Where from here?

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After a disappointing loss to the Miami Heat, the media has put a spotlight on Giannis Antetokounmpo and what his future holds. Before the season started, Giannis said any outcome but a championship win would be a disappointment. Going into the NBA bubble, the Milwaukee Bucks had the best record in the NBA, and Giannis was playing at a remarkable level. He was in the discussion for MVP and many people had him winning it. But with the bubble being a level playing field, there were many surprises to the league: the Suns went 8-0 but did not make the playoffs, TJ Warren, a solid player throughout his career, averaged 34.8 points per game, and Michael Porter Jr went from bench player to key starter. This was all shocking, but there was a bigger surprise in the playoffs. 

When experts and analysts predicted their finals matchups, there was a common theme: they included the Milwaukee Bucks from the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee faced an injury-riddled Orlando Magic in the first round. This match up seemed like a breeze to the Bucks but after losing game one, they stopped messing around and won the series in five games. They faced a real challenge in the second round with a streaky Miami Heat team. The Heat had just dominated the Pacers, winning in four games. A matchup of the Heat vs Bucks seemed to be a fair series, at least on paper. In the first three games, each ending was homogeneous. The common trend was that the Bucks would blow a lead, usually in the fourth quarter. Wildly, the Bucks found themselves down 3-0. In game four, Giannis came out fired up, scoring 18 points in the first quarter. Unfortunately, Giannis went down with an ankle injury. Although Giannis was hurt, the Bucks scraped out a win in OT. His ankle injury put his status for game five in jeopardy. Two hours before the game, he tested his ankle, and it was not going to work. He was out for game game, and the Bucks ended up losing game five and the series. 

A disappointing loss to the Heat ended their season. Giannis now has one year left on his contract and is eligible for the super max contract this summer. The media is blowing up Giannis’ decision, but it is unlikely he signs the super max this summer. He looks to see how next season goes before making any league-breaking decisions. There are a few teams that could be suitors for the current MVP. 

 

Dallas: Mark Cuban might be one of the best owners in the league. He recently brought in Kristaps Porzingis via trade. A trio of Luka, Kristaps, and Giannis would be the best trio in the NBA, and Rick Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the NBA. They would be right up there with the Lakers and the Clippers.

Miami: Pat Riley has brought in some superstars in the last two decades: Lebron James, Shaq, Dywane Wade, and Jimmy Butler. He is a good recruiter and has a phenomenal history when it comes to championships. The Heat would most likely have to let Bam Adebayo go but for Giannis, it would be worth it. A Jimmy Butler and Giannis duo would make them an instant championship contender.

Toronto: The team that took out Giannis in the conference finals in the 2019 season could be a big market for Giannis. To be the face of not only a state but the whole country of Canada would be exciting. Teaming up with Pascal Siakim and Kyle Lowry would certainly lead them to be the favorites of the east.

Golden State: The Warriors recently brought in a hall of famer through free agency in the name of Kevin Durant (although he has since departed). What is there not to like about this astonishing franchise? Steph Curry, one of the best point guards in the NBA, Klay Thompson, one of the best shooters ever, and Draymond Green, one of the best leaders and defensive players in the league. The Warriors would have to trade one of those players to free up cap room for Giannis, but GM Bob Meyers would do that in a heartbeat.

Bucks: Lastly, his current team, the Milwaukee Bucks. They will still be contenders in the east if Giannis returns. The front office has recently said they will go over the luxury tax in order to bring another star to Milwaukee. A Chris Paul deal could be done in the future, and that would make the Bucks instant contenders to win it all.