans might be feeling a little antsy reading those comments from Antetokounmpo, who has been a Buck for all ten of his career seasons. But it is a perfectly understandable stance from one of the top players in the world (and one who will still only be 30 by the time that he can hit free agency). Though the Bucks have banked a decent amount of goodwill by building a team around Antetokounmpo that won the 2021 title, they may need to do more to keep him around long-term, especially with an uncertain new era about to kick off.

H/T HoopsHype

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