Giannis Antetokounmpo caught the attention of the New York Knicks this summer and every other organization when he said multiple times he’d be open to leaving Milwaukee. The Bucks are feeling the pressure, especially because every other team in the league wants to see them fail.
No frenzy would compare to the one that would take over the NBA if Antetokounmpo hit the trade market or entered free agency. The 28-year-old has won two regular season titles and one NBA Finals MVP, and somehow, he’s only going to get better.
Antetokounmpo could be a free agent in 2025 if he declines his player option for the following season. Depending on how his situation unfolds, Milwaukee could trade him before he can walk and sign with whatever team he chooses.
He’s eligible to sign an extension this offseason, but he said in an interview with The New York Times that won’t happen. The rumors will intensify if Antetokounmpo doesn’t sign one next summer.
If what ESPN’s Brian Windhorst predicts turns out to be true, his next contract will come with a team not named the Bucks.
Brian Windhorst’s Giannis Antetokounmpo prediction plays in the Knicks’ favor
When asked by Malika Andrews whether Giannis Antetokounmpo’s next contract will come with Milwaukee or elsewhere, Brian Windhorst said:
"“If I had to predict, I would say probably elsewhere. The reason is because the league is not designed to support one team contending at the highest level for this long. I would even go so far as to say that the Bucks, who are going to be in that top three, barring some injuries, yet again this year, have bucked the trend.”"
Windhorst added that, unlike a big-market team like the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee isn’t a preferred destination for players. The Bucks are at a disadvantage when it comes to staying in a position to contend, which could push Antetokounmpo out the door.
Teams like the Knicks will have to wait a year or two to learn whether or not they’ll be able to make a run at Antetokoumpo via trade. New York currently has the assets to make a deal happen, but the question is whether or not the front office will cash them in before Antetokounmpo decides on his future.
Waiting on Giannis Antetokounmpo may sound like a no-brainer, but he could decide to ultimately stay in Milwaukee, meaning New York’s patience could’ve been all for nothing. Or, it could pay off with the superstar signing a long-term contract to play for the Knicks. Fans would prefer the latter result.