Knicks could enter the Giannis Antetokounmpo conversation if Bucks flop

nba: milwaukee bucks at new york knicks, giannis antetokounmpo
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are biding their time in their quest to land a superstar talent like Joel Embiid, Donovan Mitchell, or Giannis Antetokounmpo. For the Knicks, it’s all about waiting for one of these players to become discontented enough with their current teams to seek a way out. Joel Embiid currently seems the most likely candidate for such a move, given the Philadelphia 76ers’ ongoing struggles and lack of championship-caliber decisions.

The Long-Term Bet: Giannis and a Potential Bucks Collapse

However, for those playing the long game in the Knicks’ front office, setting sights on Giannis Antetokounmpo might be the more strategic move. Giannis is all about winning championships, and if the Milwaukee Bucks can’t align with this vision, he might just seek greener pastures—even though he’s not hitting free agency until 2025.

During a recent appearance on the ’48 Minutes’ podcast from the Bleav network, Antetokounmpo stated:

“As long as we play and I approach the game every single day the right way, and we all sacrifice for a common goal, I could see myself being with the MIlwaukee Bucks for the rest of my career,” Antetokounmpo said on the ‘48 Minutes’ podcast from the Bleav network. “But the moment I feel like people aren’t as committed as I am to get that golden thing (the trophy) in the back, I am not. It’s more than the money, it’s more than the lobsters, it’s more than the chartered flights. For me, it’s all about that [championship]. And I want that. If the Milwaukee Bucks are on the same page for the rest of my career, great. If not, I have to win. I think the people of the city understand it.”

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Stat Highlights and Team Dynamics

Last season, Giannis boasted career-high stats, netting an average of 31.1 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists and shooting .553 from the field across 63 games. While the Knicks are hopeful that Julius Randle could evolve into the superstar they need, especially to pair with Jalen Brunson, Randle’s past playoff performances have left much to be desired.

The Perfect Alignment: Knicks and Giannis in 2023-24

Giannis has a single-minded focus—winning more championships—and the Knicks seem perfectly positioned to make a serious title run in the 2023-24 season.

“I’m a winner. At the end of the day, I am a winner. I want to be a winner,” he said. “Contracts. Fame status. Comfort zone. Does not matter to me. What matters at the end of the day is [championships]. I don’t want to get stuck talking about the same story. Oh, we went to Game 6 in the 2021 NBA Finals, we were down 2-0, we came back and won four games. I’m tired of hearing the same story over and over again.”

Market Appeal: Giannis in New York

Milwaukee will pull out all the stops to keep their superstar happy, but a series of playoff disappointments could give the Knicks the window they need. Giannis’ impact in New York would be twofold: he’d likely achieve megastar status in the Big Apple’s vast market, and he might finally bring home an NBA Championship to a city that has been yearning for one for decades.