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Report: Bucks Confident 'For Quite Some Time' Giannis Will Sign New Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2020

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

Few questions in the NBA remain larger than the future of Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Milwaukee Bucks may not have much doubt about the outcome, though.

The Athletic's Eric Nehm and Sam Amick noted Milwaukee's conference semifinal playoff exit inevitably impacts the situation but spoke to a source who said the Bucks have "had confidence for quite some time now that Antetokounmpo would sign the supermax."

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported on Saturday that Antetokounmpo met with Bucks ownership "to discuss the future of the franchise." That isn't atypical since players always have exit interviews with their team at the end of a season.

The 25-year-old's pending free agency in 2021 obviously adds a layer of intrigue to any sort of standard offseason business.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Bucks co-governor Marc Lasry indicated during the meeting the team will be willing to spend into the luxury tax to improve the roster.

That's an important distinction because this year's disappointing finish showed how Milwaukee requires reinforcements in order to make a run to the NBA Finals. Finances were also one reason why the team didn't re-sign starter Malcolm Brogdon, which looks like a mistake after the guard played well in his first season with the Indiana Pacers after being part of a sign-and-trade.

Given the increased frequency of marquee stars changing teams, nobody would be surprised to see Antetokounmpo sign elsewhere in 2021. Much like when Kevin Durant became available in 2016, the reigning MVP will have a number of franchises willing to go above and beyond to win him over.

The Los Angeles Clippers' playoff collapse is an example of how assembling stars isn't always the quickest path to a championship, though. Continuity and collective strength count for something when it comes to the postseason.

The Miami Heat exposed the Bucks' flaws, which extend from roster construction to coaching and to even areas in which their best player can improve. Milwaukee's outlook could look much different this time next season.

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