Giannis Antetokounmpo asserted that he’s not going anywhere heading into the last year of his contract after the Miami Heat eliminated the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semi-finals of the NBA playoffs on Tuesday.
Reigning MVP and winner of the KIA Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo, is slated to be a free agent after the 2020-21 NBA season and could send a wake-up call to all franchises who’ll be wanting his signature.
The Bucks will offer Antetokounmpo a supermax contract when eligible later this year, a deal that could be worth $220 million – about $80 million more than he could get with another team as a free agent in 2021.
“Some see a wall and go in [another direction]. I plow through it. We just have to get better as a team, individually and get right back at it next season.”
He has proven himself as the best player in the NBA from October till the end of the regular season. He had one of the league’s best statistical seasons, averaging 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists in just over 30 minutes per game.
In addition to the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors, the Warriors have also been linked to Antetokounmpo, but Golden State would have a much tougher time clearing the cap space necessary to sign him. The Warriors wouldn’t have the benefit of an unprecedented cap spike like when Kevin Durant was signed.
The Bucks chose to give Eric Bledsoe a four-year, $70 million extension during last season – a move that effectively meant they chose him over Malcolm Brogdon. Although Bledsoe is one of the league’s best defensive guards, earning a second consecutive All-Defensive Team selection before Game 5, he has repeatedly disappointed in the playoffs, including in the series vs the Miami Heat, in which he shot 16-for-48 (33%) overall and 3-for-14 from 3-point range.
According to Second Spectrum, Giannis Antetokounmpo allowed opposing All-Stars to shoot 31.9% in the halfcourt this season as the closest defender. That's the best in the NBA among 228 players to defend 40+ attempts. pic.twitter.com/cO8HQwGJla
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 2, 2020
“If winning a championship was easy, everyone would have one, we lost. Everyone saw that we lost. It’s disappointing, but what are we going to do? We’re going to keep working. I’ve got confidence in my teammates.” Antetokounmpo told Yahoo Sports.
This season’s team, however, was unable to make it back to the conference finals. Although the Bucks have had the best record in regular season, they seemed to go off the boil in the all-important playoffs.
Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo will be hoping to recover from the ankle he re-injured in Game 4 vs the Heat. He will be looking to work harder in offseason and aim to win his first NBA ring next season.
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