With the Bucks down 0-2 against the Miami Heat, reigning MVP and Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo’s time in Milwaukee could be coming to a bitter end.
The Heat and Raptors are emerging as frontrunners, according to Yahoo Sports‘ Vincent Goodwell. Goodwell also reports that “it’s an open secret” within the Orlando bubble that Giannis will land with either team.
What Each Team Brings to the Table
Either move makes perfect sense for the Greek Freak. Both teams have proved themselves as legitimate contenders by challenging him incredibly well in the playoffs. The Toronto Raptors neutralized Antetokounmpo in 2019 while the Miami Heat has done similar things this year. Not having to go through either team in the postseason would make Giannis’ road to a championship far easier.
While they haven’t made a Conference Finals appearance since 2014, the Heat are built to contend in the playoffs. It’s no accident that they currently have a perfect 6-0 record this postseason. They’re led by Jimmy Butler, who has the talent and experience to be the legitimate secondary option that Giannis needs. Other pieces such as Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson, and Derrick Jones Jr. form a young core full of potential for the future.
The Raptors are just as enticing of a fit. They’re not far removed from an NBA championship in 2019, and play championship basketball on both ends. The future is very bright in Toronto, who finished with the league’s 2nd best record this year, even after superstar Kawhi Leonard’s departure. Adding a star in Leonard pushed the Raptors to last year’s championship. If they’re able to add another one in Giannis Antetokounmpo, another title will be well within reach.
Other teams will make a push for Giannis, including the Bucks. Antetokounmpo has said in the past that he’s willing to stay in Milwaukee, but his lack of help recently hasn’t given him much of a reason to do so.
Antetokounmpo is entering his prime and is hungry for rings. A fresh start might be exactly what he needs.