The Dallas Mavericks were long rumored to be in the market for Milwaukee Bucks superstar and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Now that he signed a max extension to remain in Milwaukee, what are your thoughts and does it change your thinking about the Mavericks' future plans?
Jordan: Giannis coming off the board is fantastic for the Mavericks reality we are living, considering their track record in free agency over the last decade. The front office is creative and savvy when it comes to Plan B and C options, so why not spend the next six-plus month planning for that?
Would it have been wild to see a Luka-Giannis pick and roll? Sure. But waiting around next summer to sign Giannis while all the other quality free agents get snatched up would not have gone well.
Ultimately this allows time for the Mavericks to truly do what they do best: trade. That’s what we should be watching for in the months ahead, and probably even next summer.
Sam: My thoughts are that I am sad. I know it was unrealistic, but if we can’t have hope in this world, then can we have anything? But seriously, I’ve seen the Mavericks sit on their hands “chasing” the B level free agents like Pat Beverley and get played by the Danny Green’s of the world. If the Mavericks are going to swing and miss (which is likely) I’d rather them do it with Giannis than say, Kelly Oubre or Will Barton (who could be on the market this summer). The Mavericks have a lot of expiring contracts, so trade SZN should be fun.
Tim: As an NBA fan, you love to see it. This should makes sense to so many Mavericks fans because of the loyalty that Dirk Nowitzki showed this city and organization. I think you should have an extra level of respect for athletes that choose to stay with the organization that first brought them in and do everything they can to bring them championships.
I was, of course, all for Giannis coming to Dallas but that was simply because it was him coming to Dallas. But now that we, Mavs Fans, are free from that pipe dream and I sit back and think about it… This is good for the NBA. This is good for the Milwaukee Bucks. This is helpful to the Dallas Mavericks - in the sense that we have more clarity going into a very important 2021 off-season.
Kevin: LUKA AND GIANNIS WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN A GOOD FIT!
Now that I have your attention, I only sort of believe that. Talent like that would crush competition one way or another. But honestly if Dallas can get a hold of one more really solid role player this summer, even at an overpay, I think they’re in good shape.
Doyle: Landing Giannis always felt like at best a fever dream and at worse a concocted narrative meant to eventually stab us through the belly as it stares into our eyes. Still, the notion of Giannis linking up with Luka is so tantalizing, it’s impossible to scold anyone who floated the idea.
Now that he’s staying in Milwaukee, I feel a sense of relief. Dallas was doing everything it could to free up cap space for a run at Giannis next summer (or whenever the off-season is). Now, they will have a nice nest egg to use and be able to explore their options rather than going all in on one player. Past experiences tell us that strategy doesn’t work out too well for the Mavs.
While Giannis is locked in for a while with the Bucks, I still have a lingering feeling that there will still be plenty of rumors surrounding his next move. Unfortunately, that means the Mavericks can still be lured in by a carrot on a stick. It’s something that is likely a few seasons away from happening, but worth mentioning. In the meantime, enjoy Luka. He’s pretty good. The future isn’t written yet.
Josh: I am popping champagne. This is the greatest thing to happen to the Mavericks since they drafted Luka Doncic. I am only partially joking.
The past 10 years of Mavericks free agency history told us all about where this was headed. It’s good to get it out of the way now, before the season starts, before the trade deadline and months before next free agency starts. The options for Dallas in regards to upgrades has expanded exponentially — money earmarked for Giannis next summer is now free to be used for, well, anyone. Now the Mavericks can go all-in at the trade deadline and be active the moment free agency starts, as opposed to the shrug of the shoulders and the “well, we’re waiting for Giannis” plan.
Now, what are those new options? I don’t know this very second. But the fact that Dallas isn’t beholden to a max free agent months before free agency starts is only good news. They’re free. I sorry to those of you who had legitimate hope for the Mavericks to turn their max free agent luck around, but this is for the good of the franchise. Dallas already has two stars — there really isn’t that much work left to do.
Ryan: As a college student, I have had multiple instances where getting a certain grade on a final exam held large implications for my grade. You spend weeks studying, preparing, and planning. You get to the test, you take it, and you’re not really sure how you did. The next few hours, sometimes days, are full of anxiousness. Then, you finally get your results, and it turns out you failed. But wait, you feel relieved. You no longer have to wait and see. You know your fate, you accept it and now you get to move on. That’s what Dallas’s pursuit of Giannis has felt like to me — if there even was one.
The Mavericks just missed out on a player who will compete for the MVP every season for the foreseeable future, but in a way, I’m relieved. The Mavericks can now focus on surrounding Luka and KP with Tier 2 players, building a championship-caliber roster based on synthesis. Maybe Giannis would’ve won 15 rings in Dallas. Maybe he would’ve won zero. We don’t know the answer to that. What we do know is that the Bucks just did Dallas a huge solid by preventing them from being able to strikeout and shoot themselves in the foot this summer.
If you’re relieved, there’s still plenty of work to be done. If you’re worried, Dallas still has the league’s next best thing who’s already budding into his best self. Both can be true. All I know is, finally, the outrageous assumptions and “I Spy” games on my timeline are over.
Kirk: I’m mostly meh about it. It’s nice to have this out of the way over it being a talking point. Now I’m interested in what Dallas does next. They have a ton of expiring contracts (Hardaway and James Johnson are players of value!) but the free agents aren’t that great. So there’s a lot of options for the Mavericks I’m sure, though I don’t know what they are. Let’s just enjoy the now.