Giannis Says He’s Not Looking To Leave Milwaukee

In the wake of the Bucks‘ second-round elimination at the hands of the Heat, speculation about Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s future in Milwaukee will begin to ramp up. However, the star forward tells Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that he has no intention of asking to be traded as he prepares to enter the final year of his current contract.

“It’s not happening. That’s not happening,” Antetokounmpo said. “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.”

While his comments to Haynes conveyed his commitment to Milwaukee in stronger terms, Antetokounmpo also hinted during his post-game media session on Tuesday night that he has no plans to leave the Bucks, as Eric Nehm of The Athletic relays (via Twitter).

“Hopefully we can learn from this and get better as a team,” Giannis said. “… Hopefully we can build a culture in Milwaukee for many years that we can come out here and compete every single year for a championship.”

The Bucks have had the NBA’s best regular-season record in each of the last two seasons, but were eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago by Toronto after taking a 2-0 lead in the series. This time around, the fifth-seeded Heat knocked them out in the Eastern Semifinals in a near-sweep, raising more questions about the Bucks’ ability to win in the postseason — and about whether Giannis might be looking for an exit ramp.

[RELATED: Heat, Raptors viewed as top suitors for Giannis Antetokounmpo]

Although he won’t be eligible for free agency until 2021, Antetokounmpo will be eligible this offseason for a super-max contract extension. The value of that five-year offer is in flux due to the uncertainty surrounding the NBA’s salary cap going forward, but the deal would be significantly more valuable than what any rival suitor can offer him as a free agent, and the Bucks plan to put it on the table as soon as they can.

Even if Antetokounmpo doesn’t immediately accept that offer, that doesn’t mean his days in Milwaukee will be numbered. Multiple sources are adamant that the Bucks wouldn’t trade Giannis even without an extension, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, who suggests the club would instead focus on convincing the reigning MVP to stay.

Whether or not Giannis re-ups with the Bucks when he becomes extension-eligible, general manager Jon Horst figures to exhaust every possibility when it comes to upgrading the roster this fall. Marc Stein of The New York Times tweets that some rival teams believe Milwaukee will look into trading for point guard Chris Paul if the Thunder make him available.

Antetokounmpo’s future will almost certainly be one of the hottest topics of the NBA offseason, but he’s not entertaining the speculation for now, telling Haynes that he’s focused on getting his sprained ankle healthy and getting back to work.

“If winning a championship was easy, everyone would have one,” Giannis said to Haynes. “We lost. Everyone saw that we lost. It’s disappointing, but what are we going to do? We’re going to keep working. I’ve got confidence in my teammates.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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45 thoughts on “Giannis Says He’s Not Looking To Leave Milwaukee

  1. He ain’t leaving. Even if he doesn’t sign the supermax, he’ll do some LeBron/KD-type 1+1 deals. Cool your jets Heat, Raptors, and Warriors fans.

      • ahale224

        He said sign the supermax, not get it. I think he’s saying he’ll insist on one year deals to push the organization in the directions he wants so he can walk if they don’t.

        • harden-westbrook-mvps

          The Bucks are probably too cheap (being a small-market team) to offer it to him in the first place, but if they do why would he not take it? No one else can give him a supermax deal, so he will lose millions going to another team.

          • x%sure

            HWM, they’ve already overpaid Bledsoe and Middleton and soared past the cap, so “cheap” is not the word for the FO.
            Anyway to claim they will not offer Giannis the maxiest max they can is dumb. Everyone has the same cap.
            The OP point was based on a 1+1 contract being a better choice for a player (possibly).

    • Look up the word “diplomacy.” That’s all this is. His team just got bounced he’s not about to say that he wants out now. That would be insensitive and undiplomatic. He’s not a moron.

    • FloridaMan1988

      I think its all talk by him….he has to play another year in MIL he isn’t gonna make waves

  2. Not surprised. Despite the so-called reports, I never saw him demanding a trade. Not in his nature. Unless the super max is compromised value-wise, I expect him to sign it and put an end to the nonsense.

      • How many superstars are immigrants who lived outside? Giannis’ agent may have something to say about it, but Giannis is his own man. He doesn’t come across as money-hungry.

      • Many have. But how many left a team with the best record in the league two years running, because of a playoff loss? How many had the type of relationship with their franchise and city that GA has? How many had GA’s character? It’s not impossible, but listening to the player over the last couple of years, it’s extremely unlikely and would have to involve things not yet in play.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      They have to offer him a supermax deal before he can sign it.

      • Of course they’ll offer it. The issue with signing it may be that determined off the 2021 cap, it might be far less than it’s been or will be in 2022. Aside from that, he’ll sign it.

  3. GoLandCrabs

    Giannis can thank George Hill for the early exit. He sucked the life out of the team leading an improv boycott and getting crazy ideas in their head about how they should not be playing. Bucks were distracted and it showed.

    • George Hill has always left a lot to be desired. He sat out crucial playoff games with the Jazz because he had a sore toe. Not a sprained ankle not anyting in the knee but his toe. Get a shot or something and suck it up and play ball.

