Giannis Antetokounmpo becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.
Million Dollar Question: Does the Greek Freak remain in Milwaukee or will he go elsewhere?
“He fits anywhere,” Antoine Walker told me on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“He fits in any system.”
In 2016, Antetokounmpo agreed to a four-year, $100 million extension with the Bucks that runs through the 2020-21 season. During the 2018-19 season, the four-time All-Star led the league in efficiency rating and win shares and was named the NBA’s MVP.
The Greek Freak is believed to be the NBA’s MVP this season after posting 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, one steal and one block per game for the Bucks.
The Bucks are currently down 1-3 in the their Eastern Conference semifinals matchup against the high octane Miami Heat that is guided by Erik Spoelstra and stars Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Goran Dragic, Andre Iguodala, Meyers Leonard and Jae Crowder.
It is believed in NBA circles that once Antetokounmpo becomes a free agent, the Heat are among a list of teams who will pursue him in free agency. That list is believed to also include the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors.
But what about the team that he’s currently with in the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I’m one of those loyal guys,” Antoine Walker told me on Heavy Live With Scoop B. “So I’m not going to even sit here and say I want him to go somewhere else. I want him to keep up with the Milwaukee Bucks, that’s just me personally.”
So what’s next?
“For him, business-wise, personal-wise, depending on what type of player he wants to be,” says Walker.
“If he wants to be considered in that elite category, maybe he probably has to leave Milwaukee and go to a bigger market and do some things for himself like off the court. I’m not sure how important that is to him. But basketball-wise, he can play on any team. I’m a little bit more into staying with your team and doing it with your team, so I would love for him to stay in Miwaukee and continue to build that team up. And it’s going to be some bumps in the road. He’s 24 years old.”
Antetokounmpo sprained his ankle while drawing a foul on a drive early in the second quarter in game four against the Heat. The Greek Freak screamed and stayed on the floor for a couple of minutes before being helped to the bench.
Despite Antetokounmpo’s absence, the Bucks rallied and got the 118-115 win over Miami. Bucks All-Star, Khris Middleton scored 36-points in the win. Game 5 is Tuesday evening and Antetokounmpo is listed as questionable for the game against the Heat. Antoine Walker says he likes The Greek Freak and the Bucks’ potential. “Watching him in the Playoffs he has so much more he can improve on,” said Walker.
“That’s what makes it special. He’s got a lot to work on. He’s got to get himself a consistent jumpshot, he’s got to get him an in between game and he’s going to have to get him a post-up. And I know it’s like: ‘wow, this guys going to be a two-time MVP, why would you say he needs all of this work?’ In order for him to get to the next level, he’s getting exposed right now. So he’s getting exposed by a very good Miami Heat team; well-coached and he’s going to have to do some things to get his game up. He don’t have to get great, he doesn’t have to be the greatest three-point shooter of all time, or greatest midrange, you just have to get some things in your game to loosen it up, to make the game easier for yourself as he continues to grow. And if he’s willing to do that? I mean, I think he’s going to be the MVP this year, but he may get it a couple of more times. That’s how talented he is.”