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Giannis Says He’d Leave Bucks for ‘Better Situation’; Mavs Pipe-Dream Revived?

Giannis Antetokounmpo has officially applied the pressure to the Milwaukee Bucks’ front office two times this summer, which means the Dallas Mavericks pipe-dream of pairing him with Luka Doncic – and now Kyrie Irving as well – could have life again.

If you’ve been an avid reader over the last five years or so, you’re likely familiar with our Dallas Mavericks pipe-dream trade and free-agency scenarios involving Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

None of those scenarios ever came to fruition, as Antetokounmpo ended up re-signing with the Bucks in 2020 despite the former Mavs front office having big plans. But to be completely fair to us, that’s why the “pipe-dream” label was placed on those articles every single time. 

All of that speculation has died down over the last few years, as Antetokounmpo has since won a championship in Milwaukee, and the Mavs have finally added a second star next to Luka Doncic in Kyrie Irving, as well as a young, revamped roster with improved defensive potential. However, those pipe-dream talks could heat up again between now and next summer.

Earlier this summer, Antetokounmpo spoke with The New York Times about his next opportunity to sign a contract extension with Milwaukee, and what he said might cause Bucks fans to feel a bit of uneasiness.

“I would not be the best version of myself if I don’t know that everybody’s on the same page, everybody’s going for a championship, everybody’s going to sacrifice time away from their family like I do,” Antetokounmpo said. “And if I don’t feel that, I’m not signing.”


And this week … Antetokounmpo doubled down on his stance in an interview with Bleav Sports.

“I'm a Milwaukee Buck, but most importantly, I am a winner. I want to be a winner ... Comfort zone does not matter to me ... At the end of the day, I want to create new memories, I want to win a lot of championships,” Antetokounmpo said.

“If there is a better situation for me to win the Larry O'Brien I have to take that better situation.”

Antetokounmpo has officially applied the pressure to the Bucks’ front office on two separate occasions this summer. The last time that happened, the Bucks ended up making a big trade for Jrue Holiday, which helped Antetokounmpo bring Milwaukee a championship the following summer. So, there’s a history of the Bucks being able to make their star happy, but there’s no guarantee that it will happen again.

If it doesn’t, and the Bucks are unable to wash the taste of losing to the No. 8 seed Miami Heat in the first round out of Antetokounmpo's mouth … the Mavs, who have a little draft capital, team-friendly contracts, and some intriguing young prospects on the roster, should be better positioned to make a move for the Greek Freak this time around.

That’s not to say the Mavs would have a better trade package than a team like the New York Knicks, who have much more draft capital to offer, but what matters most is what Antetokounmpo wants. If he believes teaming up with a 24-year-old four-time All-NBA First Team talent in Doncic gives him the best opportunity to win multiple championships, then he’ll find a way to do just that.

And if this Mavs pipe-dream falls through again? Well, that’s ok, because the Mavs still have Doncic, Irving, and all those pieces GM Nico Harrison gathered together to create a brighter future in Dallas regardless. But they’re better prepared now, just in case.

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