While we prepare to get a new president in the White House, the Milwaukee Bucks have decided to secure 4 more years from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Giannis signed his 4 year, $100 million extension this offseason, which not only shows his commitment to the team, but also that the team believes that he is truly the future of this team. Last year Giannis averaged 16.9 ppg, 4.3 apg, and 7.7 rpg. He was 2nd in scoring behind the Bucks only competent 3 point shooter, Khris Middleton. Despite not leading in that category, it is clear that Giannis will be the leader of this team for years to come.
Peter Feigin is officially the team's president, but on the court, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the Greek Freak is the president of the players. Antetokounmpo was moved to play point guard, which reminded every NBA fan of Magic Johnson. Giannis' body is long and fairly thin, giving him the ability to drive with power to the lane, grab rebounds over smaller point guards, and keep the ball secure from the Association's most elite defenders. The decision by coach Jason Kidd to put Giannis at the PG position really showed how he can command the offense. Antetokounmpo will be the point guard on offense this season, and will be defending small forwards.
With Giannis secured for the years to come, there are a few things that the Bucks need to do. First, they have to get 3 point shooting. The team picked up some help this off-season by signing NBA champion Matthew Dellavedova and former Phoenix Sun Mirza Teletovic, but that may not be enough. Last year, the Bucks were last in the NBA in 3 point shooting last season, and losing Jerryd Bayless and OJ Mayo who would at least attempt 3 pointers may hurt the team this year. However, the ability to get high percentage looks inside should still keep point production decent. The Bucks will also need to make sure that Giannis has weapons to pass to. Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton will be the only 2 major contributors this season, unless the Monroe trade that is being discussed in the Bucks front office as you read this provides us with a solid offensive player.
The Bucks need to make sure that they have the ability to defend point guards like Steph Curry, Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving. Giannis cannot be expected to guard the NBA's best point guards. The Bucks put a band-aid on this issue by signing Delly, who is the classic "scrappy gym rat" who plays solid defense. He is a total pest which can frustrate players and force them to make mistakes. However, this issue will not go away with one defender who will most likely ride the bench (until Kidd realizes the MCW experiment has failed). The Bucks defense will be an aspect of play to watch this season as the youngest team in the NBA develops.
The Bucks motto recently has been "Own The Future." With the signing of Giannis Antetokounmpo, that motto is true, as they quite literally own the future of this team.