In a series, one team wins while the other walks home defeated. It’s inevitable. Regardless of how both teams perform, there’s always a winner and a loser.
While the Phoenix Suns are up 2-1 in the best-of-seven 2021 NBA Finals, this isn’t the first time the Milwaukee Bucks faced a 2-1 hole in the 2021 playoffs. The Bucks came back a 2-1 deficit against the Brooklyn Nets and won the series in Game Seven on the road.
Now, how both teams will react to the finals defeat will determine their future come next season.
What the Bucks Need?
The Bucks finished the shortened 2019-2020 season with the best record. And yet, an injury to Giannis Antetokounmpo cut their playoff run short inside the Orlando bubble.
Giannis Antetokounmpo may have remained a Buck after last season, but that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Not without additional help.
The first thing the Bucks need to do after a possible Finals defeat is to make sure that they get additional help for Antetokounmpo.
While the Bucks can’t offer big contracts to big names, some upcoming free agents can be at service for the Bucks. Derrick Rose could be a good backcourt partner for Jrue Holiday should Rose leaves New York.
Regardless of the result, the Bucks also need to do one more thing: help improve Giannis Antetokounmpo’s jump shots. If Antetokounmpo can score more from the mid-range to the three-point line, that’s a big help for the Bucks’ campaign.
Two Things the Suns Need
Regardless if they win the championship or not, Chris Paul’s future in Phoenix is still up in the air. It would be less complicated for CP3 to decide on his future if the Suns win the title this year. If not, it’s going to be a complex situation.
Various chatters indicate that Chris Paul would decline the 44-million dollar player option for the 2021-2022 season. This move would allow CP3 to ink a new deal. Should this happen, Chris Paul can decide where to play next. If the Suns want to retain the Chris Paul-Devin Booker duo, they must give CP3 a bigger paycheck for next season and beyond.
An Intact Young Core
While the Suns would prioritize deciding on Chris Paul’s future, they also need to keep their young core of Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges intact. Why? It’s for the continuity of their growth under Coach Monty Williams.
If the young core stays intact for next season plus, if CP3 stays put, Phoenix could continue to rise.