Insider Offers Insight Into Bulls’ Plan: ‘All Eyes’ on Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chicago Bulls

Getty Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Critics have derided the Chicago Bulls for lacking vision and leaving themselves in a potential no-win situation.

They are 86-78 over the last two years in the regular season. That is above average but they also bowed out of the playoffs after five games in 2021-22 and missed the postseason entirely this past season.

But one insider believes they have a superstar chase in mind.

“I believe that’s exactly what the Bulls are positioning themselves to do, with all eyes on Giannis Antetokounmpo in the summer of 2025,” wrote Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic on August 30. “If such a plan comes together, we’ll suddenly look at the Bulls front office and their continuity plan a whole lot differently.”

This offseason, Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas moved swiftly to retain Ayo Dosunmu, Nikola Vucevic, and Coby White while adding Jevon Carter and Torrey Craig.

Vucevic’s deal, in particular, was met with skepticism after the two-time former All-Star signed a three-year, $60 million pact before the start of free agency.

Chicago’s moves have been received well but adding Antetokounmpo would be monumental.

Antetokounmpo, 28, is a seven-time All-Star and All-NBA selection, a two-time MVP, a former Defensive Player of the Year, and a champion. A Bulls franchise that has gotten close but has never signed the biggest names in free agency might be closer now than in previous instances.

“By keeping their failed core together and trumpeting continuity, the Bulls aren’t just remaining competitive in the short term,” Mayberry continued. “They’ve also maintained salaries large enough and players talented enough to warrant a seat at the table if the day comes that Antetokounmpo is ready to branch out from Milwaukee.”

Bulls’ Best Bet May Be Giannis Antetkounmpo Opting Out

The Bulls almost have full control of their draft picks after forfeiting their second first-round pick to the Orlando Magic in the last three seasons this year, putting them more on the level with other potential suitors.

They do still owe the San Antonio Spurs a top-10 protected pick starting in 2025. But, other than that, they can go all in on trying to pry Antetokounmpo loose from the Bucks.

Will it be enough though?

Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan are enough to satisfy the salary-matching rules – even DeRozan alone would be enough financially. But from there, the Bulls have to part out their young pieces and draft capital and hope there is enough left over that they only have to make marginal additions to the roster.

If Antetokounmpo opts out of his five-year, $228.2 million contract after the 2024-25 season and wants to come to the Bulls, then Karnisovas and Co. would be able to tweak the roster just enough to fit him und.

If they go the trade route, they are at Milwaukee’s — and other potential suitors’ — mercy.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Teased Idea of Playing for Bulls

During an appearance on The Sports Zone on Fox 32 in Chicago, Antetokounmpo went on about how every player has thought of playing for the Bulls at some point in their career. Then, though, he was clear that he was still committed to the Bucks.

“Down the line, you never know. … Maybe I play for Chicago,” Antetokounmpo said via Fox 32 in August 2022. “But right now I’m committed to Milwaukee.”

Just over one year later, things may be further down the road than anticipated.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments