Milwaukee Bucks of America’s Nigerian-born star, Giannis Adetokunbo (Antetokounmpo) is at the centre of an off-season tripartite transfer debacle involving his club with Miami Heat and New York Knicks, megasportsarena.com reports.
Dramatically, as part of the transfer speculation, ‘The Greek Freak’ is being speculated with the possibility of replacing fellow-Nigerian-born Notational Basketball Association (NBA) star, Bam Adebayo at Miami Heat.
The Heat though, are facing a fight for Antetokounmpo’s attention, as a cross-section of NBA experts and purist argue that New York Knicks’ coach, Tom Thibodeau would be the perfect egg head to handle the Milwaukee sensation, who plays for the national team of Greece.
A report by Garrett Stepien of SNY further noted: “If Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo hits free agency next offseason, the Knicks have a top competitor to sign him;” while The Athletic’s Shams Charania said that Miami are ‘all in on’ a move for Antetokounmpo, as The Heat aim to plug the hole of a possible exit by Adebayo.
According to Charania, 23-year-old Adebayo could be costly, but The Heat might pass on a new deal with cap room for Antetokounmpo in mind, with cost advantages no being forward as a reason for Miami’s upcoming decisions to make this offseason regarding three free agents.
Antetokounmpo, whose 26th birthday is December 6, enters the final season of a four-year deal worth $100m in 2020-21, while Heat’s current youthful ‘big man’ player, Adebayo is already an extension-eligible player.
While Adebayo is still cutting his teeth as he grows in leaps and bounds, Antetokounmpo is a four-time NBA All-Star selection and has won two consecutive most valuable player (MVP) awards, second of which was this past season’s gong.
In his seventh NBA season, he averaged a career-high 29.5 points and 13.6 rebounds, logging 30.4 minutes over 63 games as the Bucks went 56-17 and, while what he does next is ultimately left to be seen, Antetokounmpo is yet to sign an extension with The Bucks, though his most recent comments appeared to hint at his thoughts on staying put in Milwaukee.
Antetokounmpo, whose top-seeded Bucks lost a five-game series against Miami Heat in the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals, said: “As long as everybody’s on the same page and as long as everybody’s fighting for the same thing, fighting for the same thing every single day, which is to be a champion, I don’t see why not to be in Milwaukee for the next 15 years.”