During a panel in the Sloan Sports Conference, Smith used the typical “a little bird told me” to ratchet up the free agency speculation.
“Do players want to stay in small markets?” ESPN’s Senior Writer Jackie MacMullan asked the panel about the Bucks star, according to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. She said the litmus test will be Giannis this summer.
Smith was quick to get on the mic:
“I’m told if he doesn’t get to the Finals, he’s leaving,” said the ESPN personality. “I don’t know if that’s true or not.”
True to his standard of reporting, the typical I heard this, but don’t blame me if it’s not true has come alive in the middle of a well-respected sports conference.
Take this Smith-bomb with several grains of salt — matter of fact, pour the whole container of salt onto this report. There has been little evidence that Bucks superstar is willing to leave Milwaukee.
He’s said the right things time and time again, and Bucks ownership has been effusively willing to re-sign him and keep him as the franchise player.
While several teams are saving up, creating cap space, and preparing potential pitches for the would-be 2021 free agent, there is no surefire certainty the reigning MVP will even entertain those pitches if he has his mind made up.
The Bucks star is as competitive as they come, but he’s also proven to be loyal and content where he is. So long as that remains the case, there is no reason to think he would leave only because he’s fallen short of the NBA Finals.