The Bucks aren’t just halfway to elimination. They could be incidentally showing their MVP why the team overwhelming them may be his best future choice.
As the Heat take a 2-0 lead on the Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals, there is talk in the Orlando bubble that the top two destinations for Giannis Antetokounmpo, a free agent after next season, may be the Heat and Raptors, Yahoo Sports reported.
“It’s an open secret,” a source told the website.
The Heat have thus far contained The Greek Freak, much like the Raptors did during last year’s postseason. The Bucks are eligible to sign Antetokounmpo to a super-max contract this season, keeping him off the market. That possibility could worsen if the Bucks cannot turn things around against the Jimmy Butler-led squad.
Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse had a project that explored how small-market teams like the Bucks deal with success and it led her to interview Antetokounmpo last spring.
“So far, we have been doing great, and, if this lasts, there’s no other place I want to be. But if we’re underperforming in the NBA next year, deciding whether to sign becomes a lot more difficult,” he told her.
Antetokounmpo later said he was misquoted. But the quote does make sense and a second-round exit sure would seem like underperforming for the team that had the league’s best record during the regular season.