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Polled NBA agents predict, 18-1, Giannis Antetokounmpo will stay with Bucks

With Giannis Antetokounmpo having the option to opt out of contract, Michael Holly and Michael Smith breakdown who will land the reigning NBA MVP.

The Bucks are reportedly confident Giannis Antetokounmpo will sign a super-max contract, either as an extension this offseason or a new deal in 2021 free agency.

The belief Antetokounmpo will remain in Milwaukee is shared by a large majority of the NBA agents polled by The Athletic:

Can Milwaukee keep Giannis Antetokounmpo, and where is he starting in the 2021-22 season?

18 — Yes, he stays.

1 — No, he leaves.

I am shocked by the lopsidedness of this result. People LOVE to speculate about superstar movement.

The big question: Do these agents have genuine insight into the situation, or are they just speculating?

The possibility of the former makes this intriguing. Sometimes, accurate gossip spreads within NBA circles. But sometimes it’s misguided.

I wouldn’t trust whichever agent said:

“I see him in New York. I think you can’t just be that bad forever. I think he stays in Milwaukee, honestly, but if I had to bet, I would bet that he goes somewhere else. And I would bet he goes somewhere with big marketability.”

Maybe Antetokounmpo changed his mind on not wanting to play in big, flashy cities. But “I think he stays in Milwaukee” AND “I would bet that he goes somewhere else” is just illogical unless this is a galaxy-brain take incorporating unmentioned odds.

Even if the agents are correct that Antetokounmpo will begin the 2021-22 season in Milwaukee, there’s another important question: On what contract?

A super-max contract, by rule, would be five seasons (as an extension or new deal, either of which would begin with the 2021-22 season).

But Antetokounmpo could re-sign on a shorter deal. That could be financially prudent, and it’d give him more time to evaluate the Bucks. Of course, that’d also allow him to unilaterally leave Milwaukee as early as 2022.

So, it’s not as simple as whether Antetokounmpo begins the 2021-22 season with the Bucks. But that is an important first step, and a sample of agents are apparently in strong agreement about him remaining in Milwaukee.