Much to the delight of Bucks fans everywhere, Giannis Antetokounmpo inked a formal commitment to Milwaukee with a 5-year, $228.2 million max contract extension.
To teams hopefully of stealing the 2x MVP for themselves, it was a disappointing moment -- and perhaps more so for the Portland Trail Blazers.
While the Blazers were not among the teams most heavily engaged in Giannis discussions, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes recently pointed out on his podcast that the Greek Freak and the superstar point guard had real discussions about what a partnership might look like. They even had plans to workout together before the start date got moved up to December.
If true, Portland may have been closer to landing Antetokounmpo than we all thought.
If Giannis were to leave Milwaukee, I’m talking about this past summer, before he signed the max extension. If the team didn’t make the necessary moves to make Giannis feel comfortable, I believe there was a team that he would have considered leaving for, and that team is the Portland Trail Blazers. Sources have told me that Giannis and Damian Lillard, they’ve gotten really close over the last few months. And they were talking about working out together.
I want to explain how important that is to everybody. Giannis doesn’t workout with anybody that’s not on his team. He’s turned down working out with LeBron James and turned down being part of the Space Jam 2 movie. He doesn’t do that. Him and Dame were supposed to work out.
I’m trying to be careful how I’m saying this, I don’t want to get to saying it’s recruiting. But sources have told me that both of them were talking with each other about the possibility of what it would look like playing with each other, you know, when their contracts allowed so. I believe Dame was trying to tell Giannis about what it would look like him playing in Portland and same, visa versa, what it would look like him playing in Milwaukee.
A pairing of Giannis and Lillard always seemed like a pipe dream to fans, and maybe that's all it ever was.
But it sounds like, at the very least, Giannis and Dame did float the idea around this offseason before the Bucks star ultimately agreed to his max extension. Had Dame and the 2x MVP been able to have their workout as planned, who knows what might have happened?
Regardless, Blazers fans will have to keep those thoughts in their head.