Photo: Peter Baba

After a disappointing playoff exit last season, the Milwaukee Bucks’ acquisition of Damian Lillard aimed to fortify their lineup alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo.

With the Bucks seeded third in the East, uncertainty looms over Giannis’s availability due to a calf injury as they face the Indiana Pacers in the first round.

NBA insider Brian Windhorst suggests that another early playoff exit could cast doubt on Giannis’s future with the team.

“If they lose in the first round – and that’s a big statement right there number one – if they lose in the first round, the first person you’re worried about isn’t Dame. It’s Giannis,” he said on ESPN’s Get Up. “You want to make sure Giannis is still committed.

“And also when you talk about this first round, you got to worry about where Giannis’ calf is, if he’s going to be a 100%. But if they go down in the first round again, they have a disappointment back-to-back years, I’m not sure where Giannis is going to be.

“But no matter what happens this is a flawed roster. Clearly the panacea that they thought Dame Lillard was going to be wasn’t the case. They’re going to have to make changes one way or another. And they’ve basically mortgaged their entire draft in the future, so they’re going to have to get creative. And I do think it’s possible that Dame could be looked at. But you got to make sure Giannis is committed to it first.”

Despite Giannis signing a three-year extension with the Bucks earlier this season, speculation about his future persists if the team fails to meet expectations in the postseason.