Greece’s basketball federation accused the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA of hatching a plan to prevent All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo from playing in the European championship.
The NBA denied the allegation.
The saga started Saturday about an hour after Antetokounmpo posted on Facebook and Instagram that he was unavailable because of a knee injury, with the Greek federation attacking the Bucks and the NBA in a statement, describing an “organized and well-staged plan” to keep Antetokounmpo from playing in the Eurobasket at the end of the month.
“A series of indications … had convinced us of the existence of an organized and well-staged plan by (Antentokounmpo’s NBA) team, with the full knowledge if not encouragement of the NBA that put the athlete on the spot and forced him to announce today that he is no longer part of the men’s national team.”
However, the NBA countered Saturday night with a statement saying Antetokounmpo is indeed hurt.
“The NBA and the Milwaukee Bucks have followed all appropriate protocol under the NBA-FIBA agreement,” the NBA said in a statement released to The Associated Press. “Giannis has an injury that has been confirmed through multiple examinations and any suggestion to the contrary is false.”
Source: Associated Press via ESPN
Sources: Timberwolves Want Jimmy Butler Dealt Quickly
Against the displeasure of Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau, owner Glen Taylor has mandated that a deal needs to be negotiated to trade disgruntled All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in the next several days, league sources told ESPN.
Butler has likely worn the Timberwolves uniform for the final time, because Taylor has no interest in bringing Butler into the team’s training camp and threatening a bigger circus than already exists within the franchise.
Thibodeau has been willing to coach the Timberwolves through the dysfunction that has surrounded his star players, but Taylor has sided with Butler and agreed that the four-time All-Star should be away from the Wolves for the foreseeable future, sources said.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Sources: Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns Agree to Super-Max Extension
In a deal that cements him as the franchise’s long-term cornerstone, Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns has agreed to a five-year, $190 million super-maximum extension, league sources told ESPN.
Towns’ agent, Leon Rose of CAA Sports, informed the organization of Towns’ intention to sign the extension on Saturday night, sources said. The Timberwolves report for media day on Monday and begin training camp on Tuesday.
The super-max deal includes the ability for Towns to earn 30 percent of the Timberwolves’ salary cap with the fulfillment of reaching one of the three All-NBA teams, or being voted league MVP or Defensive Player of the Year this season.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
Sources: Timberwolves Want to Move Gorgui Dieng in Jimmy Butler Trade
The Wolves would like to dump Gorgui Dieng in any [Jimmy] Butler deal, league sources say. Dieng is a backup set to earn $48 million over the next three seasons. Good luck, and thanks to the summer of 2016! Swallowing Dieng will be a non-starter for almost everyone, even if a few suitors could do so while still maintaining one max-level cap slot for this summer. (Minnesota could in theory find a third team to take Dieng, but things get tricky as more teams enter a deal.)
Source: Zach Lowe of ESPN