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Giannis Antetokounmmpo Reportedly Met With The Bucks Owner About Improving The Roster

The Bucks ouster in five games in the second round at the hands of the Miami Heat pushed them into an offseason no one in Milwaukee wanted to arrive at so soon. It’s one in which they could, potentially, lock up their franchise cornerstone for years to come with a supermax extension, but the hope was they would have a ring in their pocket as a bargaining chip — or at least a Finals appearance — to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo around.

Instead, they have another early exit from the Eastern Conference and questions abound about what comes next. The big market vultures are lying in wait to pick the carcass of the Bucks should Giannis decide not to sign long-term, but he’s stated plainly he won’t be asking for a trade. While there’s a difference in not asking for a trade and agreeing to stay in Milwaukee for your prime years, it’s a good start for the Bucks, but there is work to be done.

Over the weekend, Giannis reportedly met with Bucks owner Marc Lasry over lunch to get an idea of the commitment he was willing to make to pushing this team over the hump, and what some of those changes needed to be to make the roster a championship one, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The luxury tax issue is one that is important, but also probably comes a year too late. Whether having Malcolm Brogdon on this team would’ve made them a championship squad is something we’ll never know, but his creativity on the ball and ability to shoot the ball from above the break would’ve certainly made them more formidable. Instead, they dealt him in a sign-and-trade to Indiana because they had already paid Eric Bledsoe and swapped Brogdon for a first-round pick.

What one wonders is whether Antetokounmpo may consider taking a page from LeBron’s book and signing with Milwaukee on 1+1 deals that consistently apply pressure to ownership to continue spending at a championship level, rather than potentially being locked in on a five-year deal where ownership can try to dodge the tax in the middle while their star doesn’t have the same leverage. If the Bucks weren’t willing to pay Brogdon this past summer in the midst of a championship window, one has to think it could happen again. Antetokounmpo wanted that assurance, but keeping that pressure on them to stay true to their word is always a savvy move for a superstar.

As for what upgrading the roster looks like for Milwaukee, one would have to think it includes upgrading that point guard spot. Bledsoe simply hasn’t worked out in the playoffs and they have to at least try to find a trade partner for him that would allow them to bring in someone with a more diverse offensive skillset. Chris Paul is the name most have connected to Milwaukee for good reason, but making that trade happen requires some real creativity. Any major upgrades for the Bucks likely have to come on the trade market, and figuring out how to land another star level player is the greatest task of the front office in an offseason full of uncertainty with the salary cap.

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