The Golden State Warriors will begin their 2020-21 NBA season today, at 8:30 pm EST, as they face the Denver Nuggets in their first preseason game. While just three weeks ago the team had high expectations to possibly compete for a championship, those hopes took a hit when their All-Star guard Klay Thompson tore his right Achilles when just getting back to the basketball court after recovering from a torn ACL last year.
Many analysts and basketball fans worldwide have lowered their expectations for the team this season with Thompson being such an integral part of what would have helped make them so successful. The Warriors still have their two-time MVP in Steph Curry, and their former Defensive Player of the Year in Draymond Green so they should be competitive still.
Plus, the team’s management has added a host of new talent that their duo has yet to share major minutes. Those additions include No. 2 overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft James Wiseman, former #1 overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft Andrew Wiggins, and former Phoenix Sun swingman Kelly Oubre Jr.
However the Warriors aren’t about just competing, they want to win titles. To do that they may need to add another star player to their team. Thanks to the blunder that occurred to the Milwaukee Bucks when the team traded for former Sacramento King and now-Atlanta Hawk Bogdan Bogdanovic, the Warriors may once again be in a great position to trade for the league’s most recent two-time MVP and last season’s Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo.
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The Bucks Have Gone Silent
Since the news broke of the failed trade between the Sacramento Kings and the Bucks, Milwaukee had to swiftly and efficiently make other moves to bolster their roster for this season. Their hope was that the trade to bring in Bogdanovic and their new guard Jrue Holiday, from the New Orleans Pelicans, would be enough for the Bucks to make it and possibly win the NBA Finals. Thus being in a prime position to re-sign their superstar player Antetokounmpo to a massive contract.
Unfortunately, we all know how that turned out. Now it’s being reported that since then Milwaukee has gone silent on what they feel may happen with Antetokounmpo’s contract situation. NBA insider Zach Lowe spoke at length on ESPN’s The Jump about how Milwaukee initially felt relieved and quickly went cold.
During the Jrue Holiday, Bogan Bogdanic bonanza the Bucks were really optimistoc. They were about ready to pop the champagne, they were super excited. They’ve gone kind of silent since then, I don’t really know what that means. I don’t know what that means but I know that the optimisim I just haven’t been hearing that but look if he doesn’t sign it. If he doesn’t sign it can you imagine the pressue he’s going to be under every single game this year? It’s going to be the buggest story in the league all year long. So I don’t know what he’s going to do but you got about two more weeks to find out.
Why The Warriors Should Feel Confident
Given the current state of the NBA, there aren’t many teams who could realistically be in play to trade for Antetokounmpo. It would be similar to the situation the Houston Rockets find themselves in with their disgruntled superstar and former MVP James Harden.
Yet, Antetokounmpo has leverage where Harden does not. Antetokounmpo’s contract is finished at the conclusion of this season and if he decides to join another franchise the Bucks will essentially be left with a massive hole in their roster and take a major hit for the future of their team. Harden’s contract still has multiple years on it, therefore he may have to remain a Rocket longer than he’d wish.
Going back to Antetokounmpo’s leverage, it also mirrors the leverage the Warriors would have in the trade negotiations. The Bucks should, and most likely will, command a superstar in return for their own but with them having no inside knowledge of what Antetokounmpo will do, they may have to accept the best available offer. This is where the Warriors can step in.
Being able to potentially offer Wiggins, Wiseman, a slew of other players, the projected high draft pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2021 NBA Draft, and a number of other picks in future drafts obviously isn’t the actual superstar the Bucks would want in return. However, it just may be what gets the job done, as having some sort of solid future outlook is certainly better than having none at all.