Mavericks Making Serious Push For Giannis Antetokounmpo

Mavericks Making Serious Push For Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo is committed to the Milwaukee Bucks for one more season. Past that, it is anyone’s guess whether the organization will be able to hold on to him.

What is known for certain is that a lot of teams will step up and try to steal the reigning MVP away.

During an appearance on The Jump this week, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst confirmed that Dallas is preparing to make a very serious push for Antetokounmpo’s services.

“The Dallas Mavericks are gonna be at the head of the line in pursuing Giannis,” Windhorst said.

“They want to have a 3rd star.”

According to Windhorst, the Mavericks will proceed to make moves over the next season and change with a possible Antetokounmpo signing in mind.

“They want to keep their books clear for 2021,” he added.

“I wouldn’t expect them to add any major free agents this year. They’re going to wait.”

The Mavericks are in an interesting financial place right now. If Tim Hardway Jr. accepts his player option, the organization will owe roughly $108 million next season. The following year, however, he, Boban Marjanović, Justin Jackson and Willie Cauley-Stein all come off the books.

Currently, Dallas only has $84 million committed in 2021-22.

The prospect of grouping Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis is obviously appealing on multiple levels. This year’s competitive first round series with the Los Angeles Clippers showed that the Mavericks were legit, now they just need to add a few more pieces to go from playoff mainstay to true contender.

Aside from the obvious benefits of signing someone with Antetokounmpo’s skill set, picking him up would also right a past wrong.

Back in 2017, team owner Mark Cuban lamented about how they as an organization had let Antetokounmpo slip through their fingers.

“It was me. Donnie [Nelson] was like, ‘OK, I’m putting my you-know-whats on the table.’ He was doing the Sam Cassell, Nick Van Exel dance. … It’s all in,” he said during an interview on Sirius XM Radio.

“And I’m like, ‘Donnie, we have this plan.’ Because even as good as the Greek Freak has turned out to be, he was still three years away, and we wanted to try to get somebody who could help get us to the top right there and then. Didn’t turn out that way, it is what it is, that happens.”

That year, Dallas had the 13th pick in the 2013 NBA draft and opted to take Kelly Olynyk out of Gonzaga. They ultimately traded his rights to the Boston Celtics.

In retrospect, not the greatest of moves.

How legitimate of a threat are the Mavericks to truly steal Antetokounmpo away from the Bucks? It is debatable. Up to this point, Antetokounmpo has said all the right things about being loyal to the franchise that drafted him.

That said – there is a limit to talk of that sort. If Milwaukee fails in the playoffs again next season the way they did this year, then everything is up for debate. Antetokounmpo will no doubt listen to all the offers presented and then choose the one best for him.

As of now, the smart money is still on Antetokounmpo remaining with the Bucks long-term. But if things go badly next year, all bets are off.

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Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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