In a move that would remove the Eastern Conference’s most dominating player from having to face the Boston Celtics in a Conference playoff series, seeing The Greek Freak head out West would certainly be an interesting plot twist. Antetokounmpo averaged 26.8 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.4 blocks in 12 playoff appearances against the Celtics.
The Milwaukee Bucks superstar has publicly stated he has no desire to leave the only team he’s ever played for. This came moments after the Bucks were eliminated from the playoffs, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.
“It’s not happening,” Antetokounmpo told Haynes. “That’s not happening. Some see a wall and go in [another direction]. I plow through it. We just have to get better as a team, individually, and get right back at it next season.”
That message was quickly distorted days later when Giannis unfollowed the Bucks and all of his teammates on Instagram, which led to speculation that the league’s most valuable player may have changed his mind about his future. And if the Bucks ultimately decide there’s no convincing Antetokounmpo to stay, the severance of Giannis’ tenure in Milwaukee would be best-compensated in a proposed deal by the Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN‘s Romona Shelburne.
“For two years, we’ve heard that drumbeat of the Warriors and Giannis,” Shelburne said Wednesday on 95.7 The Game’s “Damon, Ratto & Kolsky” show. “If he doesn’t sign the extension (this off-season), Milwaukee’s got a decision to make.”
Golden State’s Trade Package For Giannis
If Antetokounmpo doesn’t agree to a new deal, the Bucks have to consider moving him, according to Shelburne.
“Can you risk it?” Shelburne asked. “Can you play it out with him (next season) and just hope he re-signs with you (after next season), or do you have to look to move him? And which teams would have the best package?”
For Shelburne, the answer is easy.
“From where I’m sitting guys, that’s the Warriors,” Shelburne said. “They have the best package. People get so upset when I say that, but they do. They have the trade exception, they have (Andrew) Wiggins, they have this year’s pick (no. 2 overall), they have next year’s Minnesota pick (top-three protected in 2021, unprotected in 2022).”
Add one of the Warriors’ core players and it could be the best offer the Bucks will see all season long.
“Maybe you even have to talk about Klay Thompson or Draymond (Green) being in a package like that, too. But they have a great package if it comes down to it.”
2015-19 Golden State Warriors Dynasty
Deciding whether or not to dismantle the Warriors’ core of Steph Curry, Thompson, and Green for an MVP who could ultimately decide to leave Golden State the following season isn’t an easy decision to make. All three played a key part throughout its dynasty, capturing three championships in four years.
Now that the injury-plagued group is set out to prove it still has plenty left to regain the NBA throne, will it be willing to part ways with one of its own? It may be worth the risk.
The Bucks would be hard-pressed to find a better deal if the Warriors add a Green or Thompson to the trade package.