“One of the things when I talk to executives out ther…

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“If he signs that supermax extension this summer and all of the teams that are sort of saving, you know, keeping their ammo dry for 2021 may begin to make action. They tell me this summer’s star movement may be hinged on whether or not Giannis extends or not. If he extends, you’ll all of a sudden see more action.”
There’s little doubt that Giannis Antetokounmpo, reigning and likely repeat MVP, has every reason to stick around in Milwaukee over the long term. The Bucks have a sparkling new downtown arena and a state-of-the-art practice facility, a long way from the state of play when Antetokounmpo arrived—back then, the Bucks were in the mostly moribund Bradley Center and practiced on the grounds of a Catholic Diocese headquarters in St. Francis, a few miles south of Milwaukee.
As one general manager told Heavy.com, “It’s hard to imagine him leaving the situation he is in. It’s a longshot he leaves. They’ve been very confident all along that he will want to stay in Milwaukee. They’ve never acted like a team that was panicking to make things happen.”

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In an effort to keep their star in Milwaukee, the Bucks are expected to offer Giannis Antetokounmpo a supermax contract this summer. "Is he a client you could see staying with one team for his whole career?" asked Zervakis. "Yeah, I think so. Obviously everybody talks about his impending free agency, and I think everything is open," Saratsis said. "I think he's someone who could easily say, 'I'd like to be in Milwaukee my entire career.' I think he's also someone who, depending on how the team does, could say, 'I need a change.' But for him, staying is absolutely a viable option."
"I remember one of his first games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, and it must not have even been 1/3 full," Saratsis said. He acknowledged Giannis probably missed out on some endorsement opportunities playing in one of the NBA's smaller markets, but he said that problem evaporated as Giannis became one of the NBA's best players. "He's not a local superstar, he's not a national superstar, he's a global superstar," Saratsis said.
"He came in as an 18-year old kid who didn't speak the language," Saratsis said. "If you think about it, he grew up and is growing up to be a man in the City of Milwaukee. I think he's always going to appreciate that." "Giannis believes in loyalty, he believes in the people who've been there with him from the beginning, and I think he feels that kinship to the city because they have really helped raise him," he said.
Bucks general manager John Hammond: "There was a max number out there, and that was discussed, discussed internally and externally. And the one thing we asked Giannis to do was take that into consideration as we move forward. Give us every opportunity. We want to become a championship-level team. There’s going to be guys and guys who have done that, players who have given back some. And it’s a little bit of the time, as we move forward, hopefully we’re going to have other guys with the organization willing to do that. Those small pieces can turn into a bigger chunk at some point."
“I want to thank my family for everything they have done all these years and for giving me the opportunity to be here,” said Giannis. “This contract will provide security for them and for my younger brothers. I also want to thank my agents, the Bucks’ owners and the coaching staff for trusting in my talent. ”
“To be honest with you I don’t really feel any of it”, he added when asked if his new contract adds more pressure on him. “I am the only one who can put big pressure on myself. I will continue doing what I’ve done all these years. I will keep working hard and put pressure on myself because I want to be great. I also I want to make my team great, I want to make them a winning team. This is a big step for me and I want to show that I am a leader on and off the court.”
Giannis was spared the blue-chip American system of pampering. He’s been about the work with the Bucks, unrelenting since the moment he arrived in the NBA. He lived through horrific poverty and family illness and the most rudimentary of basketball infrastructures in Greece. Within the shadows of the Acropolis, out on the sidewalks of downtown Athens, Giannis sold pencils and trinkets and plastic sunglasses. For hours and hours as young teens, Giannis and his old brother, Thanasis, had to push themselves to raise money for the dinner table. On the way home, they stopped at the market and grabbed the essentials. Their father worked two jobs, and their mother had a stretch of illness. “We would be out on the street together, selling a toy, a watch, something, and we’d raise $10,” Thanasis told me once. “And that is good, because we didn’t starve today. We’re going to go home. We’re going to have something to eat. And it is a good day.”
Once the Antetokounmpo family arrived in Wisconsin, the Bucks did a marvelous job of making it feel a part of everything there. When it was time to get an extension done this month, Giannis never considered the possibility of messing around as a restricted free agent in 2017. Hammond had always gone the distance for him – all the way back to when he scouted him in Greece – and Giannis has never talked about bigger markets, brighter lights.
The Milwaukee Bucks have reached an agreement with Giannis Antetokounmpo on a contract extension, General Manager John Hammond announced today. The contract will be finalized tomorrow afternoon at a press conference to be held at the recently-launched Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center (WESC) Preview Center.
Q: You're eligible for a contract extension coming up. What are you expecting? By October, you could sign an extension with the Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo: "Hopefully. That was what everyone's been working for, for them to extend me. Hopefully, I stay here 20 years and I get my Greek Freak Day like Kobe [Bryant]."
Antetokounmpo will earn $3 million next season in the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, but it's no secret that he'll be in line for a massive raise in the 17/18 season. The Bucks can offer him an extension of up to five years starting in July, and based on this week's revised 17/18 cap projection of $107 million, Giannis could earn a first year max salary of up to $25 million. With max raises of 7.5% of the first year salary, a five-year deal from the Bucks could be worth approximately $144 million, thus locking in the Bucks' young star as early as July. Otherwise Giannis would become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2017, where the Bucks would have matching rights and other teams could offer up to four years, 4.5% raises and a total package of around $107 million.
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Bulls interested in Matisse Thybulle

The Sixers could look to get off Matisse Thybulle’s contract to create some wiggle room under the luxury tax, which looms large over the team’s offseason, and one team with known interest, according to league sources, is Chicago. Bulls GM Marc Eversley has had a fondness for Thybulle going back to early in his collegiate career at Washington, and was instrumental in pushing the Sixers to acquire him in the 2019 draft.
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The Magic landed the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft thanks to Tuesday’s lottery, and NBA sources say there is virtually no chance they’ll trade off the pick unless it is a package that includes one of the other top-3 picks, as the Celtics did in 2017, trading to No. 3 to take Jason Tatum. That option might be available for the Magic, even if they are unlikely to accept it. “Other than No. 1, I think just about every team is going to be willing to talk about their picks in this draft,” one executive told Heavy. That starts with No. 2 Oklahoma City and No. 3 Houston.

Nuggets president Tim Connelly to meet with Wolves ownership

Nuggets president Tim Connelly is heading to Minnesota this weekend as the next step in the Timberwolves’ recruitment of him, a league source confirmed to The Denver Post. Connelly, who’s overseen the Nuggets since 2013, is planning to meet with Wolves owner Glen Taylor. ESPN first reported the development. With a stable organization, a reigning two-time MVP and a place where his family is comfortable, Connelly has no reason to leave the Nuggets. The only X-factor? Compensation. It’s believed the Timberwolves’ offer is more than double his current salary. Minnesota’s interest didn’t come out of nowhere. In fact, it was discussed when Connelly, team governor Josh Kroenke and coach Michael Malone all went to Serbia to surprise Nikola Jokic with his MVP trophy. News of Minnesota’s interest in poaching Connelly from Denver got out on Wednesday. Publicly, it’s been more than 48 hours since Denver’s ownership has had a chance to counter or ensure Connelly doesn’t even listen to Minnesota’s proposal. Privately, they’ve had far longer than that.
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Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly is traveling to meet with Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor this weekend in the next step in the team’s pursuit to hire Connelly and make him one of the NBA’s highest-compensated executives, sources told ESPN. Connelly has discussed the job extensively with Timberwolves minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez in the past week, and meeting with Taylor is next in the process, sources said.