Before the season hiatus, Giannis Antetokounmpo was set for another MVP season. The Bucks had a 53 – 12 record, good for the best in the NBA. Individually, Giannis was playing even better than last year, with averages of 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 5.8 assists. He also breached the 30% mark from three, a scary sight for the rest of the league.
Giannis is going to become an unrestricted free agent in the Summer of 2021 unless he signs a supermax extension. If Giannis declines the extension this summer, the Bucks could look to trade him. They would do this to avoid losing him for nothing in 2021. Here are three trades for Giannis Antetokounmpo that could happen this offseason.
Note: Since Giannis will only have a year left on his contract, his trade value decreases as he will be an unrestricted free agent. This means that teams may be able to get him for an undervalued price.
THE DYNASTY CONTINUES IN GOLDEN STATE
The Trade: Giannis Antetokounmpo for Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick (Via Minnesota), and 2022 first-round pick
With injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors were the worst team in the league this season. However, upon the Splash Brothers return, Golden State is looking to compete again next season. With the addition of Giannis, the Warriors would be a superteam once again.
While the Warriors would be giving up their lottery pick in this year’s draft, it actually wouldn’t hurt them as much as you think. With Giannis, Golden State would be in win-now mode. A top rookie would not fit in with this mold nor fit the timeline of Steph and Klay. Andrew Wiggins is a great player, but this trade would be a no brainer for Golden State. If they can hold on to their core of Curry/Thompson/Green, anybody else is just trade material.
For the Bucks, this is a solid package for their superstar, considering his contract situation. They will be getting a terrific scorer in Wiggins, who still has room to grow. Paschall enjoyed a solid rookie season and has tons of potential. Milwaukee is also getting a surplus of picks, setting them up well for the future. Next year, they could have Bledsoe, Middleton, Wiggins, Paschall, and a top rookie. In the weak Eastern Conference, that is easily a playoff team. The Bucks would be able to compete in the postseason while also having draft picks stockpiled for the coming years.
A NEW CHAPTER FOR PHILLY
The Trade: Giannis Antetokounmpo for Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton, 2020 first-round pick (Via Oklahoma City), and 2023 second-round pick
The Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid era in Philadelphia has been unsuccessful thus far. At this point, it may be in the Sixers’ best interest to move on from their point guard while Embiid is still in his prime. Pairing Embiid with Antetokounmpo could be a legendary big-man duo. On paper, this lineup could wreak havoc on small-ball teams. With two of the most dominant offensive forces in today’s game playing on the same team, the sky’s the limit.
The only concern from Philly’s end here is that this would leave them without a true starting point guard. Antetokounmpo and Embiid would have to carry a large load, so it would all come down to how they manage it.
From the Bucks point of view, they are getting a young star in Simmons who is under contract until the Summer of 2025. Simmons could easily bring the Bucks on a playoff run. If he ever develops that jump-shot, Milwaukee may have landed a franchise player. They also get one of the best upcoming defenders in the league in Matisse Thybulle, who also can hit the three-ball. Shake Milton adds elite perimeter shooting (45.3% this past season), and the draft picks would help the Bucks in the near future.
BOSTON GOES ALL IN
The Trade: Giannis Antetokounmpo for Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Romeo Langford, Robert Williams III, 2020 first-round pick (Via Memphis, Top 6 protected), and 2021 second-round pick
Kemba Walker has looked promising as Irving’s replacement. Strong play from Tatum, Brown, Smart, and Hayward has also contributed to the Celtics third spot atop the Eastern Conference this season. However, there are still doubts about whether Boston has the firepower to get past the Bucks, Nets, or even Raptors come post-season. A deal in which Boston acquires Antetokounmpo would shake up the playoff picture.
Even though they would be getting arguably the best player in the world, Danny Ainge would undoubtedly have a hard time moving on from Brown and Smart. The two have poured their hearts into the Celtics’ rebuild, and Boston fans would be devastated to see them leave. However, Ainge has to put his emotions aside and see the potential lineup for what it is. The thought of Walker, Tatum, Hayward, and Antetokounmpo on the floor together might be enough for the GM to pull the trigger.
From the Bucks’ perspective, they are receiving two highly productive players in Brown and Smart, along with youngsters Romeo Langford and Robert Williams, who both have terrific potential. Brown could fit in alongside Bledsoe and Middleton in the starting five, and Smart could orchestrate the bench unit. Looking towards the future, Milwaukee is getting three players under the age of 24, along with a first-rounder in this year’s draft from Memphis. Given that Giannis could potentially leave the Bucks for nothing, this Boston deal would be quite enticing for Milwaukee.