NBA Insider Reveals a Deeper Motivation Behind Throwing Tampering Accusations on Milwaukee Bucks

Published 12/07/2020, 9:25 AM EST
Sep 6, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) reacts after a play against the Miami Heat during the first half of game four of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The December 21 deadline for Giannis Antetokounmpo to sign his extension is coming closer, and there is still no news about what he’s going to do. This is a cause for concern for the Milwaukee Bucks, because in this case, no news is bad news. If he doesn’t sign the extension, the Bucks will have one year to make sure they show him that they’re a team where he can win.

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Giannis’ landing spot has been the talk of the town ever since the Bucks exited the playoff run with a disappointing loss against Miami Heat. Since then, there have been just mixed signals throughout. On one hand, Giannis has consistently said that Milwaukee is where he belongs. However, as soon as he left the Bubble, he unfollowed all of his teammates on Instagram. Coincidence?

The Bucks know exactly what’s at stake. So, they have worked extremely hard in landing the best players possible this offseason. They signed New Orleans Pelicans‘ star Jrue Holiday, who will definitely be a big upgrade for their roster.

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They aren’t going to stop there either. This was about to be followed with a trade for Atlanta Hawks’ Bogdan Bogdanovic, but another lousy news came knocking, and that possibility came crashing down.

Tampering accusations on the franchise?

When rumors about the Bucks acquiring Bogdanovic started to make rounds, the franchise was accused of tampering, and this ended up killing this opportunity.

According to Jake Fischer, “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.”

Is this a ruse to sabotage the Milwaukee Bucks?

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Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts during the second half against the Orlando Magic in game four of the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at The Field House. Mandatory Credit: Ashley Landis/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

There is a very fascinating fact to this story. The teams involved in filing these complaints are the ones interested in Giannis’ services.

As per Fred Katz and Sam Amick, “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.”

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The reigning MVP is the most wanted asset in 2021. The dominance that the 26-year-old exhibits can change the fate of any franchise he goes to. So, preventing the Bucks to sign a big man will help lessen his chances to re-sign with them. Will they succeed in stealing him away? Or will Giannis show his undying loyalty to the franchise?

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Yashima Bhatia

1227 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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