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Giannis Leaves Future Open: Could He Join Luka's Mavs?

Giannis Antetokounmpo has an open mind about his long-term NBA future. Would he consider Luka Doncic's Dallas Mavericks?

The Milwaukee Bucks achieved what any franchise dreams of just one season ago: winning an NBA championship. With Giannis Antetokounmpo playing in the first year of a five-year supermax deal and battling through injury, it was almost like a movie plot.

Winning one championship seemingly has solidified Antetokounmpo as a Bucks legend, no matter how the rest of his NBA career unfolds He led the team to their first championship since 1971 and has won two MVPs.

Antetokounmpo unable to lead his team to a repeat during this year's playoffs. With Khris Middleton mostly sidelined due to injury, the Bucks didn't have enough to win their Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Boston Celtics. Milwaukee was eliminated in a 109-81 loss in Game 7. 

When asked by a reporter for his thoughts on playing for the Bulls, Antetokounmpo explained that any player would appreciate the opportunity to be a member of such an iconic franchise — calling the decision a "no-brainer."

"I think anybody you ask that question [to], that plays basketball, if he said no, he'd be a liar," Antetokounmpo said. "It's a team that won multiple championships. It's a team that one of the greatest players, if not the greatest player to ever played this game, played for.

"It's a no-brainer. Everybody would love to play for Chicago. Down the line, you never know, you never know how life brings it, maybe I play for Chicago. But right now, I'm committed to Milwaukee."

While the specific question the reporter asked was about the Bulls, one question is work asking: would Antetokounmpo consider leaving the Bucks to join a team like the Dallas Mavericks

With a player option worth nearly $51.9 million for the 2025-26 season, Antetokounmpo could become a free agent in the summer of 2025 at 30-years-old if he were to decline. 

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The Dallas Mavericks were missing several key players on Wednesday night in Tulsa, including superstar Luka Doncic. However, Christian Wood showed off his potential against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It does take superstar talents to win in the NBA. Luka Doncic is about as good as it gets, if not the best. He earned a third consecutive All-NBA First-Team nod with averages of 28.4 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.7 assists. He led the Mavericks to their first Western Conference Finals appearance since 2011. 

When Antetokounmpo has the ability to enter free agency in 2025, Doncic will be 25. Is there a superstar with the possibility of forming a more tantalizing duo together? Defenses already apply so much attention to each player, imagine if they were to join forces in the future? 

Things can change quickly in the NBA in terms of superstar talents wanting to stay or leave their current team. For the Bucks, one concern is the age of their core around Antetokounmpo. Brook Lopez (34), Jrue Holiday (32), and Khris Middleton (31) will all be either at or close to 35 when Antetokounmpo can decline his player option in 2025.

Without Milwaukee being a prime free agent destination, it may not be easy for the Bucks to replace their co-stars around Antetokounmpo. The idea of playing with such a valuable talent could be appealing, but to play with a similarly talented player, he may need to look elsewhere. 

You can follow Grant Afseth on Twitter at @GrantAfseth.

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