Giannis to be offered supermax contract in 2020

This should come as a surprise to nobody. Milwaukee Bucks general manager Jon Horst said they will “of course” offer Giannis Antetokounmpo a supermax contract extension in 2020.

Giannis is coming off an MVP season. He averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals last year. The Bucks came two wins short of reaching the NBA Finals. They are the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference this season.

In 2014, Giannis made it very clear he plans to stay in Milwaukee.

He has remained consistent with his feelings on the city and his desire to win a championship with the Bucks. We’ll have to wait and see what happens but as of now you can expect Giannis to stay in Milwaukee for the foreseeable future.

Bucks 2019-20 schedule released

The start of the 2019-20 NBA season is getting closer and closer. The Milwaukee Bucks have high expectations after coming two wins short of an NBA Finals appearance last season.

On Monday afternoon, Milwaukee announced their schedule for the 2019-20 campaign. The Bucks will begin their season on the road against James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets on Oct. 24.

Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat will come to town on Oct. 26 for the Bucks home opener.

The Bucks’ longest road trip of the season is a pair of four-game sets. Their longest homestand is also two different four-game sets.

Milwaukee is also getting a ton of national respect, as they should. Also, their Christmas Day game against the Philadelphia 76ers will tip off at 1:30pm on ABC.

You can see the full schedule on the Bucks website here.

Bucks to play 76ers in Philadelphia on Christmas Day

For the sixth time in franchise history and second straight year, the Milwaukee Bucks will be featured on Christmas Day.

Last December, the Bucks played their first Christmas Day game since 1977 in New York against the Knicks. They’ll travel out east again next season to take on the 76ers in Philadelphia. It’s great the Bucks are back playing on X-mas, but it would’ve been nice to see them host.

The matchup features two of the best players in the NBA. The reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo and center Joel Embiid are set up to have a classic battle. As for the two teams, the Bucks and 76ers are expected to be the top two competing for a trip to the NBA Finals.

There are five total games being played on the Christmas Day slate. In addition to the Bucks playing the 76ers, the day will feature four other marquee games | The Los Angeles Lakers vs Los Angeles Clippers, the New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets, the Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors and the Houston Rockets at the Golden State Warriors.

The Bucks are 3-2 all-time on December 25th. The defeated the Knicks 109-95 on Christmas last season. The full NBA schedule is expected to be released in a few weeks.

Bucks top regular season win totals at Ceasars Sportsbook

Thanks to an NBA offseason full of player movement, the NBA is left without a clear-cut title favorite for the first time in a long time. There seems to be no more “super team” like the Golden State Warriors over the last several seasons | Or, the LeBron James led Miami Heat. Multiple teams have a chance to compete for a title.

Caesars Sportsbook did their best to predict how the regular season will play out by posting their win totals for each team. The Milwaukee Bucks are at the top of the list with 57.

The Bucks are coming off an NBA best 60-win season and are the favorites in the Eastern Conference heading into the 2019-20 season. The Philadelphia 76ers are second in the east at 54.5.

The Los Angeles Clippers lead the Western Conference at 55.5. The Utah Jazz have the second highest win total out West with 52.5. The Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets are each at 52. Also, the Los Angeles Lakers opened at 51.5.

Check out each team’s win total below:

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

Atlanta Hawks 36
Boston Celtics 49½
Brooklyn Nets 47
Charlotte Hornets 24
Chicago Bulls 30½
Cleveland Cavaliers 24
Dallas Mavericks 41
Denver Nuggets 52
Detroit Pistons 37½
Golden State Warriors 47
Houston Rockets 52
Indiana Pacers 48½
LA Clippers 55½
LA Lakers 51½
Memphis Grizzlies 25½
Miami Heat 43½
Milwaukee Bucks 57
Minnesota Timberwolves 35
New Orleans Pelicans 39
New York Knicks 27
Oklahoma City Thunder 28
Orlando Magic 40½
Philadelphia 76ers 54½
Phoenix Suns 27
Portland Trail Blazers 47½
Sacramento Kings 37
San Antonio Spurs 43½
Toronto Raptors 45
Utah Jazz 52½
Washington Wizards 28½

Bucks announce their preseason schedule

The return of Milwaukee Bucks basketball isn’t that far away. Coming off a 60-win season which included a trip to the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, the Bucks will open the preseason of their 2019-20 campaign against the division rival Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Oct. 7.

The Bucks will play a total of five preseason games, including two at Fiserv Forum.

Check out the full schedule below. The regular season schedule will be announced later.

Oct. 7 at Chicago Bulls, 7 p.m.

Oct. 9 vs. Utah Jazz, 7 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Dallas Mavericks, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 13 at Washington Wizards, 6 p.m.

Oct. 17 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 7 p.m.

Bucks reportedly add Kyle Korver

Milwaukee has added another shooter to its roster.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Bucks have signed veteran Kyle Korver to a one-year deal.

The veteran wing played in Cleveland and Utah last season, averaging 8.6 points per game. A career 42.9-percent 3-point shooter, Korver shot 39.7-percent at his two stops last year.

Korver will reunite with coach Mike Budenholzer, who he played under during his four-and-a-half years in Atlanta. That included the 2014-15 season when Korver earned his lone All-Star nod.

