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NBA fines Bucks for tampering because of GM’s supermax comment

Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo makes a layup during a playoff game against the Detroit Pistons on April 22, 2019, in Detroit.
Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo makes a layup during a playoff game against the Detroit Pistons on April 22, 2019, in Detroit.
(Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

The NBA fined the Milwaukee Bucks $50,000 on Tuesday over a comment general manager Jon Horst made about the team’s plans to offer league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo a “supermax” extension.

The league says Horst violated league rules “governing the timing of discussions regarding future player contracts and permissible commitments to players.” The Bucks cannot publicly commit to offering anyone a supermax until the summer following that player’s seventh season.

Antetokounmpo is entering his seventh season. He would be eligible to sign a record five-year extension worth nearly $250 million in July 2020, with that new deal beginning in the 2021-22 season.

Horst was asked at a televised event about the status of Antetokounmpo’s long-term contract. He replied by saying “right now, you can’t talk and negotiate anything. Giannis, basically, a year from now, will be eligible for a supermax extension. At that time, of course, he’ll be offered a supermax extension.”

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Durant return

The Brooklyn Nets expect to wait a year before Kevin Durant plays for them. General manager Sean Marks said Tuesday the Nets are planning this season without the injured All-Star. He added Durant will have a say in determining when he’s ready.

“With Kevin, I think what we’re going to say is the expectations are that he’ll be out for the year,” Marks said.

Durant is recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. He was injured while playing for Golden State in the NBA Finals, then left the Warriors to sign with the Nets in July. At the time, the Nets left open the possibility that Durant could play this season. That’s still possible, but Marks isn’t banking on it.

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“I’ve been excited to see, I think we all have, how he’s approached this rehab, which has been great, very refreshing and energizing for the whole group,” Marks said. “But at the end of the day, this is a long-term plan here. This was never about this next season. This is about getting an elite athlete back to elite physical shape on the court, whatever that takes.”

Durant returned from an injured calf muscle he suffered in the postseason for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but lasted only 12 minutes before leaving with a more severe injury.


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