(Giannis Antetokounmpo & Jabari Parker (TMJ4) )

After this Cavaliers vs. Warriors “rivalry” is finally over, another team will be next to the throne. They are only one superstar and a great sixth man away from doing just that. This team has the championship DNA and groundwork to take over the league in two—four years.

Let’s clap it up for the Golden State Warriors as they dethroned LeBron James in Game 5 and won their second title in three years; becoming one of the best teams ever to step foot on the hardwood floor.

Despite beating King James, two times in three years, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still the team to beat, alongside with Golden State. There’s no doubt that both ball clubs will be back in the finals for the next year or two; however, there’s a sleeper team in the background that’s creeping up with a guaranteed superstar, one of the top 3 players in the league on their team, etc.

Yes, the Warriors have four potential Hall of Famers on their squad, and obviously, the Cavaliers have the best basketball player in the world, but the Milwaukee Bucks are lurking to stop this lopsided league.

Don’t stop reading now; you already got this far. Of course, the Bucks are not going to make much noise next year or even in two years, but in that two — four year span, we are looking at a powerhouse team.

You may not see it now but join the bandwagon as soon as you can. Here’s why: The Bucks are really one superstar, a proficient sixth man, and a good wing role player away from competing deep in the playoffs.

Receiving those particular type of players might be hard and unrealistic, but whoever thought Kevin Durant would go to the Warriors or King James would leave his hometown to go to Miami or the Chicago Bulls trading away their homegrown player Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks? Anything is possible in the NBA.

Would those specific star players even choose the “city” Milwaukee over Portland, New York, LA, Boston, Phoenix, etc.? When you think about it…… yes,

  • Milwaukee will have a top 3 player in the league
  • New stadium next year (2018)
  • New general manager ( Jon Horst)

I’ve spoken with Eric Neihm of ESPN, who covers the Milwaukee Bucks to talk to me a little bit about the Bucks on where they are now.

First thing first, Milwaukee is a low market team, who is working on getting a new stadium in 2018.

Milwaukee isn’t the best place to stay or the ideal spot for the players, who want more money from their advertisements and brands. A lot of stars wouldn’t want to play in Milwaukee because it’s MIL-WAUK-EE. There’s nothing to do,  nor is it a vacation spot, but a few players on this team can change that narrative. A chance at winning a ring would throw all of those bad aspects about Milwaukee out of the window.

The Bucks have players to help reel in rising stars in the league in two—four years, or at least trade for one.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and one other player. Antetokounmpo can change players thoughts about Milwaukee based on his level of play and how young he is. Neihm, Bucks reporter, told me “free agents normally try to team up with proven players and I’m not sure he will be there yet as of now.”

In two—four years, Antetokounmpo will be proven according to Neihm.

“Antetokounmpo is going to be a damn good basketball in the summer of 2019. His talent will be undeniable and he could be one of the three best basketball players in the world by that time.”

The Greek Freek is a rising young star in the league, who is ready to take the Bucks to many playoffs runs. He is 22-years-old and is performing at an all-time level for his age. Antetokounmpo is 6’11 with a wingspan of 7’1, who took a big leap from his previous seasons.

There are no questions about Antetokounmpo work ethic; shows in his  stats and his NBA season award, “Most Improved Player of the Year.”

Prior to this season, the Greek freak averaged 16.9 points on 50 percent shooting with 7.7 rebounds. This season Antetokounmpo put those stats in the dust, averaging 22 points, shooting 52 percent, 8.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists at such a young age.

He’s the leader and focal point of this team. There are no questions about how good this kid is going to be with a short amount of NBA experience. In two years he will be 24, and his jump shot will become deadly, his body of work will improve, his IQ will be through the roof. So who wouldn’t want to play alongside this hot young player?

Not only do the Bucks have Antetokounmpo, but they have this powerful power forward, Jabari Parker, who fits perfectly in this new day of age basketball era.

The Bucks have another rising star named Jabari Parker standing at 6’10 250, who continues to destroy his opponents at the power forward position because of his strength and athleticism. We all know about Parker’s injury history, but let’s not talk about that.

Before the unfortunate news with Parker (torn ACL), he was thriving well at his new position, the power forward spot. After going through hard working therapy to heal his ACL, he came back and played with a vengeance. Parker was any opposing power forward’s worse nightmare. Night in and night out, the Chicagoian averaged 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds, while shooting 36 percent from the three point line.

Here’s another young 22-year-old Bucks player still in the process of  growing physically and mentally. Both players are averaging 20-plus points per game and helped lead this team to a playoff appearance. Not to mention, Parker flashes similar skills to Warriors forward Draymond Green, if he can step up his defensive play and intensity, but that’s what more experience in the NBA gets you.

In two to four years, why not? Antetokounmpo is with the club until 2021-22. Parker is with the Bucks until the end of next season. If Parker can stay healthy, then they can sign him to a worthy contract next year.

