Giannis’ contract is up next year. It’s enough for speculations about his free-agency decision to begin. What happens if the Bucks don’t take the next step in this year’s playoffs? Does Giannis get fed up with the lack of post-season success and decides to take his talents elsewhere? Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure; if Giannis doesn’t sign the extension this summer, all hell will break loose.

Fliers about his looming free-agency are intensifying, with the Lakers and the Warriors being the most talked-about destinations. However, according to Giannis, the Lakers are out of the picture.

The Greek Freak spoke to Colin Cowherd just a day after LeBron James announced he would leave the Cavs and join the Lakers. He said he’s got no plans to leave the Bucks in search of a championship, as other big-name NBA players have done throughout the ages.

“To be honest with you, no, no way,” Antetokounmpo said when asked whether he would leave for the Lakers. “I like finishing the stuff that I have with Milwaukee. My goal is to win in Milwaukee, bring a championship to the city. … I would never leave for L.A.”

Giannis said he’s not planning to leave the Bucks in search of a championship, something other big-name NBA players have done through years.

Kudos to Giannis for being consistent. Him staying loyal with the Bucks adds up with everything Giannis was saying about his looming free agency. The message was always the same; I’m not going anywhere, and I’m staying with the franchise that drafted me and made me a player I’m today. However, there’s a catch. Or at least it seems so.

As long as Milwaukee does the right moves and we’re a championship-contending team, I’m not going nowhere. This is my home. All I know is loyalty and this is an organization that has preached that since day one and hopefully I can help them bring joy to the fans and bring joy to the city in the future with a championship.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, ESPN

Do you see the catch? His move is dependent on the team’s success. His loyalty won’t be unconditional, and some sort of post-season success will be required. They were bounced by the Raptors in six games in the ’19 WCF. Will making the Finals be enough for Giannis to commit himself to Milwaukee? Will taking that next step be enough for Bucks’ franchise player to sign an extension?

Speculations like this take me back to LeBron’s first campaign with the Cavs. That may be the reason we’re all suspicious about Giannis’ decision. Since LeBron was saying the same thing, but eventually got fed up with not being able to win the championship and took his talents to South Beach, despite coming close with his hometown team.

Giannis doesn’t have the pressure of staying with his hometown team, nor will he face near the same amount of backlash if he decides to leave. NBA landscape is not what it was in ’10. But he did portray himself as a loyal guy, and the guy who is willing to stay with the Bucks for his entire career.

Whether the team has done enough, we’ll have to wait and see. They are title contenders, no doubt about it. That means now it’s on Giannis to help them make that next step. If he does it, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s staying. But if he doesn’t…