Chances of Miami Heat landing Giannis Antetokounmpo could depend on Bucks' playoff success

Shandel Richardson

The Miami Heat are among several teams who will covet Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo if he is a free agent in the summer of 2021.

The question is: will he even be available?

With the NBA set to resume the season July 30 in Orlando, the Bucks are the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. If the Bucks win the championship or, even make the Finals, the chances of him leaving are slim. Last year Kawhi Leonard joined the Los Angeles Clippers after leading the Toronto Raptors to a title, but it always appeared he was a one-year rental.

Antetokounmpo, the league's reigning Most Valuable Player, is more tied to Milwaukee. The Bucks can also re-sign him to a supermax offer after the season, eliminating all chances of a recruiting frenzy next summer.

ESPN's Tim Bontemps recently spoke to insiders around the league and the consensus was they expect Antetokounmpo to remain in Milwaukee if it advanced to the Finals. Let's not forget he is eligible to sign the biggest contract in league history should he stay. 

"Milwaukee is still considered likely to keep Antetokounmpo long term, but insiders cited the potential of the salary cap dropping both this offseason and in future years as a reason Giannis might take a wait-and-see approach," Bontemps wrote. Still, the overriding belief is that whatever happens on the court will play the biggest role in his decision."

The Heat have a couple factors on their side. Center Bam Adebayo and Antetokounmpo, who share the same agent, have built a friendship the past couple few years. There is also the lure of Pat Riley, who helped land LeBron James in 2010 when he was in a similar position as Antetokounmpo.

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