The Milwaukee Bucks are dealing with the reality that Giannis Antetokounmpo may only be with the franchise for one more season, but they are doing everything they can to assure the reigning NBA MVP that there is no need to chase a championship elsewhere.
Antetokounmpo met with Bucks owner Marc Lasry for three hours on Friday to discuss the direction of the franchise, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. In that meeting, Lasry assured Giannis that the Bucks are willing to spend into the luxury tax this offseason to give him a championship supporting cast. Milwaukee’s payroll for 2020-21 will be close to the $132.7 million luxury tax as is, so they would need to do that in order to add more pieces.
Lasry and Antetokounmpo reportedly discussed some specific roster upgrades that could be made, but they will talk further once Giannis returns from vacation.
Antetokounmpo is eligible to sign a mammoth extension with the Bucks this offseason that will be worth somewhere in the range of $220-250 million over five years. If he doesn’t agree to a max extension, he will be eligible to become a free agent after next season.
The Bucks had the best record in the NBA in the regular season, but their year ended in disappointing fashion. They were dominated by the Miami Heat in five games in the second round of the playoffs. Despite that, they are supposedly planning to stick with their head coach heading into next year.
There has been a lot of talk about Giannis leaving the Bucks given the way they have underachieved, but he emphatically shot that down after they were eliminated. That didn’t stop NBA fans from freaking out over some of his social media activity.
Antetokounmpo’s meeting with Lasry is a good sign for Bucks fans. The relationship between the two appears to be in a good place.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had some NBA fans alarmed due to his Instagram activity.
Someone noticed that Antetokounmpo unfollowed the Milwaukee Bucks and all his Bucks teammates on Instagram.
That set off some concerns, especially among Bucks fans who thought it was a negative sign about Antetokounmpo’s future with Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo is under contract with the Bucks for one more season. Milwaukee wants to sign him to a contract extension, but there are constant talks about him possibly leaving.
On the surface, Antetokounmpo’s Instagram activity might be a concern, but with more context there might not be as much of an issue.
Some people like to cleanse their accounts from time to time. Some have even said that Antetokounmpo did the same thing last offseason too.
And, most importantly, when Milwaukee’s season ended with a playoff series loss to Miami, Antetokounmpo said he wasn’t ditching the Bucks.
Antetokounmpo won NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award and is likely to repeat as NBA MVP.
We’re a year away from Giannis Antetokounmpo’s potential free agency, but teams are already being linked to the Milwaukee Bucks star.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Heat, Warriors, Raptors, and Mavericks are at least interested in making a run at Antetokounmpo in free agency.
Notably, O’Connor adds that multiple league sources believe the Los Angeles Clippers are planning to pursue the Greek superstar. That would give the team a fearsome core of Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George.
O’Connor does note that the Bucks are the “clear favorite” to retain Antetokounmpo when he hits free agency.
The reality is that Antetokounmpo doesn’t seem to want to leave Milwaukee. A lot can change in a year. That’s especially true if he gets to the open market. For now, Milwaukee can feel some encouragement that they’ll be able to retain their star. It looks like plenty of heavyweights are lining up in the event they can’t, though.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has one more season under contract with the Milwaukee Bucks. He could pull a power play and try to force a trade, similar to the way Anthony Davis did. But the reigning NBA MVP has no intention of doing that.
“That’s not happening,” Antetokounmpo told Yahoo’s Chris Haynes in response to talk that he could leave.
Antetokounmpo sat out Tuesday night’s series-ending loss to the Miami Heat due to his ankle injury. He says he intends to stay the course.
“Some see a wall and go in [another direction]. I plow through it. We just have to get better as a team, individually and get right back at it next season,” Antetokounmpo said.
The 103-94 loss to Miami marked the second straight year that Milwaukee was unable to reach the NBA Finals despite having the best overall record in the league. But these circumstances were unusual. There was a three-month break in the season due to the coronavirus, social unrest, and then Antetokounmpo hurt his ankle.
Maybe Antetokounmpo saw some of the backlash Kevin Durant received for leaving the Thunder for the Warriors and wants no part of it. Staying the course and breaking through to win one in Milwaukee would probably do more for his legacy than leaving and winning elsewhere with a team he handpicks full of stars.
The Milwaukee Bucks will have to keep their season alive without their best player.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Bucks have ruled Giannis Antetokounmpo out for Game 5 due to his sprained ankle.
