According to 940 WINZ The Greek Zone co-host Ashley Nicole Moss, the Golden State Warriors have put together a “very intriguing package” for the reigning MVP in hopes to reinvigorate their championship hopes.
The big issue is allegedly Antetokounmpo is unwilling to sign a long-term extension if the trade does occur. Meaning he will retain his ability to enter into free agency at the conclusion of the 2020 – 20201 NBA season.
If Antetokounmpo remains with the Bucks throughout the upcoming season they would be able to pay him the NBA’s supermax of $253.8 million, barring any changes to the NBA’s salary cap due to COVID-19 and the beginning date of the 2020 season.
Are the Bucks in Trouble?
Entering the 2019-2020 NBA season the Milwaukee Bucks were one of the teams that were prohibitive favorites to become the league champions. However, even with Antetokounmpo winning his second MVP, and back to back might I add, as well as becoming the defensive player of the year, the team fell short in the NBA Playoffs losing to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat.
While lack of scoring prowess and minute restrictions seemed to be issues that plagued the team, what has become the big story this off-season is if Antetokounmpo believes the franchise will place the right players around him to make it to the finals and win moving forward. Not since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, then named Lew Alcindor, has Milwaukee had a player this talented, with the dominance to match, this early in his career. It would be a critical blow to the franchise to lose a top 3, if not, the best player in the league as he’s still ascending.
To remedy that very issue, rumors have circulated that the Oklahoma City Thunder’s starting point guard Chris Paul is on their list of trade targets. An NBA agent told The Athletic Paul is the exact move Milwaukee should consider.
“They’re on the clock with Giannis. I think it would be they just have too much at stake. They have potential championships hanging in the balance if you lose this guy and I think he’s going to want to see some kind of improvement from them.
I think Chris Paul, financially they’d have to figure it out, but he’s exactly what they need there.”
Yet it seems the salary cap may become the issue stopping the Bucks from agreeing to a deal for the aging point guard. In order to absorb Paul’s contract, the Bucks would have to relieve themselves of a couple of players as well as accept paying $85 million over the next two seasons for his services. In the worst-case scenario, one of those seasons could potentially be without Antetokounmpo if he leaves via free agency. The Athletic’s Eric Nehm and Sam Amick spoke on this as well.
As for the reported prospect of the Bucks pursuing Oklahoma City point guard Chris Paul as a possible solution to the roster deficiencies, sources with knowledge of ownership’s thinking said it is highly unlikely.
The cost of bringing him aboard — Paul is owed $41.3 million next season and has a player option worth $44.2 million in the 2021-22 campaign — and the potential difficulty of bringing Paul onto a roster already led by a strong personality in Antetokounmpo seems to limit the chances of the Bucks moving to pair the two All-Stars. All indications are that the Bucks would rather look elsewhere.
What Would the Warriors Offer?
Thus far, only Andrew Wiggins’ name has been released within the potential blockbuster package as stated within Moss’s reporting. For any trade package that would be sent to Milwaukee, it would be hard to imagine it not including the #2 overall pick, #48, #51, in the 2020 Draft and the Minnesota Timberwolves top 3 protected 2021 draft pick and a 2022 draft pick. Not to mention, the salaries of Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole to fit financially.
While this may seem like a lot for one player if Antetokounmpo agrees to sign an extension with Golden State it would pay off handsomely for the Warriors. Not only would they keep their healthy, championship-winning core of Curry, Thompson, and Green but they once again would be adding a top 3 player within the league to their team as they did previously with the signing of Kevin Durant via free agency in 2016. That would not only open their championship window but prop it open for the future of the franchise for years to come.