It’s not only the youth and great growing players, coaching has a lot to do with bringing in stars. Neihm of ESPN told me, “People view Jason Kidd as the Bucks’ Mark Jackson and are just waiting for them to get their Steve Kerr.”

There’s a strong possibility that Kidd isn’t going to be the Coach two years from now. Milwaukee is working on finding the right coach that fits their players system. Switching head coaches might be music to a future free agent’s ears. However, before any star wants to risk their career transitioning to a new team, there need to be present talent.

Before any star would want to come to Milwaukee, they need to make sure all the ground work is complete.

  1. Building a big three. Check. Besides Parker and Antetokounmpo, they are missing one big star (Malcolm Brogdon could be the answer).
  2. Good Head Coach. Check. Jason Kidd is one of the most respected coaches in the league.
  3. Youth vibe. Check. According to HeroSports, “The Milwaukee Bucks started the youngest five-person squad in the league with an average starter age of 23.6 years old. That’s a group headlined by All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo (22.4 years old), and a pair of rookies — Malcolm Brogdon (24.3 years old) and Thon Maker (20.1 years old, supposedly). Add in Tony Snell and Khris Middleton (25.4 and 25.6 years old, respectively) and the Bucks have the youngest starting lineup of all playoff teams by 1.7 years.”
  4. Good Bench. Check. The Bucks bench was third in the NBA in point differential (7.8) and eighth in the league in points per game. Per Hoops Stats.
  5. Take some of the load off. Check. Giannis Antetokounmpo.

 

Now, stars are going to take into consideration that Milwaukee isn’t the most pleasant place to stay. Family and MONEY are the two most important aspects players think of when moving to another team.

Money is always in some proportion a part of a star’s decision on going elsewhere. Looking at two years from now, Neihm breakdown the 2019 potential cap space.

“Currently, they would have: Giannis 25.8 + Henson 9.7 + Delly 9.6 + Thon 3.5 + this year’s R1/R2 3.5 + next year’s R1/R2 3.5 = 55.6. If they sign Snell this offseason, add 12 = 67.6

’19 summer with the Brogdon extension summer, add 10 = 77.6

If Jabari Parker is still on the team, add 15-20 = 92.6-97.6

Middleton has a player option in ’19 summer, keeping him would add 18 (?) = over cap.”

Neihm told me that it’s possible for the Bucks to sign a star, but it’s going to be very difficult. He went on to say me that the deal will possibly get done via trade.

The Bucks have the right assets and future draft pick rights to get any deal done, getting themselves a proven star or a second-tier star.

Since the Bucks have enough money to get those future star free agents, next season would be the setup season to compete in the Eastern Conference Finals and potentially the Finals in the 2019-20 season.

All the Bucks have to do is take a leap from last year in the playoffs and get those younger players more playoff experience.

Milwaukee went to the first round and took the third-seeded Toronto Raptors to seven games. Next season, the goal should be getting into the semi-finals and competing, so they can show free agents that they are ready to compete.

The Bucks are only one superstar shooting guard away from competing with the big dogs. Neihm told me that the Bucks should move Kris Middleton to the small forward position and look for a star shooting guard for the near future. He also said, “they are missing one more three-point threat to help space out the Greek freak.”

I spoke with  Fansided Bucks expert Lukas Harkins superstar

to talk about the Bucks biggest needs.

The team did its best to add shooting this past offseason with Brogdon, Snell, Teletovic, and Dellavedova all coming on board, but they still need more. The future seems relatively solid across the board, but adding a combo guard with a smooth stroke from three-point land is at the top of my list, especially considering Tony Snell is a restricted free agent this summer. Putting guards aside, a defensive-minded big man would be my second addition. Greg Monroe has a player option that he may or may not accept, but even if he comes back, he is not the long-term solution as a backup center to Thon Maker in a few years.

In two—four years, we are looking at a 24-26-year-old Antetokounmpo, 24-26-year-old Parker (if the Bucks sign him after next season), and we are looking at a 26-28 year old rookie of the year candidate Malcolm Brogdon. This team is set up to have three potential all-stars and possibly two potential Hall of Famers on their team within that period.

So, if you ask me, with LeBron James possibly on a decline in four years, and with this Cleveland team potentially destroyed with James’ departure, the Bucks could be the new King in the East within two to four years.

The Gist

  • This Cleveland team will be broken up in four years. Kevin Love contract expires in three years. LeBron James reportedly might take his talents to the Western Conference. In 2021 or 2022, this Cleveland team will be destroyed meaning no “King of the East.”
  • The smokescreen is clear for any team in the East to take the throne. Why not the Bucks? They have Antetokounmpo, who is getting better each year (check the stats). According to sources, If Parker stays healthy next season and in the future, the Bucks will sign a star or second-tier star to form a big three.