Giannis Antetokounmpo: 'It's Disrespectful' to Bucks to Talk Future, Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2019

Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo brings the ball up court during the first half of Game 4 of a second round NBA basketball playoff series against the Boston Celtics in Boston, Monday, May 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo was not interested in talking about his future free agency during the team's media day Monday.

As he told reporters, he felt "it's disrespectful" toward his teammates to discuss his future plans when he has two more seasons under contract in Milwaukee:

Antetokounmpo, 24, is due $25.8 million this season and $27.5 million in 2020-21. The Bucks will likely do everything in their power to sign him to a long-term extension before he hits unrestricted free agency, as multiple teams would gladly hop into the bidding for the defending NBA MVP.

General manager Jon Horst already said as much, leading to a $50,000 fine against the organization for tampering.

"For right now, we can't talk or negotiate anything. Giannis, basically a year from now, will be eligible for a supermax extension," he said. "At that time, of course, he'll be offered a supermax extension." 

The 2019-20 season may offer a hint of the Greek Freak's future. If the Bucks don't win a title this season—or at least reach the Finals—the questions will swirl around whether Milwaukee is in a position to build a true title contender around him.

Yes, the Bucks have an excellent supporting cast and blistered teams during the 2018-19 regular season to the tune of an NBA-leading 60 wins. But the team's lack of star power behind him was apparent in the postseason, when the Bucks went up 2-0 on the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals before losing the next four games and watching as the Raptors went on to win the title against an injury-depleted Golden State Warriors.

Can the Bucks win a title if Khris Middleton is their second-best player? Will Eric Bledsoe overcome his postseason woes? How much will the loss of Malcolm Brogdon hurt this team? If Milwaukee can't get past the Philadelphia 76ers and the other Eastern Conference contenders this season, can it offer the Greek Freak his best shot at a title?

Remember, Kevin Durant will return for the Brooklyn Nets at some point, either late this season or in the next. That adds another major hurdle for Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in the East.

Granted, he's talented enough to lead this team to a title, especially if he improves his perimeter shooting. The Bucks could answer all of those questions this season and put to rest any concerns about Antetokounmpo's long-term status with the team.

But until they do, questions about his eventual free agency will persist, whether he chooses to answer them or not.

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