Cleveland Cavaliers: Would LeBron James consider the Milwaukee Bucks in free agency?


Would LeBron James consider the Milwaukee Bucks in free agency?

As the offseason nears, the answer to where LeBron James will sign in free agency stills seems out of sight. While he hasn’t committed to any team just yet, could Milwaukee possibly persuade the King to join their young and upcoming roster?

The Milwaukee Bucks currently sit at the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference at 32-25. Interesting enough, if the regular season were to end today, the Cavaliers would actually face Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs. To be fair, that is probably the last team the Cavs would want to play at the beginning of the postseason. What makes the Bucks so dangerous is they possess a plethora of long, athletic, and versatile players that not many other NBA teams have.

One of those players goes by the name of Giannis Antetokounmpo, or better known as the “Greek Freak”.

At 6’11”, 222 pounds, it’s easy to see where Giannis gets his nickname from. The two-time All-star is having yet another MVP caliber year. This season, Giannis is averaging career-highs of 27.8 points, and 10.4 rebounds, to go along with 4.8 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.3 blocks. In addition, he’s shooting a career-high 54.0% from the field.

While he hasn’t quite developed a consistent three-point shot, shooting 29.0% this season, we all have to remember; he’s only 22 years old. When LeBron James was 22, he was averaging 27.3 points, 6,7 rebounds, and 6.0 assists, 1.6 steals, and 0.7 blocks. He also was shooting just 47.6% from the field and 31.9% from three.

Ahead of the All-star break, Giannis was at one point leading LeBron James in total votes to be the captain representative from the Eastern Conference. When asked who he would pick first, he responded with none other than The King.

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"Via ESPN: “So, first of all, if my teammates aren’t available — I’m going with my teammates — I’d gotta go with LeBron James,” Antetokounmpo said with a laugh. “The best player in the world. We can have a good relationship in free agency — you never know, he might come play here.”"

The flirting doesn’t stop there. Over the All-star break, Antetokounmpo was asked once again who he would pick first if he was voted in as a captain. He also praised LeBron for the way he plays and his overall impact on the game.

"Via EuroHoops’ Nikos Varlas/The Score: “I would pick LeBron. … I want to have a good relationship with him before his free agency. You get it? I want him to come and play next year for the Bucks. To come here in Milwaukee, in the cold.”“It’s easier for me to enter the game, score 25 points and get 10 rebounds, and consider that I have done my job. It’s more difficult to help my teammates. To help the whole team change level,” he said.“That’s the thing that LeBron does for many years and that’s the difficult part. And I believe that’s the reason he should be even more respected. He doesn’t get in the court just to score the ball. … LeBron will score 30, he will also get 15 rebounds. He will also dish 15 assists and changes the level of the whole team.”"

Obviously, Giannis would be a huge reason why LeBron would even consider Milwaukee. However, the Bucks’ roster is full of players that could entice LeBron into joining forces with the Bucks.

One of those players includes Eric Bledsoe, one of LeBron’s best friends. Bledsoe was traded to the Bucks earlier this season and was even rumored to be a potential target for the Cavaliers amidst the Kyrie Irving drama. Bledsoe is an established two-way guard who can score, make plays, and defend at a high level.

Two more players that could be intriguing to James is both Thon Maker and Jabari Parker. Maker is 7’1″ and just 20 years-old with tremendous upside on both ends of the court. While Maker has been struggling at knocking down threes this season, he has proved he is capable of hitting long-range shots.

In addition, Parker is a very promising young player who has All-star potential. He was having a breakout season last year averaging over 20 points per game before he tore his ACL for the second time in his career.  At 22 years-old, Parker is a very versatile power forward who can also knock down threes, shooting them at a 36.5% clip last season.

However, in order for Milwaukee to contend for LeBron James, they would have to create a max contract slot. As of now, the Bucks are $15,683,118 over the cap. LeBron James will be eligible for a contract worth over $35 million per year in the off-season. That means the Bucks would have to part ways with multiple players or be significantly over the salary cap, like this season’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

Due to their hefty contracts, those players would most likely have to be Khris Middleton, John Henson, Mirza Teletovic, Tony Snell, and Matthew Dellavedova. If deemed doable and/or possible, then who knows, maybe Milwaukee could indeed find their way in the LeBron James sweepstakes.

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The million dollar question, however, is will LeBron James be intrigued with pairing up with Giannis Antetokounmpo, thus creating one of the most dominant dynamic duos ever seen? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.