With just one year remaining on Giannis Antetokounmpo's current contract, the pressure is on for the Bucks to prove to their star they can be the place where he wins.
Knowing what's at stake, Milwaukee worked hard to improve their roster this offseason, beginning with a trade that brought in Jrue Holiday. They nearly followed it up with a trade for Bogdan Bogdanovic until leaked information and tampering accusations killed the opportunity.
According to a report by Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, at least one report was filed against the Bucks, exposing them for breaking the NBA's tampering rules.
“At least one rival team filed a formal complaint to the league office Wednesday, sources said. And by that afternoon, the league informed both Milwaukee and Sacramento that it would open an investigation into an alleged sign-and-trade already being agreed to four days before free agency had begun. The league also sent a memo to all 30 teams that afternoon reminding franchises of the NBA’s anti-tampering policies, encouraging teams not to “jump the gun” in contacting players under contract with other teams and warning punishments of up to $10 million and draft-pick forfeiture.”
Interestingly enough, the complaining teams responsible for breaking that Bogdanovic deal are the same ones who are currently in the running for Antetokounmpo's services in the 2021 offseason.
"Other rival teams in the league who are trying to tamper with Giannis were the same ones whistleblowing on the Bucks in the Bogdanovic situation. They just didn't like it because it might improve the Bucks chances of Re-signing Giannis."
Giannis, the reigning NBA MVP, has emerged as one of the most lucrative free-agent targets in 2021. His skillset and dominance, at just 26-years-old, have the power to drastically change the course of any NBA franchise.
So far, no indication has been by Giannis regarding his upcoming decision. In his 7 years in the NBA, Antetokounmpo has preached nothing but loyalty to his current crew. But if they fall short in the playoffs again, it could spell disaster for their chances of keeping him in town long-term.
Needless to say, rival executives are doing whatever they can to ensure he doesn't re-sign in Milwaukee, even if it means playing hardball and whistleblowing to prevent a big signing.