Giannis Antetokounmpo used an intriguing hashtag to thank Milwaukee Bucks fans and look ahead to next season in a tweet Tuesday night.
Antetokounmpo used the hashtag #ThroughTheWall, echoing what he told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes in asserting he wouldn’t demand a trade from Milwaukee this offseason, with the Warriors — and the rest of the NBA — keeping close tabs on his future with the Bucks.
“Some see a wall and go in [another direction],” the reigning MVP told Haynes after the Miami Heat eliminated the Bucks in the second round of the playoffs on Sept. 8.
“I plow through it. We just have to get better as a team, individually and get right back at it next season.”
Those were clear words about next season, but Antetokounmpo has provided plenty of fodder for those speculating about his long-term future.
The Bucks had the NBA’s best record but failed to make the NBA Finals for the second straight year, leading speculation about Antetokounmpo’s future to reach a fever pitch. Missing from his reported conversation with the Bucks’ brain trust, his interview with Haynes or his tweet Tuesday was any mention about anything beyond next season.
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Antetokounmpo can become a free agent then, and 29 other fan bases will like their odds of landing the star with each passing day they don’t hear anything about him signing the five-year, super-max contract extension he’s eligible for this offseason. Once that offer becomes real at the official start of free agency, Antetokounmpo’s future will appear murkier the longer the extension goes unsigned.
The Warriors have their work cut out for them to acquire Antetokounmpo, regardless of if he demands a trade. With his apparent reiteration he’s not going to do that, that work isn’t getting any easier.