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Bucks fined $50K for publicly stating plan to offer Giannis Antetokounmpo a supermax contract

The NBA continues to take tampering very seriously — even when it comes to a team’s own players. 

On Tuesday, the league officially announced a $50,000 fine for the Milwaukee Bucks for publicly committing to offering a supermax contract to reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo next summer. The fine is a result of comments made by Bucks general manager Jon Horst earlier this month when he was asked about Antetokounmpo’s long-term contract outlook. 

“First of all, the answer for now is that we can’t talk and negotiate anything. So Giannis, basically, a year from now will be eligible for a supermax extension,” Horst said. “At that time, of course, he will be offered a supermax extension.”    

Horst went on to say that he is hopeful that Antetokounmpo will be a Buck for a long time. 

“It’s our responsibility to create an environment, a culture, a basketball organization where our players want to come to work everyday, players that they want to play with everyday, and they want to win at the highest level,” Horst said. “And we’ve taken great steps towards that last year. We’ve continued to build on that. We’re going to continue to build on that. I think we all fully believe that if we continue to put the right things in place and give Giannis the right opportunities — he loves Milwaukee, he loves the state of Wisconsin — I think he’ll be a Buck for a long time.”  

Here’s what the NBA had to say about the fine: 

The NBA announced today that the Milwaukee Bucks have been fined $50,000 for violating league rules governing the timing of discussions regarding future player contracts and permissible commitments to players. The fine is in response to a public statement made recently by General Manager Jon Horst during a televised team event that Giannis Antetokounmpo “will be offered a supermax extension.”

Under NBA rules, teams cannot commit to offer a “supermax” extension prior to the summer following a player’s seventh season in the NBA.  

This is the second time this year the Bucks have been fined for tampering. Back in February, Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry was fined $25,000 for comments he made regarding then-New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis

We may see more similar fines in the future, as the league unanimously passed a stricter package of measures to enforce compliance with tampering and salary cap circumvention just last week. Under the new changes, a selected team ops member from each organization will have to verify that their respective team did everything by the book when it comes to free-agent signings each year. Additionally, NBA owners must personally certify that every contract complies with all established rules. The hope is that this eliminates player-to-player, as well as team tampering. 

Teams will also be required to report, within 24 hours, of a player/agent soliciting unauthorized benefits or contact regarding contract matters. The league plans to randomly audit five teams each year to ensure that no rules were broken.