The Bucks were set to enter the 2023–24 NBA season with not only question marks about the future of Giannis Antetokounmpo, but potentially very real concerns as well. The 28-year-old star has made it widely known with comments this offseason that winning a title is his number one priority and that he would be willing to pursue an opportunity outside of Milwaukee if he felt a championship was out of reach.
His approach to the topic, and the team’s inability to make a run in the postseason the past two seasons added significant pressure on this upcoming year. But after the Bucks struck a blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported, everything seemingly shifted in the matter of just minutes.
Belief surrounding Antetokounmpo’s likelihood to sign an extension with Milwaukee, which ESPN’s Brian Windhorst previously predicted wouldn’t happen, appears to have drastically changed.
And when the Lillard trade was first reported, the reactions relating to Giannis sticking in Milwaukee came from all sides of the internet.
This was like a double whammy for NBA rivals. Not only do the Bucks land Lillard but this clearly strengthens Milwaukee’s chances of getting Giannis to sign an extension. Jon Horst out there playing chess.— Chris Mannix (@SIChrisMannix) September 27, 2023
Giannis to Milwaukee about that extension pic.twitter.com/DGRrkmZzkA— CJ🇯🇲🇺🇸 (@HanchoJackHTX) September 27, 2023
Giannis: “I’m not signing an extension.”— young sweet jones (@stewfromdalou) September 27, 2023
Bucks Front Office:
August 24 - Giannis says he won’t sign an extension with the Bucks unless he sees the team is committed to win another title.— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) September 27, 2023
Sept. 27 - The Bucks trade for Damian Lillard.
Giannis used his leverage a little more effectively than going to China and calling the GM a liar. pic.twitter.com/GCwDNNvbsz
Giannis was out here saying I ain't signing no extension and the front office went to work— Ahmed/The Ears/IG: BigBizTheGod 🇸🇴 (@big_business_) September 27, 2023
A reminder that Giannis Antetokounmpo became extension-eligible on Friday. He can sign it up until the beginning of the regular season.— Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) September 27, 2023
He still might not sign it since it makes more financial sense to extend next year, but this certainly increases the chances that he will.
So about Giannis not signing that extension…..— Blazers Palace (@blazers_palace) September 27, 2023