Giannis Antetokounmpo keeps mum on free-agent talk week after Bucks fined for tampering

Cassandra NegleyYahoo Sports Contributor

Giannis Antetokounmpo knows what you’re thinking and he doesn’t want to talk about it.

The reigning NBA MVP told reporters during the Milwaukee Bucks media day on Monday that he wouldn’t be speaking or addressing his free agency during the upcoming season as he says it’s “disrespectful” to teammates.

Via ESPN:

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"I'm not gonna talk about it a lot this season, and I'm not going to try to address it.

“I feel like if you have a great team, and our goal is to win a championship and be the last team standing and get better each day, I think it's disrespectful towards my teammates talking about my free agency and what I'm going through. So, when the time is right, we're all gonna talk about it. I don't think the time is right."

Antetokounmpo is eligible to receive a supermax deal from the Bucks in 2020 following his seventh season. Per ESPN, it would be a five-year, $253.75 million extension. The 24-year-old from Greece has grown into one of the NBA’s biggest stars, becoming the team’s first MVP since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1974 and leading the Bucks to a league-best record. He averaged a career-best 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game in 2018-19.

Milwaukee fans are worried he’ll jump ship for a different team. Per ESPN, other teams could offer only deals worth $90 million less than the Bucks. Though they can offer more in terms of teammates and visibility, if that’s the route Antetokounmpo chooses.

The star’s remarks about putting free agency talk aside come one week after the league fined the Bucks $50,000 for tampering with their own player. Bucks general manager Jon Horst said publicly the team planned to offer Antetokounmpo a supermax offer when he was eligible. The NBA issued the fine since the team committed to the offer “prior to the summer following a player’s seventh season in the NBA,” and therefore broke league rules.

The Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo is staying mum on free agent talk. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
The Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo is staying mum on free agent talk. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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