Giannis Anteotkounmpo has made himself abundantly clear. He won’t be signing his extension this summer, and he will be leaving the Milwaukee Bucks if they are unable to help him win a championship in the near future.
This is as clear a warning as the Bucks organization will get from their cornerstone superstar, who seems to have implied that the team’s offseason dealings may not have been enough in terms of making Milwaukee a championship contender this coming season.
Khris Middleton’s Deal Seen as ‘Worst Contract’ for Bucks
The Bucks’ biggest move in the offseason is re-signing Khris Middleton to a massive three-year extension worth $102 million. Milwaukee considers the three-time All-Star an integral piece to their championship puzzle but at the same time, there’s no denying that injuries have been a major issue for the 32-year-old for the past couple of seasons.
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that Middleton’s deal is currently the “worst contract” on the team’s payroll. Buckley argues that while Middleton could still be an elite player this coming season, the same might not be the case over the life of his current deal.
Buckley proposes that the Bucks trade Middleton to the Chicago Bulls along with Grayson Allen, MarJon Beauchamp, and a 2029 first-round pick in exchange for Zach LaVine.
Zach LaVine Would Fit Well Alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo
The Bucks will need to give up a whole lot in this hypothetical trade but Zach LaVine is exactly the type of player that can help the Bucks win now, and at the same time, potentially appease Giannis and suppress his thoughts about jumping ship.
“Trading Middleton (and much of its remaining assets) for LaVine would allow Milwaukee to get younger and more dynamic on the offensive end.
“LaVine, 28, has had his own knee trouble in the past, but if that’s behind him, he could add electric scoring, ignitable shot-making and secondary distributing to this attack. Milwaukee could provide him with the kind of defensive protection he’s never had in his career,” Buckley wrote.
Should the Bucks do it? They would be swinging for the fences if they did but given the impetus that Giannis Antetokounmpo has recently slapped them with, this might be the type of blockbuster, risk-it-all type of move that is required.
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