Few NBA players now have the luxury or the desire to play their entire career with one franchise, making the Golden State Warriors a unique landscape over the last decade. The franchise now possess three of the top four longest-tenured active players, with Stephen Curry (14 seasons), Klay Thompson (12 seasons) and Draymond Green (11 seasons).
Joining the top four is Damian Lillard, one of the most talked about players of the offseason with his request to depart the Portland Trail Blazers after 12 years. Fifth is Giannis Antetokounmpo who, at least before Thursday, appeared well on his way to play out his career with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s recent comments has some Golden State Warriors’ fans wishing of the two-time MVP’s departure to the franchise.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Antetokounmpo has shocked fans with his non-committal comments towards his future with the Bucks. The 28-year-old has been with the franchise for a decade, but it seems they have some work to do to keep him around beyond his current contract.
"“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. And if I don’t feel that, I’m not signing”, Antetokounmpo said."
The seven-time All-Star’s comments quickly drew response on social media, particularly from opposing fans dreaming of the potential of Antetokounmpo on their team. That included Warrior fans who’ve often been enthralled by the potential of the ‘Greek Freak’ with Golden State.
Any franchise would want to get their hands on the 2021 Finals MVP, but the thought of Antetokounmpo — one of the most dominant interior players of all time — with Curry — the game’s greatest ever three-point threat — would be a duo that could particularly wreak havoc.
While the Bucks won’t want to rest on their laurels, they do at least have some time up their sleeve. Antetokounmpo is contracted for another two seasons and has a $51.9 million player option for 2025-26, meaning any significant talk of his departure is certainly premature.
Much like with Golden State and their re-signing of Draymond Green, Milwaukee prioritized the return of its championship core in free agency this offseason. Forward Khris Middleton signed a new three-year, $93 million deal, while center Brook Lopez stayed on a two-year, $48 million contract despite heavy interest from the Houston Rockets.
The idea of Antetokounmpo on the Warriors remains a pipedream for the moment, and the franchise will undoubtedly be focused on another trip to the NBA Finals next season where Milwaukee may be awaiting.