NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Rudy Gobert

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 1, 2020

NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Anthony Davis, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Rudy Gobert

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    The NBA's blink-and-you-missed-it 2020 offseason is done.

    Training camps open on Tuesday—yes, already—as the Association motors toward its Dec. 22 start date. While that has accelerated the roster-building process, there are still decisions to make, contracts to sign and rumors to break down.

    We're here to do the latter with the latest buzz on the rumor mill.

Bucks Confident Giannis Will Sign Supermax

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    The Milwaukee Bucks are giving Giannis Antetokounmpo reasons to consider committing his future to the Badger State.

    The first is a roster that just helped secure the Association's best record for the past two seasons. The second is the offseason enhancements to said roster, highlighted by the arrival of two-way standout guard Jrue Holiday.

    The next is yet to come by way of a five-year, $228 million supermax extension offer, which can be signed between now and Dec. 21. That discussion could be taking place in short order now that the two-time MVP is back stateside after visiting his native Greece.

    "The expectation that the team has is that they will meet with him in the next few days to discuss his contract extension," ESPN's Brian Windhorst said. "... It's hanging over the Bucks, but the Bucks are confident he's going to sign it."

    The Bucks, of course, have to express confidence in an agreement, because losing him would be a crushing blow that could take years to recover from. Saying that, it's a metric ton of money from a team Antetokounmpo has already enjoyed substantial success with.

    It feels more likely than not he'll put pen to paper, but until the ink dries, this is a situation the entire hoops world will be watching.

Anthony Davis Might Be Monitoring Giannis' Decision

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Anthony Davis entered this offseason as the top free agent available, and even with so many dominoes dropping around him, he remains atop the unsigned player pool.

    That doesn't mean the Los Angeles Lakers are in any danger of losing him, but rather he's still mulling over the best type of contract offer to take. His situation, like so many others in the NBA, could be hinging on the outcome of Antetokounmpo's decision.

    "It's led people in the league to wonder if he is waiting to see what Giannis does with his contract," Windhorst told ESPN's SportsCenter. "The reason this is interesting...is that the Lakers only have two contracts on their books for just $15 million. ... If Anthony Davis builds his new contract with an opt-out clause, they could have anything on the table—they could go chasing after free agents, whether it's Giannis or not."

    The league just received a firsthand glimpse of how lethal the Lakers were with Davis and LeBron James leading their roster. If they could build a Big Three with those two and Antetokounmpo...good luck.

Rudy Gobert, Jazz 'Actively' Dicussing Contract Extension

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    Antetokounmpo isn't the only decorated hooper mulling an extension offer that could have dramatic implications for the 2021 offseason. Rudy Gobert, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, is up for his own new deal.

    The interior anchor and the Utah Jazz are "actively talking" about an extension, per The Athletic's Tony Jones, but the number could be harder to pin down.

    Unlike Antetokounmpo, Gobert is not an automatic supermax candidate. He can dominate the defensive end and ranks among the league's most feared rim protectors, but his offensive game is limited. He has yet to make a three-point shot (and only attempted three across seven seasons), and his career 63.1 free-throw percentage fails to generate any hope of expanded range in the future.

    Elite defenders can still command a fortune—Gobert is almost a top-10 defense on his own—but the holes in his offensive arsenal could bring his contract value below the max line. That doesn't mean he'll accept less than the max, though, which could paint the Jazz into a tricky corner.

    Letting the 28-year-old walk for nothing might be disastrous, but overpaying him isn't exactly an ideal solution. A contract rate a level below the max rate might make for a smart compromise, but it's hard to tell how interested either party would be in such an arrangement.

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