Yesterday, news of Giannis unfollowing his teammates on Instagram made waves across the Internet. Several people speculated whether this was a power move made by the Greek Freak to force a trade. News then emerged of Giannis engaging in a meeting with the franchise owner regarding the future of the Bucks. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the details of the aforementioned meeting today.
ESPN Sources: MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 3-hour lunch with Bucks co-owner/governor Marc Lasry on Friday covered the season, how Bucks can improve roster, Lasry confirming willingness to spend into luxury tax and agreement they’ll talk again after Giannis returns from a vacation.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 14, 2020
The Giannis-led Milwaukee Bucks overachieved in the regular season, finishing with a bullish 56-17 record. They then sputtered in the playoffs, losing in ignominous fashion to the Miami Heat by a 4-1 margin in the Conference Semifinals. This marks a regression for the franchise, who made the Conference Finals in 2019 after topping the NBA regular season standings.
While Giannis himself faced criticism for his decision-making and shooting woes in the series, the Bucks folded as a unit. They could not cope with the perimeter shooting of the Heat. Given their tactics of protecting the paint over all else, the number of wide open 3-pointers they conceded hurt them big time. The likes of Jae Crowder and Jimmy Butler, who’re streaky shooters at best, got hot from range against them.
What kind of roster moves the Bucks will make in the offseason to fill out their squad remains to be seen. Currently they have $130 million committed to contracts next season. This leaves them with little to no wiggle room to spend on contracts, given that the luxury tax bracket is set to be around $109 million for next season.
Rumours of a trade deal to land Chris Paul have been making waves around NBA Twitter. But that would involve them having to trade key pieces like Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez and a draft pick or two. Beyond that, they will need to spend on 3-and-D wings, who are priced at a premium in the modern NBA.
As things stand, the Bucks are stuck between a rock and a hard place with regards to roster moves. But they need to go all in during their championship window, which will close if Giannis bolts to another team as a free agent or requests a trade.