Giannis Antetokounmpo To Warriors Trade Talk Intensifies

Giannis Antetokounmpo To Warriors Trade Talk Intensifies

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s impending free agency continues to be the single most talked about event in most basketball circles. Although the two-time league MVP is saying all the right things about remaining with the Milwaukee Bucks, recent history involving other superstars understandably makes folks wary.

Antetokounmpo can become an unrestricted free agent in 2021. That means if he opts to leave following this season, the Bucks will lose him for nothing. While giving away a player of his caliber to another organization via trade seems unthinkable, it is actually a significantly better alternative to watching him sign with someone else in free agency.

Over the past year, an increasingly loud murmur regarding the Golden State Warriors making a push for Antetokounmpo has developed within NBA circles.

This week, ESPN NBA insider Ramona Shelburne appeared on 95.7 The Game’s “Damon, Ratto & Kolsky” show and made a compelling case for Antetokounmpo to Golden State.

“Can you risk it?” she 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?

“From where I’m sitting guys, that’s the Warriors. 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).

“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.”

Because Antetokounmpo has been so good for so long, it is easy to forget that he is just 25 years old. While dissection of his postseason failures has become popular in recent times, it is worth remembering that LeBron James did not win his first title until age 27. Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Michael Jordan were 28 when they took home their first ring.

Antetokounmpo still has plenty of time to be a central figure on a championship roster.

The question at this juncture is simply: which team will it be on?

Aside from the Warriors, the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat have both expressed interest in acquiring Antetokounmpo. The Toronto Raptors have also been mentioned as a destination Antetokounmpo might be intrigued by.

After the Bucks were eliminated by Miami in the second round of this year’s Eastern Conference Playoffs, Antetokounmpo was asked point blank: are you leaving?

“It’s not happening,” he replied.

“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.”

If Antetokounmpo stays true to that and accepts a super max extension from Milwaukee this offseason which will pay him in the neighborhood of $254 million over five years, then all of this chatter will be moot.

However, if he passes and decides to see what’s what next year – suddenly the odds of a potential trade go up exponentially.

Related: Rockets, Knicks Working On Russell Westbrook Trade?

Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.

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