Giannis Antetokounmpo has the option to be one of the biggest free agents to hit the market in 2020. As a result, the New York Knicks are hoping to bounce back from fumbling on Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant by turning the franchise into an enticing landing spot for the reigning MVP.
People close to the Knicks told The Athletic that the team is looking to shake up the front office by taking a shot Raptors president Masai Ujiri. New York's owner, James Dolan, reportedly isn't fazed by the massive amount of money it would take to sweep Ujiri from Toronto because of the benefit he would be to the team.
Ujiri build a championship team in Toronto and is well respected by today's top players. According to The Athletic, New York's current executive Steve Mills sold Dolan on the idea that he was close with NBA superstars but couldn't sway KD or Irving for even a sitdown. Now, the Knicks are looking to replace Mills with Ujiri in enough time for him to convince Antetokounmpo that New York City should be his next home.
Antetokounmpo is refusing to talk about his pending decision during the NBA season, but it's possible he could move on from Milwaukee. The initial reports surrounding Giannis claimed that he resented the bright lights and attention that accompany a big market team. Yet in October, the Harvard Business School published a study that included a quote from Giannis about his future with the Bucks.
"So far, we have been doing great, and, if this lasts, there's no other place I want to be," the quote reads. "But if we're underperforming in the NBA next year, deciding whether to sign becomes a lot more difficult."
Antetokounmpo quickly denied saying this while reiterating that he won't publicly address his free agency until the season is over.
"I'm not going to get into that. As I said, the last—what is it called—quote, paragraph, it's words that I didn't use," Giannis said. "Underperforming or whether or deciding, all those words. I've never used those words in all my life. As I said, I'm not going to talk about it. There can be stories coming out. I said this, I said that. I said this. But I'm not going to get into it at all."