Early last month, Giannis Antetokounmpo saw his second MVP season come to a shocking end at the hands of the Miami Heat. Considering people already questioned whether or not the superstar could win with the small-market team, the Bucks second-round exit in the Orlando Bubble threw the Giannis rumors into overdrive.
The Greek Freak cooled some of the chaos with comments about plans to bounce back next season. However, the real truth will show itself later this offseason, when Antetokounmpo is up for a super-max extension. The Bucks will surely offer him the contract, but if he turns it down with 2021 free agency lurking, NBA teams will have a lot to think about.
Note: Antetokounmpo could also sign a contract with the Bucks next offseason under the same super-max parameters. Waiting, then, could simply mean he makes a little more money because of an increase in the salary cap; however, we’re unsure right now whether or not the salary cap will even see any kind of major increase thanks to the ongoing pandemic. With that in mind, not accepting the supermax extension this offseason would certainly raise major questions about his loyalty to Milwaukee long-term.
One of those teams that reportedly already has the wheels turning is the Dallas Mavericks. On Tuesday, when discussing Mavs’ big man Kristaps Prozingis on ESPN’s The Jump, Brian Windhorst shared that the organization has plans to be aggressive in their pursuit of Antetokounmpo.
“I’m telling you here, the Dallas Mavericks, to me, are going to really be at the head of the front of that line,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on The Jump. “And the big factor is that any free agent, whether it be Giannis or anybody else, they want to have a third star, so Prozingis has to prove he can stay healthy to be that third star.”
When asked about additions Dallas could make this offseason to improve the team, Windhorst doubled-down and said he expects the front office to keep the books clean with Antetokounmpo in mind. We have a long way to go before the Mavs interest should become a major talking point, but it’s certainly something to watch as time goes by. With Luka Doncic as a fellow emerging superstar on the roster, it’s more than fair to assume Antetokounmpo would have at least some interest in joining forces.
Also, if the Mavericks are actively going about their business with Giannis in mind, it could tell us that there is a sense around the league that he really could walk away from Milwaukee. And if that happens to be the case, may I suggest to him a WAY better city that’s just about two hours south? The move would be a piece of cake, and you are already used to the weather! Think about it.
For a full look at what Windhorst had to say, make sure to check out his segment on ESPN: