Now that their season is over, the Bucks will shift their focus to free agency, as several of the team’s key contributors don’t have contracts for the 2019/20 season. Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is locked up through 2020/21, said today in his end-of-season session with reporters that he doesn’t want to get involved in front office decisions, but he hopes Milwaukee can re-sign all of its top free agents (Twitter link via Matt Velazquez of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
“Obviously, I want everybody back,” Antetokounmpo said, per Malika Andrews of ESPN.com. “Great fricking team — unselfish players that play basketball the right way. They’re winners. We had a great atmosphere. We didn’t have no — I want to be polite. I want to say the A-word — we didn’t have no buttheads. Obviously, I want everybody back. I’m going to let my teammates know that.”
Khris Middleton, perhaps the Bucks’ most important free-agent-to-be, spoke today about having unfinished business with Giannis and the Bucks as a whole, tweets Velazquez. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee he’ll be back though. As Andrews tweets, Middleton said that his top two priorities will be what’s best for his family, followed by his fit.
Here’s more on the Bucks:
- Although Antetokoumpo was disappointed not to win the Eastern Conference Finals, he’s confident that the Bucks are in position to make more noise in the playoffs in future seasons. “I think it’s just the start of a long journey,” Antetokounmpo said after Saturday’s loss, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “We’re going to get better. We’re going to come back next year and believe in who we are, believe in what we’ve built this year, and hopefully, we can be in the same situation and be the ones moving forward.”
- Prior to the end of the Eastern Finals, Gery Woelfel of Woelfel’s Press Box wrote that some NBA officials believe the Bucks are eager – or even “desperate” – to dump Tony Snell‘s contract. Snell is owed $11.59MM in 2019/20 and $12.38MM in 2020/21. “I think the only way they can move him is if they package him with a pick,” one NBA executive told Woelfel. “But [the Bucks have] already traded two [future] No. 1s, so that won’t be easy to do that, either.”
- It will be interesting to see how imperative it is for the Bucks to move off of Snell’s deal. If Milwaukee re-signs Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, and Brook Lopez (or Nikola Mirotic) to lucrative contracts, getting rid of Snell’s money could help the team avoid the tax. But if even one of those players departs, keeping Snell on their books for another year may not hurt the Bucks.