Following his Milwaukee Bucks’ shocking secound round loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA Playoffs, reigning league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo made sure to note that he’s not going to demand a trade this offseason.
A lot of the speculation surrounding Giannis, who will be in a contract year during the 2020-21 campaign, has focused on a potential departure from Milwaukee. It makes sense for a number of reasons.
Milwaukee is in no way a big market. Giannis could have grown out of it with his larger-than-life performances on the court over the past half-decade. The idea would be for him to capitalize on what is already a worldwide brand.
For their part, the Bucks have seemingly taken a step back. Even before Antetokounmpo went down to an ankle injury during the Heat series, they were on the brink of elimination.
If Milwaukee is unable to sign Giannis to a super-max extension this offseason that would pay him roughly $227.5 million over the next five seasons, the team will have to think long and hard about trading their all-time great player.
“If he doesn’t sign the (supermax) this offseason, I think the Bucks have to look at exploring the trade market,” one Eastern Conference executive said, via Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.
Simply put, the Bucks can’t afford to lose Giannis for nothing next summer.
Should a trade become almost inevitable in the coming months, a whole host of teams would show interest. However, there’s about four likely scenarios. We look at them below.
Golden State Warriors: Where there’s smoke, there’s fire
This has been brought up a near never-ending loop since Kevin Durant left Golden State in free agency last summer. The Warriors are clearly looking at adding another big-name player, and seem to have the necessary assets.
“He (Giannis) could be on the Warriors in three months,” a former Western Conference executive said.
That point is only magnified by the assets Golden State boasts. This includes the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft as well as the Minnesota Timberwolves’ unprotected 2021 first-round pick. Technically, the Warriors are in a unique situation in that they can offer up first-round picks the next three years as the central piece of a potential trade.
From there, the Warriors would have to unload Andrew Wiggins’ contract while enticing Milwaukee with impressive young forward Eric Paschall. This could be a package worthy of gaining the attention of Milwaukee’s brass.
Miami Heat: Don’t ever discount the legendary Pat Riley
Miami is in a difficult situation in that it has already dealt away first-round picks in 2021 and 2023. The team also won’t have anywhere near a valuable draft pick this year given its status as a legit title contender.
Any move that sends Antetokounmpo to South Beach would have to include either Tyler Herro or Kendrick …read more