It’s a massive blow for the Bucks, who have their backs against the wall down 3-1. There was some optimism that Antetokounmpo might be able to play at least some role, but that will not be happening.
Giannis scored 19 points in 11 minutes on his injured ankle in Game 4. Then he aggravated the injury and did not return. The Bucks ended up winning in overtime behind a huge game from Khris Middleton and key contributions from the supporting cast. Those players will have to step up again if the Bucks want to force a Game 6.
There is apparently some reason to believe Giannis Antetokounmpo could suit up for the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Bucks are growing optimistic that Antetokounmpo could be ready to play Tuesday. Antetokounmpo’s ankle is said to be feeling similar to how it did prior to Game 4.
While Antetokounmpo aggravated his injury in Game 4, he looked like his usual self before that. He had racked up 19 points in 11 minutes prior to his departure. If his ankle feels like it did while he was able to do that, the Bucks will be hopeful of a repeat performance.
There have been some signs that are less than encouraging regarding Antetokounpo’s potential readiness for Game 4. This, however, is a positive one.
The Milwaukee Bucks pulled off an overtime win over the Miami Heat on Sunday to keep their season alive, and all eyes are now on Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo was dealing with an ankle injury heading into Game 4, and he re-aggravated it early in the second quarter. Giannis shot his free throws after being fouled on the play and then was quickly ruled out with a sprained ankle. He was spotted wearing a walking boot on Monday, though it may have been more for precautionary reasons.
Giannis appeared to be in serious pain after he tweaked his ankle while driving to the basket. You can see the video of the play here.
While Antetokounmpo was already limping before Sunday’s game, he showed no signs of being hampered by the injury at tip-off. The reigning NBA MVP had 19 points in just 11 minutes prior to exiting.
The Heat now lead the Bucks 3-1 in the series, so Antetokounmpo will do everything he can to be ready for Game 5 on Tuesday night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo appeared to aggravate his right ankle injury early in Game 4 between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat on Sunday, and the reigning NBA MVP will not return.
Antetokounmpo landed awkwardly on his right foot while driving to the basket early in the second quarter. He immediately dropped to the floor and clutched his ankle area in pain. He could barely put weight on his right leg when he limped off the court, but he was fouled on the play. Giannis had to return to the game to shoot his free throws, otherwise he would have been automatically ineligible for the remainder.
As it turns out, Antetokounmpo will not return anyway. The Bucks announced that he has been ruled out with a sprained ankle.
Antetokounmpo had 19 points in just 11 minutes prior to exiting. He looked explosive early on after entering the game questionable to play. Giannis expressed a desire to play more minutes after he was limited in Game 3, but he’ll now need his teammates to keep Milwaukee’s championship hopes alive without him.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a game-time decision for Game 4 against the Miami Heat on Sunday because of a right ankle injury. He appeared as explosive as ever early on, but he aggravated the injury in the second quarter.
Antetokounmpo was driving to the basket when he appeared to land awkwardly on his right leg. The Milwaukee Bucks star immediately went to the floor and clutched his ankle in pain.
Here’s another angle:
Giannis was initially helped toward the locker room and was barely able to put weight on his right leg. He was fouled on the play, however, so he had to return to shoot his free throws. Had he not, he would have been ineligible to return.
Antetokounmpo converted one of two free throws before limping off the court. He had 19 points in just 11 minutes prior to exiting.
Giannis played fewer minutes than both Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez in Game 3, which made no sense with the Bucks having lost the first two games of the series. The injury was the most logical explanation. Antetokounmpo expressed a desire to play more minutes after the Bucks lost Game 3.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as questionable for Game 4 of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series with the Miami Heat on Sunday due to a sprained ankle.
Antetokounmpo rolled his right ankle during the first quarter of the Bucks’ Game 3 loss on Friday night. He didn’t play as many minutes as fans expected for an MVP in a critical game, and the ankle injury likely explained it.
Though Antetokounmpo declined to say he was dealing with an injury, he is now questionable for the game. Reporter Tim Reynolds said that Antetokounmpo had a noticeable limp on Saturday.
Milwaukee is already down 3-0 in the series and their star player is injured. The chances of them coming back from down 3-0 was already tough. Now that Giannis also has a sprained ankle that has him limping, their chances of a comeback looks less likely.