You know how I know things are starting to get close to being relatively back to normal? The NBA rumor mill surrounding the future destination of Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo is starting to revved up again.
If we go back in time to a world before our sports went silent we will find discussions being had about Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will be come a unrestricted free agent in 2021 if he declines the Bucks’ supermax extension this summer (which could be worth $254 million), possibly taking his talents elsewhere even before then.
Antetokounmpo had already made Lakers Nation quiver with excitement at the mere thought of The Greek Freak teaming up with his brothers in Tinseltown.
Prior to that, Steph Curry sent Golden State fans into a tizzy when it appeared he told Giannis he should come play for the Warriors during a postgame chat.
Back in December, NBA insider Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle made the bold prediction that if the Warriors were to somehow score the number one overall pick in the next NBA Draft, they could use it to trade for Antetokounmpo.
At that time he said he considered the Bucks trading Giannis to the Warriors probably unlikely.
However, now, with the NBA still in the midst of a weeks long shutdown, Letourneau thinks the Warriors chances of getting Antetokounmpo have gone up thanks to the fact that despite their league-leading 53-12 record, the Bucks may got get that coveted NBA championship because (a) we still don’t know if there will even be a playoffs, and (b) if we do, it’s probably going to be some oddball, shortened version which could make the favorites less likely to win it this year.
Here’s some more of his logic…
“Should Milwaukee — fresh off a long hiatus — get ousted in an abbreviated first or second round, Antetokounmpo might be be less likely to ink his extension this year.”
“…the Warriors could offer probably the best package if Antetokounmpo decides he wants to leave.”
“What would separate Golden State from other suitors, however, is that it could include Klay Thompson or Draymond Green in any potential trade.”
So far, so good. I’m with you, Connor.
…according to a league source, the Warriors have been preparing for years to make a bid for Antetokounmpo. General manager Bob Myers knows that to chart a course for long-term greatness, a team must maintain flexibility — both in terms of its roster and future assets.
By orchestrating a complex sign-and-trade last summer with Brooklyn for guard D’Angelo Russell, the Warriors got younger while obtaining a key trade chip. In February, when negotiating the deal that sent Russell to the Timberwolves, Myers made sure that Minnesota included a lightly protected pick in what’s expected to be a loaded 2021 draft.
This is the same type of advanced planning that helped the Warriors land Kevin Durant in free agency in July 2016.
That last thing… the part about the Warriors stunning the NBA and acquiring Kevin Durant when they already been to two straight NBA Finals, winning one, and had Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and JaVale McGee on their roster, is the key.
Who ever thought that would happen?
Oh yeah, not that it matters, but it matters, Curry and Giannis share the same agency. Just sayin’.