I don’t know why I think of LeBron James when I see what Giannis Antetokoumpo is going through at the moment. Assuming any drastic surprise Giannis Antetokoumpo will be named 2020 NBA MVP making him a back to back winner of the award the same as LeBron James did back to back seasons 2009-2010. It’s very similar being that the Cleveland Cavaliers were built around LeBron James the same way the Milwaukee Bucks are around Giannis Antetokoumpo. I lived through that time in LeBron James’s career and coming from a LeBron James fan Giannis Antetokoumpo does not have the same amount of pressure LeBron James did being that Giannis Antetokoumpo took 2-4 years to develop into what he is today and the expectations for LeBron James were much higher due to the Michael Jordan comparisons without any championships. The similarities between LeBron James and Giannis Antetokoumpo are very similar, solo star-teams with the best record in the NBA but better teams still exist. In LeBron’s first tenure in Cleveland the Celtics,Lakers,and Spurs were looked at as superior teams and I think most of us would agree the Clippers,Lakers,Rockets,and I’ll even say the Celtics are more formidable teams with more star power than Giannis’s Milwaukee Bucks.
Let’s touch on Kevin Durant’s Legacy so far, he spent 8 years in Oklahoma City trying to win championships with Russell Westbrook and shocked the NBA World by signing a short-term deal with the Golden State Warriors. Every morning I’d hear Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless blame Kevin Durant for deferring to Russell Westbrook or Russell Westbrook trying to prove to everyone he was the franchise player of the Oklahoma City Thunder. So Kevin Durant dominates for 2 seasons in Golden State and till this day the masses don’t give him full credit for how he went about becoming an NBA Champion. The supposed front-runners for Giannis Anteotokoumpo are the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors, he is facing the Miami Heat right now and in a 2-0 hole against them so what would people say if Giannis joing Jimmy in Miami and make them legitimate title contenders? What would they say if he signs with Toronto Raptors? If you ask me I don’t think he should sign with either team, one it’s because LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard won jewelry for those franchises and two I don’t think Giannis will take the same route as LeBron and Kevin.
If you are Giannis with Durant and Kyrie coming back next year for Brooklyn and the Tatum,Walker,and Jaylen ascending in Boston how will he get out of the East going forward? In all honesty I’ve never been sold on the Bucks since they let Malcolm Brogdon walk to the Indiana Pacers, I felt Malcolm was a big part of their offense and exactly what they are missing right now as the Bucks lack a play-maker who can attack the basket and shoot efficiently from the perimeter. Now we have Richard Jefferson in the media saying Giannis Antetokoumpo needs his Michael Jordan when all he is really missing is Malcolm Brogdon. It’s boggled me how everyone looked past the Bucks not bringing back Brogdon and expecting to become a better team since they went and got 2 shooters in Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews over the off-season and brought in Brook’s brother Robin for toughness and veteran leadership. Giannis will be a free agent next summer so assuming the Bucks lose in the playoffs which I guarantee you they will they need to find some way to trade away Eric Bledsoe with a draft pick or two and bring over Chris Paul.
Everything lies on the Bucks owner, I think Giannis is a great player and could someday go down a top 10 player all-time but you can’t afford to have two liabilities in your starting lineup when it comes to shooting in Bledsoe and Giannis. The way Giannis plays you don’t want him initiating your offense in the half-court, he is a good ball handler but not someone I want trying to break down defenses with quick footed players who can cover on switches relativaly easily. This is where Chris Paul steps in, he is good enough to be a 2nd to 3rd option on a championship team and would elevate Khris Middleton’s games as well allowing for Khris to be in a more catch and shoot role in Mike Budenholzer’s offense. How sweet would it be to see Chris Paul finally become a champion next season alongside Giannis Antetokoumpo the player his former teammate James Harden criticized for his lack of skill? I look ahead and I just don’t see Giannis leaving Milwaukee, something just tells me he is not going to want all the extra attention and criticism for leaving the Milwaukee Bucks high and dry without winning a title there.
To conclude the free-agency of Giannis Antetokoumpo will be exciting and it is heating up more and more as the days go by but I don’t see Giannis making the same decisions LeBron and Kevin made. Giannis isn’t yet at the point where everyone is already putting loser labels on him or where his legacy is in question. Not that I believe he will retire with the Milwaukee Bucks but there is nothing in the trade market worth entertaining for a player the caliber of Giannis Antetokoumpo, I think the Bucks will make the necessary moves to keep Giannis in a Bucks uniform for at least another 4-5 years. From afar I can see what the Bucks need which is Chris Paul. Chris Paul’s contract would be very hard for the Bucks to match so maybe a third team will need to get involved for the a trade to get approved but I can’t think of a more realistic and ideal target than Chris Paul. He can get the ball to Giannis where-ever he pleases, he can carry the offense in half-court sets where Giannis struggles and force defenses to come out and guard Chris Paul’s dribble penetration which will only open up more opportunities for Giannis to feast down low in the paint. Give me your thoughts, should Giannis leave the Milwaukee Bucks? Till next time.