Dirk, Kobe, Tim Duncan, John Stockton, Reggie Miller, Udonis Haslem, Manu, John Havlicek, these are some of the most iconic names in the history of the entire league. They are also the total list of players who spent at least 16 years with the only team they've ever known. We're talking the rarest of the rare, especially in 2020. At a time in the league where guys switch teams all the time either through trade or free agency there aren't too many candidates that we'll see reach this rare air. You have Steph who is entering Year 12 in GS and could very well sign a 3 year extension so he'd get close.
Then there's Giannis. Him staying in Milwaukee is a very big deal, that goes without saying. He's entering Year 8 as a Buck. This extension brings him to Year 13 and he'll be like 31. He has a legit chance to get there if he's serious about never leaving Milwaukee. This is the face of the NBA committing his entire career to a small market Bucks team. That's a big deal. The same way LeBron's Decision impacted the way players handled their basketball futures in this current era, what if in Giannis' era of the NBA in a post LeBron league his loyalty has that same impact?
Think of the next wave of superstars in this league. The young guys who are showing real signs of being the future of the NBA. The Luka's, the Zion's, the Tatum's, the Bam's, the Morant's etc. Those are all guys that their franchises pray never play for another team again. Some are at the point in their careers where they are in their first extensions, others are still early but most definitely will be offered max deals. That's not the deal that matters though. The important one is after the rookie extension when these guys can be unrestricted free agents. Just like Giannis was set to be. Getting a second commitment isn't always a slam dunk, and if a player of Giannis' stature was going to make a move, that's the opportunity to do it. To instead stay put is what every team dreams of. These players entered the league so early, they're going to have the opportunity to sign at least 4 contracts with their current teams. For us to get more names to add to that list at the top of this blog, that has to happen.
Wouldn't it be awesome if Luka followed in Dirk's footsteps and played 18 years as a Mav. If Zion did the opposite of Anthony Davis and never left the Pelicans. Tatum being this generation's Paul Pierce only without the trade. That'd be a pretty cool NBA world to live in. Granted these guys could get traded, but usually, that only happens if the team feels like you're a risk to leave.
I'm not saying there shouldn't be any movement. All Stars can move no problem. I'm just talking about these rare franchise guys. You know what I'm talking about. You can be an All Star and not a legit franchise player. The potential MVPs. Those are the ones I hope stay with their current teams forever.
Unless one of them wants to join my favorite team. I want to be very clear about that.