Although he won’t be eligible for free agency until the summer of 2021, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the subject of several rumors over the past few weeks. These rumors, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, have suggested that he could end up with teams such as the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers. But even with the prospect of two potential powerhouses jockeying for his services two summers from now, the “Greek Freak” remains unfazed by all the talk, as he recently admitted that he doesn’t find it appropriate to talk about his future with all that time remaining before his contract expires.
As quoted by Bleacher Report, Antetokounmpo addressed the free agency rumors surrounding him during the Bucks’ media day on Monday, as he let reporters know that he finds it “disrespectful” to his teammates to talk about his plans for the 2021 free agency period. The 2018-19 NBA MVP added that while the “time is not right,” he would rather not discuss his contract too often when asked about it.
Despite the presence of the Lakers and Warriors as two potential suitors for Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are expected to do what they could to sign the superstar forward to a long-term contract extension — preferably a supermax deal — before his current deal expires. Per the terms of his contract, the 24-year-old Antetokounmpo will be making $25.8 million and $27.5 million respectively in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
“For right now, we can’t talk or negotiate anything. Giannis, basically a year from now, will be eligible for a supermax extension,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said in September. “At that time, of course, he’ll be offered a supermax extension.”
Per Bleacher Report, the above comments from Horst earned Milwaukee a $50,000 fine from the NBA, due to a violation of the league’s anti-tampering policies.
With the 2019 NBA media days fast approaching, look back at
Giannis Antetokounmpo during his first NBA media day in 2013 ???????? pic.twitter.com/dZx057xD6w
— NBA UK (@NBAUK) September 26, 2019
Talking about the Bucks’ chances of re-signing Antetokounmpo and preventing him from bolting via free agency in 2021, Bleacher Report observed that the team will need to improve on its 2018-19 campaign, where Milwaukee won a league-best 60 regular-season games but lost to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals. According to the outlet, this loss – which saw Milwaukee blow a 2-0 series lead – exposed the Bucks’ “lack of star power” behind their top player.
As Bleacher Report added, last year’s failure to make the NBA Finals could put the pressure on the Bucks to give Antetokounmpo a strong supporting cast before next season. While the likes of Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Eric Bledsoe are returning to Milwaukee for the 2019-20 season, the team notably lost point guard Malcolm Brogdon in this summer’s free agency period, as he opted to join their Central Division rivals, the Indiana Pacers, via a sign-and-trade deal.