Why Maria Taylor might not be with ESPN through the entire NBA Finals

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Maria Taylor might not last with ESPN through the end of the 2021 NBA Finals.

The network host’s contract has been a topic of much discussion, with the on-air favorite reportedly requesting Stephen A. Smith money — in the neighborhood of $8 million — to remain with ESPN.

Reportedly, ESPN has a $3 million contract offer on the table for Taylor, but that won’t be enough to satiate her contract requests.

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According to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, Taylor’s current contract expires July 20, which is the date of a potential Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals. Marchand says that it’s unclear what ESPN and Taylor would do should the two sides not reach a new deal, leaving the possibility that Taylor may not finish her hosting duties for the network if the series stretches to six or seven games.

MORE: Adam Silver weighs in on Rachel Nichols situation

Taylor, 34, wears many hats for ESPN, including as a sideline reporter for the college football national championship game and now the NBA Finals after disparaging comments were made by fellow ESPN host Rachel Nichols.

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Nichols lost her sideline reporter duties for the NBA Finals after the surfacing of the comments, with Malika Andrews taking her place on the ABC broadcasts.

ESPN originally offered Taylor a raise to around $5 million, per reports, but Taylor turned it down in hopes of upping her price to match Smith’s salary.

The Suns lead the Bucks 2-0, with Game 3 scheduled for Sunday, July 11. 

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