Don’t expect the Dallas Mavericks to be very active in free agency this off-season.
That’s because, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Mavs are going to be the leading contender for reigning two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Greek Freak’s contract runs out in a year and at that point he will become an unrestricted agent and the most in-demand names in the league.
The Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors have all been floated as potential suitors.
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Windhorst, however, reports Dallas will be ahead of all of them.
Giannis Antetokounmpo will become an unrestricted free agent in 2021.Source:AFP
“We talked a few minutes ago about how the Miami Heat are a team that a lot of people look at as trying to get Giannis Antetokounmpo out of Milwaukee,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s The Jump.
“Well, I’m telling you here, the Dallas Mavericks, to me, are going to be really at the front of that line. The big factor is that any free agent, whether it’s Giannis or anybody else, they want to have a third star. So, (Kristaps) Porzingis has to prove he can be healthy to be that third star.”
It is quite the scary prospect for the rest of the NBA — the idea of Antetokounmpo joining Luka Doncic and Porzingis would see them surge to title favouritism.
Giannis has spoken in the past about his desire to remain at Milwaukee and the Bucks have already started moving towards convincing him to stay.
“It’s not happening. That’s not happening,” he told Yahoo Sports after their season-ending loss to the Heat.
“Some see a wall and go in (another direction). I plough through it. We just have to get better as a team, individually and get right back at it next season.”
He was saying everything that a Bucks fan would want to hear but talk about his future is bound to continue regardless.
Giannis Antetokounmpo carried the Bucks. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFPSource:AFP
Milwaukee have already tried to get on the front foot too to stave off any potential competitors.
One of the key ways to convince him to stay, if there is any doubts, is to make it clear that the Bucks are committed to giving him the help he needs so that their success does not rest so heavily on his shoulders.
Co-owner Marc Lasry held a three-hour lunch meeting with him during September where he reportedly told Antetokounmpo that he would spend money to surround him with big-name pieces that can help take the Bucks to a championship.
ESPN reported that in addition to this, Milwaukee will offer him a “supermax deal” worth 35 per cent of the Bucks’ cap, expected to sit around a figure of $220 million ($A307m) to $250 million ($A350m) over five years.
The Mavericks, on the other hand, are expected to only be able to offer between $150 million ($A210m) and $170 million ($A237m) over four years.
It would have a flow-on effect on the rest of the roster with Porzingis, who is currently on a five-year, $158 million ($A220m) deal while Doncic earns $8 million ($A11.2m) for the 2020-21 season.
That figure increases to $10.2 million ($A14.2m) the following year and a qualifying offer of $13.3 million ($A18.6m) the year after to stop him becoming a free agent.
Originally published asNBA superstar’s scary $237m move
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