NBA Rumors: 'Fighting the Warriors' for Giannis 'Not a Focus' for Bucks

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 17: Stephen Curry #30 and Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of Team Giannis high five during the game against Team LeBron during the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on February 17, 2019 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Milwaukee Bucks hope to keep reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo for years to come, and despite a recent report, they are not losing sleep over the Golden State Warriors potentially swooping in at some point in the future.

A Bucks front-office source told Heavy.com's Sean Deveney that the team believes the Warriors rumors may just be hype, not anything with substance:

"Keeping Giannis, it's a focus obviously. But fighting the Warriors is not a focus. The Warriors are not the concern in the least. They'd have a long way to go to get him to Golden State, they'd have to give away a lot. He has never given any indication that he wants to leave Milwaukee. So a lot of that stuff, it is more chatter than anything."

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN recently reported the Warriors are a "big threat" to land the Greek Freak should he hit free agency in 2021:

Shelburne noted that it would be a "difficult construction" for Golden State to make happen. However, she pointed out Antetokounmpo has a good relationship with Warriors star Stephen Curry and the two MVPs share the same agency.

Antetokounmpo has two years and $53.3 million remaining on his contract. Milwaukee is not able to negotiate with the three-time All-Star, but general manager Jon Horst recently made it clear the team intends to put a supermax extension on the table next summer when the league rules permit.

The supermax is estimated to be worth $247 million over five years. Milwaukee can offer more money and more years than any other team after having drafted him in 2013.

Golden State, meanwhile, has four players on max contracts. Curry signed a five-year, $201 million deal in June 2017, while Klay Thompson (five years and $190 million), D'Angelo Russell (four years and $117 million) and Draymond Green (four years and $100 million) all signed nine-figure deals with the team this offseason.

All of those contracts run beyond 2021, when Antetokounmpo is scheduled to hit the open market.

The good news for the Bucks is that their 24-year-old star has already declared his desire to spend his entire career in Milwaukee. 

Antetokounmpo told ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk in July:

"My goal is going to stay the same: It's get better, take it day by day, step by step, and the ultimate goal is to win a championship. As long as that we are all on the same page and we are all focused on that goal, why not play for the Bucks 20 years, why not play 25 years? Why not, after playing, be a member of the coaching staff or a member of the front office? But we got to have the same goal. We got to have the same principles. ... We got to focus on winning a championship.

"I want to be a part of a winning team. As long as we have the same mindset and same approach to the game, there's no reason for me to move and not be like Steph [Curry], not like be like Dirk [Nowitzki] or Kobe [Bryant] or Tim Duncan."

Milwaukee appears to be in good shape to keep the Greek Freak after finishing with an NBA-best 60 wins and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals last season. It's worth remembering, though, that Golden State managed to sway Kevin Durant away from the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 despite OKC coming within one game of the NBA Finals that year.

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