      • imindless

        George hill is an ass. There’s a reason he bounces around from team to team.

    • x%sure

      Actually the original forfeit idea was appropriate and much better than the sit-down it spiralled into.
      IDK the details of what Hill wanted but to not have to compete while doing it, is however right up Hill’s alley.
      Sterling Brown is a blocked-up ass. He should go but the FO probably doesn’t think they’re allowed do that with a legal case so-called “open”.

  4. Definitely refreshing seeing a star player not looking to jump ship to build a super team. Paul would definitely be an upgrade over Bledsoe but depths already a problem with this team. Plus if keeping Brogdan was a financial problem then I don’t see them going for Paul’s contract

      • xxtremecubsguy89

        Why would anyone want to play for Houston knowing they’re gonna get bounced in the second round every year?

      • Brown Trout Fisherman

        Donovan signs with sixers, trades back ok 1st rounder (21) and horford for Paul

      • afsooner02

        Why did your team want Russ’s same contract with longer terms than Paul’s? Thunder are done in 2 years with cp3 and might even trade him. You’re stuck with RW.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        95 mill . Only Bucks n Sixers cause they could win two rings. Why else. Nobody is going to pay that for mediocrity.

  5. C-Daddy

    I’m pretty sure Kevin Durant said something similar about OKC before he left for the Warriors in 2016. Remember when Kyrie publicly said he wanted to re-sign with Boston? This means nothing.

  6. El Don

    Great news!!! Can’t wait until he signs the super max & all the sad fans around the league that can only dream of having a player like Giannis in their team will just stop with all the nonsense… specially all the trades that gives 2 cents to the buck for him!

      • x%sure

        Maybe cesc was referring to Curtisrowe lol
        Dear Curtis, Giannis will return!!! And again & again!!! After all his contract will require it.

  7. hoosierhysteria

    Larry bird traded Kawai Leonard for George Hill! Ouch. Hill got bucks distracted. Bucks should have kept Brogdon!

    • HailRodgers12$

      So Brogdon could miss 1/3 of the season for them..again? While making $20 mil. I thought only players previously or currently coached by Pop, or true superstars, got load management-based contracts.

    • x%sure

      Brogdon actually looks like what the team needs… IF he’s healthy… to get them back to how they did it before!!!
      Turns out in this shortened year he was healthy for the playoffs. Next year will probably be shortened also. Bad Buck luck.

      Bucks need a smart-type guard. They’ve been encouraging DiVencenzio, but he’s more of a side-door kind of guy.
      Giannis hasn’t really paired with anyone oncourt, probably to his preference, but not to anyone’s advantage.

      A Bledsoe-Brogdon trade is theoretically possible… Pacers didn’t like Brogdon at PG either, they have Oladipo, and Aaron Holiday will not likely to ever be better than Bledsoe. Bledsoe could take more heat off Dipo, or anyone, and play better defense.

        • x%sure

          Supposedly Dipo is unhappy there… IDK… they may be changing coaches for him, or somebody.

          O think there will be more offseason trading than usual as the camp environment brought things to a head.

  8. KnickerbockerAl

    The personality Giannis seems to have. I believe loyalty means something to him. He won’t run out on Bucks. So forget all the FA stuff. A max with Bucks is an extra 100 mill. Only way he leaves is cause he wants to go. Then I’m sure he’d do a sign n trade. To not hurt Bucks. He wants to become biggest thing in the world. He goes to NY. Or a big market. But you gotta have pieces to get him. I don’t see him leaving this time. He will be 31 on next contract. If he signs 5 yr deal. Bucks need to reshape team. And IMO they need a new coach.

    • He’s buddies with Steph Curry. They’ll talk about business ventures together and life after basketball. Plenty of Investments and business opportunities in the Bay Area. Tech stuff and start ups.

    • Somebody will remind him the famous words of Kevin Garnett. “I shouldn’t have stayed in Minnesota that long and I regret it.”

      Someone else will point out LeBron James and how he’s a mover and shaker and creating a brand. He stayed in Cleveland 8 years I think the first time. That’s plenty of time to dedicate to the team drafting you and taking a chance on you Etc. Move on explore the world try different things. Go to Miami go to LA go to San Francisco get out of Milwaukee there’s a world to see out there. Contacts to make friends to meet.

      • x%sure

        Well he’s already in America.
        I was watching a game feed from Toronto and it was amazing how often the word Canada was used in commercials. America is not utilized so much but it is a big deal world wide.

        Of course if he’s traded none of that matters!
        If Miami dealt Adebayo, Herro, Dunn & Olynyk, which matches, they would still have Butler, Robinson, Iguodala, Silva & Okpala, and probably Crowder, Dragic, Leonard & Jones, because they could offer money more confidently after getting Giannis.
        That would be hard to turn down.

      • El Don

        Oh boy, now quoting guys that quit their team to make your point! Anything that fits the narrative, right?

        • But that’s the thing they DIDN’T QUIT their teams. Garnett stayed 11 years or so right? LeBron stayed 8 years or so.. that’s not quitting the team.

          What are you even talking about?

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