For Milwaukee Bucks fans the 2018-19 season was one to remember. The team won the Eastern Conference before defeating both Detroit and Boston in the play-offs. Their season came unstuck against eventual winners Toronto but as campaigns go it was pretty good. The undoubted star of the show, although there were many deserving of mention, was Giannis Antetokounmpo who went on to win the NBA MVP Award.
Did the Greek star deserve to win the award? That has been the subject of much debate but when a player starts the season with four straight 25-point games (the first time that has been achieved since the 1964-65 season) then you have to sit up and take notice.
While the Bucks have managed to keep the vast majority of their roster together with some summer wheeling and dealing, they are still sweating on Antetokounmpo signing a new contract with the franchise. He signed his last deal in 2016, a $100m four-year agreement that runs until 2020-21.
The 2019 MVP can begin negotiations on his new contract this summer and it is thought he will be able to earn $200m which, for a small-market team like the Bucks, is a daunting prospect but one that they should jump on. Antetokounmpo is likely to be poached by the top teams in free agency and so keeping the 24-year-old should be the team’s top priority.
The Bucks are currently +450 to win next season’s top prize on NBA betting on bet365 and this is partly down to the work they have done over the summer and partly, perhaps even majorly, down to the fact that they have the league MVP Antetokounmpo in their team.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) September 5, 2019
Some have argued that the player didn’t deserve the MVP award and that it was the team that got better and wasn’t all down to the work of their Greek star but that line of thought may not find too much traction in the Cream City.
The team certainly played a huge part and the entire roster was seemingly heading into free agency this summer. The franchise acted quickly to nail down as many players as possible. Eric Bledsoe penned a new deal in March while Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton and George Hill were also retained at some cost.
Malcolm Brogdon was traded to the Indiana Pacers to keep the Bucks cap compliant while Pat Connaughton and Sterling Brown could move on but when all is said and done, the Bucks future could rest with Antetokounmpo penning an extension. Whether it will be enough to bring home a championship remains to be seen but 2019-20 should be another exciting season in Milwaukee.