Giannis is always going to be a popular topic in the NBA media until he makes his next contract decision. One particular topic ESPN touched on recently is what they think Milwaukee should do this year if Giannis doesn’t sign his contract extension. Should they hold on to the hope he signs the next offseason? Or should they cut their potential losses and trade him to another team? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each side.
Scenario One: Trading Giannis
Let’s be honest here, the Bucks will never get fair compensation for Giannis. The only real reason to trade him would be if he either demands it, or the front office is worried about losing him to free agency. With that being said, we will not entertain what the Bucks could potentially get in return in this article.
If the reigning 2x MVP and DPOY doesn’t sign the extension this year the pressure will mount on Milwaukee to make a move. Which will only increase as the season goes on if they don’t play well. The Bucks at this point would be faced with a real possibility of losing him for nothing. There would be tons of suitors, and Milwaukee would have their pick of many offers. Trading Giannis would at least keep the franchise sort of relevant for the next few years.
Best case scenario the Bucks would receive a draft pick or two, and some quality players in return. Milwaukee likely goes from being a championship contender to a team on the edge of the playoff bracket with a little hope for the future. However it would likely take multiple if not several years for them to be back to where they once were. Trading Giannis would basically be the franchise saying “We’re okay with being mediocre.”
Scenario Two: Hang on to Giannis
It is very realistic that the Greek Freak doesn’t sign this offseason. As pointed out by many, he would lose any leverage he has by signing now as opposed to waiting until 2021. If this is the case, the Bucks should go all out and try to win this season by making many moves to bolster the roster around him. If things get ugly during the season, they can still hold on to hope he will resign. Knowing that Giannis seems to be very genuine, the Bucks can trust his word. He has never said anything other than he wants to be in Milwaukee. Keeping the communication between the front office and Giannis can help both parties out significantly in their pursuit of a title.
If the Bucks were to lose Giannis in a trade or in free agency, the Bucks franchise would no longer be the same. He is the face of their entire business. He’s their symbol of hope for now and the future. Losing him would change everything about their product on and off the court. Similar to the Lebron and Cleveland situation many years ago, the team would be a shell of itself. Trading Giannis gets the team some security as far as staying semi-relevant but it would change the franchise for forever. It is only once in a blue moon that small market teams like the Bucks get gifted a player of his talent and character. Losing that would send them back to the loop of mediocrity the Bucks went through for over ten years.
If the Bucks lose Giannis to a trade they might still make the playoffs. Losing him to free agency would mean they likely start a whole new rebuild. Personally, the last thing I want the Bucks to do is trade him unless it was demanded. We traded fan favorite Ray Allen and look how that turned out. If the Bucks give up on Giannis it will be very hard for me to respect the organization going forward. Milwaukee should make moves and do whatever they can to make Giannis happy this year.
If he walks in free agency at least we know they did what they can to retain him. Trading him is the equivalent of folding a four of a kind in poker because someone might have a straight flush. It’d be like intentionally walking a guy with the bases loaded to tie the game with two outs in the ninth. Sometimes you have to give it all you got and try to come out a champion, not settle for mediocrity. I believe the Milwaukee Bucks would lose much of their fans’ respect if they trade away the best thing that’s happened to them since Kareem. It’s time to put all the chips in and hope what you have is enough.