MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo met with Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry on Friday to discuss the future of the franchise, Yahoo Sports reported.
Earlier Saturday, Antetokounmpo unfollowed hundreds of people on social media, including the team and his teammates on Twitter and Instagram.
Antetokoumnpo is one year away from free agency and has said he would not force a trade.
Antetokounmpo, a favorite to repeat as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, becomes eligible for a supermax extension when the offseason begins and has one season remaining on the four-year, $100 million deal he signed in 2016.
The Bucks are all but certain to offer him such a deal, believed to be worth approximately $220 million over five years, but whether Antetokounmpo will accept an extension is unknown and the subject of much speculation.
So far, Antetokounmpo has said nothing to suggest he’s looking for an exit. He’s repeatedly expressed a desire to remain in Milwaukee, which selected him with the 15th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, and offered a similar assurance immediately after Game 5.
“It’s not happening. That’s not happening,” Antetokounmpo said in response to a question asking if he would request a trade. “Some see a wall and go in (another direction). I plow through it. We just have to get better as a team, individually and get right back at it next season.”
That topic will undoubtedly define both the Bucks’ immediate and long-term futures and while the window for negotiating a deal is small, it’s a topic the Bucks will deal with another day.
Antetokounmpo suggested the Bucks’ bubble failure can be a learning experience moving forward, just as the team learned from its collapse after taking a 2-0 lead against the Toronto Raptors in last year’s Eastern Conference finals.
“Nobody’s going to be happy for the outcome that we had in our playoff run,” Antetokounmpo said. “At the end of the day, you got to learn from everything that goes on in your life and in your career. Hopefully, we can learn from this and get better as a team and come back and hopefully we can build a culture in Milwaukee for many years that we can come out here and compete every single year for a championship.”