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The clock is ticking on the Bucks' efforts to retain Giannis

Even fans who aren't predisposed to worrying about the fate of superstar athletes piling up wins, points, stats, and MVP awards for their preferred franchise have watched this NBA offseason and probably wondered at some point, what will happen when it's our turn at the spectacle that is NBA Free Agency?

Now that the Milwaukee Bucks have established themselves as an NBA Championship contender, it's up to the front office to take the next step on the court, and do everything possible to make sure Giannis Antetokounmpo stays in Milwaukee off of it, according to ESPN's Malika Andrews.

That's not only the call from a certain segment of Bucks Twitter, but also the storyline that has been talked about since Antetokounmpo signed his most recent extension with the Bucks. With only two years left on his deal, it's gotten national pundits and local fans alike wondering what's next.

Certainly, the drama of the recent LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard free agencies play into some of those fears. But, Giannis is in line for the richest contract in NBA history should he opt to stick around, worth a projected quarter-billion dollars.

It's also on the mind of the Milwaukee Bucks, as Jon Horst told Sports Illustrated in the spring: the looming contract decision is part of the every-day long-term planning for the franchise. Not only does it obviously impact what the Bucks do, but the NBA as a whole, since Antetokounmpo will be a 26-year-old MVP if he makes it to unrestricted free agency after the 2020-21 season.

In the meantime, up against the cap and with few assets to make a major move, the Bucks will do all they can to remain competitive, keep Giannis happy (and surrounded by shooters), and see what they can do in a more wide-open NBA Playoffs this year.

Photo: Getty Images

Video: ESPN

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