One of the biggest storylines of the 2020-21 NBA season has now come to an end as the Milwaukee Bucks’ superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has signed a 5-Year, $228.2M supermax contract.
This is my home, this is my city.. I’m blessed to be able to be a part of the Milwaukee Bucks for the next 5 years. Let’s make these years count. The show goes on, let’s get it. 🤎🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/895tCBE9RK
— Giannis Ugo Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) December 15, 2020
This announcement came as a shock to many as it was expected for Antetokounmpo to wait until the end of the season to make his decision. Recently, NBA analyst Zach Lowe even spoke about how the Bucks had gone “silent” about their future with him due to the growing possibility he would join a new team.
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.
Before the news was announced, several NBA teams were largely discussed as potential new suitors for Antetokounmpo’s talents. The Golden State Warriors happened to be one of those teams. They attempted to trade for an All-Star caliber player and even assembled an “intriguing package” as an offer for him.
Even if trading for Antetokounmpo is no longer an option for the Warriors, there are still a few All-Stars that may become available, or already are, for them to consider trading for.
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Eastern Conference All-Star Who Could Potentially Become Available
Entering this NBA season the Warriors were expected to compete for the top spot in the western conference and even rival the champion Los Angeles Lakers for the right to advance to the NBA Finals. Those same expectations began to fade as their All-Star guard Klay Thompson tore his right Achilles hours before the NBA Draft.
Making a trade to help reinvigorate the roster already happened as the Warriors brought in former Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. However, he isn’t an All-Star player. For the Warriors to take that next step, they should consider trading for the Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal or the Houston Rockets guard James Harden.
Previously, Beal stated it “would mean the world” to him if he was able to remain a Wizard. During an episode of the “On the Road with Buck & Phil” podcast, he spoke openly about being in Washington for the rest of his career.
That would mean the world, man. I’m a loyal guy. I want to be here. I’m here. I’ve signed my extension. And that will mean the world to me. That honestly would you know, being able to finish your career in one place? You know, you don’t see that in today’s game.
That was prior to John Wall being traded. While adding Russell Westbrook will be a positive for this season, with how top-heavy the eastern conference is it will be tough for the Wizards to make a deep playoff push now and moving forward. This brings up the question of whether Beal’s attitude will change at all as the opportunity to win a championship may be out of reach.
For the Warriors, trading for a player like Beal will not only extend the championship window for their All-Star trio, but it also will certifiably make them a top contender for seasons to come.
Western Conference All-Star The Warriors Could Trade For
The Houston Rockets still have a problem on their hand. Even with trading away Westbrook, as he requested, their superstar James Harden is upset with the organization and no longer wants to be a member.
While the Rockets have done everything to bring Harden a co-star that would help them win a title, this challenge may be the most difficult. Knowing Harden wants to leave will lessen the offers they could typically command from a team thus giving them less in return.
According to Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area, the Warriors have “moved on” from pursuing the idea of Harden. Yet, the fact remains they can offer one of, if not the, best trade package. The Warriors still have their draft picks, plus Minnesota’s potential Top 5 pick in 2021, Andrew Wiggins, and the recently drafted James Wiseman. Looking across the NBA, this ranks very high among the other offers the Rockets would receive.
For Houston, it would give them the opportunity to move into a new era. With the recently acquired John Wall, having signed Demarcus Cousins, and their new additions via the trade, they can move into the future under their new coach Stephen Silas and the possibility for Wiseman or a draft pick to develop into a star.
On the other end, this move gives the Warriors a vault back into deep playoff contention. Having two Top 10 players of Stephen Curry and Harden’s talents stack them well among the western conference’s duos. Adding former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green, Oubre Jr., and being able to fill out the remainder of the roster with veterans and other young talents, the Warriors can be within striking distance to reclaim their NBA dominance. At worst, they’ll be able to do the same if not more next season as Thompson returns from injury.