He recently indicated that he intends to stay with the Bucks until they're legitimate contenders, so you can see how this might take a while.
I'll never leave the team and the city of Milwaukee till we build the team to a championship level team..— GiannisAntetokounmpo (@G_ante34) July 17, 2014
It's a noble gesture by the 19-year-old, but there's certainly a lot that could change over the next few years—including the demand for his services. Antetokounmpo—who was selected with the 15th overall pick in 2013—had a strong rookie campaign, averaging 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 24.6 minutes per contest.
But the intrigue surrounding the second-year swingman has more to do with his tools and versatility than what he's produced thus far.
The now-6'11" player is one of those specimens that defies conventional concepts of "positions." Despite his size, the Bucks are even experimenting with Antetokounmpo running the point during Summer League play.
"We've seen it in practice," said head coach Jason Kidd, according to the Journal Sentinel's Charles F. Gardner. "When you see a player's comfort level with the ball — no matter what size — we wanted to see it in game action. We slowly have started letting him have the ball and running the offense."
Kidd added, "This is a great opportunity for him to work on it and take a step forward. Again, 19 years old. What I like is his competitiveness on both ends of the floor."
How does Antetokounmpo come by his versatility? His physical tools certainly help. Deadspin's Tom Ley outlines the goods:
Even though he's got the length of one, Giannis isn't a lumbering giant on the court. He's one of those rare, potentially mold-shattering players whose game combines the brute force of a power forward with the fluidity of a guard (he used to play point guard on his Greek team). He's big and springy enough to play above the rim, he's fast enough to outrun entire teams on the fast break, and he's skilled enough to handle the ball and create offense for himself and others—it's no accident that he's dished four or more assists in a game eight times this year—on the perimeter.
So if Milwaukee indeed becomes a "championship level team," Antetokounmpo will probably have a lot to do with it—at least in some capacity. Perhaps as a distributor. Perhaps as a scorer.
Maybe as a well-rounded superstar.
The sky is the limit for this young man. And in turn, the Bucks could be pretty good before long. Kidd still has his work cut out for him in the near term, but he's got plenty of young talent, including this summer's second overall draft pick Jabari Parker. With 25-year-old center Larry Sanders and 22-year-old guard Brandon Knight in the mix, Milwaukee has some upside.
In any event, Antetokounmpo's apparent loyalty should win him a few extra fans around town.
So should his ambition.