In addition to Korver, the Bucks have reportedly agreed to a two-way contract with guard Frank Mason. He was with Sacramento the past two seasons. Two-way deals allow a player to play with their NBA team for a limited number of games, while also playing with the organization’s G-League affiliate.

Milwaukee now has 14 of its 15 roster spots filled and both of its two-way contracts.

Free agent guard JR Smith meets with Bucks

JR Smith was recently waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he may not be a free agent for very long. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Milwaukee Bucks are meeting with the 15-year NBA veteran.

Smith, who is 33 years old, played in only 11 games for the Cavs last season.

The Bucks have two roster spots to fill. One of those spots they would like to have a wing shooter. Smith is one of the NBA’s most accurate three-point shooters and he played a vital role in helping the Cavs win their first NBA Championship in 2016.

The 6-6 guard/forward has averaged 12.5 points per game in his career. He won the 2012-13 Sixth Man of the Year Award. However, what Smith is mostly known for is his personality.

The Bucks can only offer him a minimum level contract.

Bucks hire Chad Forcier as assistant coach

The Milwaukee Bucks are adding to their coaching staff for the 2019-20 season. According to league sources, the Bucks plan to hire 23-year veteran Chad Forcier as an assistant coach.

The position opened earlier in the offseason when Taylor Jenkins left to take the head coaching job with the Memphis Grizzlies. Forcier spent last season as an assistant for the Grizzlies.

Forcier has plenty of experience in the league as an assistant. The 46-year old has spent 18 years as an NBA assistant beginning under George Karl and the Seattle SuperSonics for five years in the 1990s.

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer is familiar with Forcier as well. From 2007 until 2013, the two worked together as assistant coaches for the San Antonio Spurs. Forcier has also spent time in Detroit (2001-03), Indiana (2003-07) and Orlando (2016-18).

Giannis ranks third in NBA 2K20 ratings

The overall player ratings for top 20 players in NBA 2K20 were released Monday night. LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard lead the pack each receiving a 97 overall rating.

The reigning MVP and Milwaukee Bucks superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo comes in at third with a 96 overall rating.

Gamers will have to wait until Sept. 6 to play the game. Now, fans of the basketball video game franchise can begin to strategize which player they want to use the most.

Check out the full list of the top 20 players below:

1. LeBron James, 97

2. Kawhi Leonard, 97

3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, 96

4. Kevin Durant, 96

5. James Harden, 96

6. Stephen Curry, 95

7. Anthony Davis, 94

8. Paul George, 93

9. Damian Lillard, 92

10. Joel Embiid, 91

11. Kyrie Irving, 91

12. Nikola Jokic, 90

13. Russell Westbrook, 90

14. Klay Thompson, 89

15. Karl-Anthony Towns, 89

16. Jimmy Butler, 88

17. Kemba Walker, 88

18. Donovan Mitchell, 88

19. Rudy Gobert, 88

20. Blake Griffin, 88

Giannis: ‘I think I am at 60 percent of my potential’

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the reigning NBA MVP and one of the most dominant players in the league. He averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists last season leading the Milwaukee Bucks to 60 wins and an Eastern Conference Finals berth.

At just 24 years old, he is arguably the best young player in the world. There are some “experts” that believe he is currently the best player in the game. However, Giannis doesn’t see it that way.

“There’s a lot of things I can improve on,” Giannis said to ESPN. “First of all, [I have to] look at myself before I look at anybody else. Try to self-improve as much as possible. There are a lot of things that I got to work on in my game.”

“A lot of people say, ‘You are the MVP, you are one of the best players in the league, you are so dominant. But I think I can get better. I think I am at 60 percent of my potential, as good as I can be. I just want to be better. If I am in the same situation again [in the conference finals], react better, play the game better, play better, execute better.”

The Bucks were the favorite entering the Eastern Conference Finals but fell to the Toronto Raptors in six games. That can be looked at as a positive going forward. Giannis and his teammates gained valuable experience they can build on next season.

“My goal is going to stay the same: It’s get better, take it day by day, step by step, and the ultimate goal is to win a championship,” Giannis said. “As long as that we are all on the same page and we are all focused on that goal, why not play for the Bucks 20 years, why not play 25 years? Why not, after playing, be a member of the coaching staff or a member of the front office? But we got to have the same goal. We got to have the same principles. … We got to focus on winning a championship.”

Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and George Hill are all returning to the Bucks going forward. Milwaukee also added veteran center Robin Lopez, veteran wing Wesley Matthews and the Thanasis Antetokounmpo. If the pieces are being built around Giannis, expect him to compete as a Buck.

“I want to be a part of a winning team,” Antetokounmpo continued. “As long as we have the same mindset and same approach to the game, there’s no reason for me to move and not be like Steph [Curry], not like be like Dirk [Nowitzki] or Kobe [Bryant] or Tim Duncan.”

To think that Giannis has just scratched the surface of the player he can be is crazy to think about. There is no doubt he has a few holes in his game, for instance, outside shooting. He has the drive and determination to continue to improve his game. The best part is, he wants to do it in Milwaukee.

The current landscape of the NBA has superstar players moving to different teams constantly. Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will all be playing for a different team in the 2019-20 NBA season than the 2018-19 season. That doesn’t have to be the case for Giannis. It isn’t the case for Portland Trail Blazers’ star Damian Lillard.

Last season was a special year for the Bucks and next season could be even more special. This team will go as far as Giannis can take them.