Central Notes: Giannis, Bucks, Cavs, Rose, Pistons

The Bucks should still have at least a couple years before they have to start worrying about Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s long-term future in Milwaukee, considering the young star hasn’t even played one game on his new four-year contract with the franchise. Still, recent comments made by Antetokounmpo may stir up a little premature anxiety among Bucks fans.

As Michael D. Sykes of SBNation details, Antetokounmpo was asked recently by a fan about Kevin Durant‘s departure from Oklahoma City, and whether the Bucks star would avoid a similar situation a few years from now.

“A lot of people say they’re going to stay on a team and decide to move to a different team,” the Bucks forward said. “But you guys got to remember: A guy might want to stay on a team, but if the team doesn’t do the right things and the right moves for the player to become great. Because, KD, the reason he wanted to stay in OKC was to win, right? So, they didn’t win the championship. That’s why he decided to leave. So do not hate only the player. Because sometimes it’s not up to the player.”

Antetokounmpo’s statement was probably more of a defense of Durant than a hint at his own future, so there’s little reason to read much into it at this point. But the Bucks’ front office will certainly take note. The club figures to do all it can over the next several years to convince its star player that he can win a title in Milwaukee, and surround him with players capable of helping him do so.

Here’s more from around the Central division:

  • The Bucks continue to explore possible trades involving Greg Monroe and/or John Henson, sources tell Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times. Previous reports indicated that both highly-paid big men were on the block. Within the same piece, Woelfel adds that Milwaukee is expected to name an assistant general manager by the end of the week. That assistant GM will work closely with new GM Jon Horst in the team’s front office.
  • The Cavaliers had interest in Derrick Rose regardless of Kyrie Irving‘s status, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. However, as Wojnarowski writes, the Cavs are starting to engage in trade discussions involving Irving, and the possibility of Rose gaining a more significant role in Cleveland “grows every day.”
  • The Pistons have a new jersey ad sponsor, reaching a deal with Flagstar Bank, per Darren Rovell of ESPN (Twitter link). One third of the league’s teams have now announced jersey sponsorship deals, as our ongoing list shows.
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