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Giannis and the Ticking Clock

Get your hand away from the panic button

NBA: Playoffs-Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

To say Bucks Twitter the past few weeks have been pessimistic would be an understatement. Besides Malcolm Brogdon winning rookie of the year and Giannis Antetokounpo taking most improved player, it seems all news involving the Bucks has skewed negative. I understand it, the GM search was a trainwreck and the press conference was just a depressing capper on that entire situation. Monroe and Hawes opting in didn't help by placing the team near the luxury tax. Even Tony Snell's deal was met with some backlash, which compared to other players in his position, is looking like a relatively decent deal. The Derrick Rose meeting is the only news this offseason that I 100% agree with the cynicism.

Then came the belle of the ball earlier this week, when former king of NBA news bombs, Adrian Wojnarowski went on the Ryen Russillo show and decided to dump multiple gallons of lighter fluid on the growing “Bucks are a shit show” fire with this statement:

After lighting the match, Woj watched Twitter burn by implying that Giannis Antetokounmpo will follow in Gordon Hayward’s steps and leave Milwaukee when his contract ends in 2021. Woj mainly used the embarrassing GM search as the primary rationale, but basically said unless they have a title contending roster, Giannis is leaving since Utah did everything perfectly and Hayward still left (side note, Utah made some missteps like trading up for Trey Burke and not giving Hayward the max deal earlier). This wasn’t new information, considering last week Zach Lowe mentioned the GM mess and ended his article by saying Giannis’ deal ends in 2021 and literally used the same clock is ticking phrase.

So with that, I want to say the following (clears throat and preps mega phone) EVERYBODY CALM DOWN, WE ARE NOT NEW YORK KNICKS FANS. The reason I say that is while the Bucks may have tripped over themselves this offseason, there is still time to get back up and make the right moves. Giannis’ contract, which is just kicking in, is not only a fantastic deal but it also doesn’t expires until 2021, four freaking years from now. That gives the organization plenty of time to build a squad needed to first contend for a championship, and second keep Giannis in Milwaukee, although the two go hand-in-hand. A lot can change in four years and I’ll use the following examples of what was going on in 2013 to prove my point:

-Giannis was drafted

-The team was still owned by Herb Kohl

-Larry Sanders was face of the franchise

-The swag twins era had just ended

That is just using the Milwaukee Bucks as an example, if we want to look at the league: Miami’s Big Three just won their second championship, Kevin Durant was still on the Thunder, and Charlotte was still known as the Bobcats.

Four years is plenty of time and nobody is able to predict what is going to happen in the future. Maybe Thon Maker emerges as a potential all-star player, Jabari is able to bounce back from an injury to come back on a cheaper deal and John Henson could get traded (Editor’s note: JK, that last one is never happening). If Giannis was going to be a free agent in a year or two, I wouldn’t be writing this piece. It’s too early to panic though, it’s too early to assume the worst and it’s too early for people to believe Giannis is already planning an exit. I understand the frustration, and this doesn’t mean I’m saying the front office should be content, it just means now is not the time to panic so intensely. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I want to try and enjoy the Bucks at the moment.

It’s possible we look at this offseason and think, yeah it wasn’t great, but things got better if another one of their draft picks hit and Snell improves a bit. Plus, Giannis himself has said multiple times he wants to stay in Milwaukee and win a championship. Jon Horst and co. have time to get back on their feet, brush off the dirt and make it happen. The cap will alleviate a bit when Monroe and Hawes are off the books plus Teletovic will be an expiring next year that may prove more enticing to other suitors.

Personally, I think it’s way too early to overreact to this and I believe Giannis will stay. Yes, there’s the possibility I’m completely wrong, and you can cc OldTakesExposed and tell me I’m wrong later as I sit and drink myself to sadness while Giannis walks. But at the moment, let’s take a deep breath, put the hot take tweet in your drafts, look at the clock and realize four years is a very long time.

Also, let’s remember Giannis ended tonight by dismantling this atomic bomb with a single Kendrick reference...