Giannis Antetokounmpo has made it clear he would consider leaving the Milwaukee Bucks if he deemed another team to have a better chance of winning a championship.
Now it appears his future in Milwaukee could come down to one particular “X-Factor”. Speaking on SiriusXM NBA Radio over the weekend, ESPN insider Bobby Marks said Giannis’ future in Milwaukee may hinge on Jrue Holiday.
“I don’t think Giannis Antetokounmpo going to sign an extension [because] it doesn’t make sense financially,” Marks said. “I would be concerned based on what happens with Jrue Holiday. I think that’s going to be the X-factor.
“[That’s] what I’m going to keep an eye on because Holiday is extension-eligible starting up, I think February 22. Potentially could be a free agent next year,” Marks added. “What does Milwaukee do with him? If they lose him, they’re going to be in deep trouble.”
Giannis signed a 5-year, $228 million maximum contract extension with the Bucks in December 2020.
His deal includes a player option for the 2025-26 season, meaning he could leave Milwaukee in the summer of 2025 (and that’s assuming he doesn’t ask for a trade before then).
Having won the 2021 championship, the Bucks lost in the second round of the 2022 playoffs after losing Khris Middleton to injury. Milwaukee then suffered a brutal first round defeat in the 2023 playoffs, going down to the Miami Heat 4-1.
The team then fired head coach Mike Budenholzer, even though he coached them to the title just two years earlier.