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#pounditFriday, July 19, 2024

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s future in Milwaukee hinges on 1 other player?

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 might not be signing a new deal with the Milwaukee Bucks unless his point guard does so as well.

In an appearance this weekend on SiriusXM NBA Radio, ESPN’s Bobby Marks shared an interesting insight about the Bucks and their two-time MVP Antetokounmpo. Namely, Marks believes Antetokounmpo’s future in Milwaukee will hinge on what happens with Bucks teammate Jrue Holiday.

“I don’t think Giannis Antetokounmpo going to sign an extension [because] it doesn’t make sense financially,” said Marks. “I would be concerned based on what happens with Jrue Holiday. I think that’s going to be the X-factor.

“[That’s] what I’m going to keep an eye on because Holiday is extension-eligible starting up, I think February 22. Potentially could be a free agent next year,” Marks added. “What does Milwaukee do with him? If they lose him, they’re going to be in deep trouble.”

Holiday is arguably the most important non-Antetokounmpo player in Milwaukee, especially with Khris Middleton becoming less reliable due to injuries. A five-time All-Defensive Teamer, Holiday sets the tone for the Bucks D at the point of attack and quietly plays a massive role on offense as well (averaging 19.3 points and 7.2 assists per game last season). Holiday is also a very beloved locker room figure who has won three NBA Teammate of the Year Awards in the last four seasons.

But Holiday turned 33 in June and has already accumulated 14 seasons of wear and tear. As a result, a new extension for Holiday would have to make sense numbers-wise for the Bucks, especially in an increasingly punitive luxury tax situation leaguewide.

Milwaukee already did their part this offseason by bringing back Middleton and Brook Lopez on new multi-year deals. But based on the recent pressure Antetokounmpo has still put on the organization, a new Holiday extension may be a prerequisite to keeping Antetokounmpo around too.

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