Giannis Antetokounmpo leaving the Milwaukee Bucks to sign with the Golden State Warriors — it sounded completely absurd at first. However, as the weeks went by the rumor just wouldn’t go away. Moreover, the more you think about it, the more it makes sense — somewhat.
For starters, let’s make one thing clear. Antetokounmpo himself has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to Milwaukee. The same goes for the Bucks, who reportedly have every intention of offering him a max deal — possibly the biggest contract in NBA history — as soon as he becomes eligible to sign an extension in the offseason. However, you have to remember that this is the NBA. Until Giannis actually signs his name on the dotted line, anything can still happen.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s current deal runs out by 2021, which means that if the Bucks fail to re-sign him soon, they will be risking letting him walk away as a free agent next summer. That would easily be the most catastrophic move in Bucks franchise history. So this is where all this talk is coming from. If Milwaukee have any inclination about the fact that their superstar is having second thoughts about re-signing — even though he says he will — then now would be the time to trade him. The more they wait, the more his value decreases.
Golden State has been identified as the team that might be willing to break the bank to sign the reigning MVP. Below are three insane trade packages that might just pique the interest of Milwaukee’s front office.
To the Bucks: Andrew Wiggins, 2020 First-Round Pick, 2021 First-Round Pick
There is no way the Warriors can land Giannis without parting ways with a number of significant assets. They will pretty much have to commit their future to Antetokounmpo — something that they should be more than willing to do if given the opportunity.
This first trade proposal is sort of a best-case scenario for the Dubs. They part ways with Andrew Wiggins, who arrived in February as part of the D’Angelo Russell deal. This absolutely works in the favor of the Warriors because they won’t need to break up their core. They will, however, need to send over their 2020 first-round pick (projected to be the first overall pick) and their 2021 first-round pick (Top 3 protected; acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of the Wiggins deal). With this, the Warriors will be saying goodbye to the possibility of acquiring a young and promising player in the draft over the next two years.
For Milwaukee, this would be the most ideal package in terms of revamping their roster — something that they will need to do with Giannis out of the picture. At just 25, Wiggins still has some star potential left, and he could be a very good player for Milwaukee over the next few years. They will also have an opportunity to select two top prospects in the next two drafts — something the team can build upon for their future.
To the Bucks: Klay Thompson, Eric Paschall, 2020 First-Round Pick
Klay Thompson as emerged as the biggest piece that might need to be moved in a potential Giannis coup.
Breaking up the Splash Brothers — the very core of the Warriors dynasty — is not ideal for the Dubs. However, with the prize at stake, sentimentality can and should be set aside. After all, there’s no denying that Giannis is a better player than Thompson ever will be. Rookie Eric Paschall will need to be thrown in the mix, and so will the projected first overall pick of the 2020 draft.
For the Bucks, a trio of Thompson, Khris Middleton, and Eric Bledsoe still remains to be a formidable one. Even if they opt to part ways with Middleton and/or Bledsoe, they still have a very promising stud in Paschall. Add in the first overall pick (7-foot-1 prodigy James Wiseman?) and the Bucks have just guaranteed their future sans Giannis.
To the Bucks: Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Eric Paschall, 2020 First-Round Pick
The best deal Golden State can offer Milwaukee without having to give up Thompson would probably need to involve both Wiggins and Draymond Green. Green is another key piece in the Dubs championship sides, but it could be argued that Thompson provides more value than Green. The first-round pick for 2020 is once again on the table (there is probably no scenario that the Bucks will part ways with Giannis Antetokounmpo without getting this in return), while Paschall is going to be added in to sweeten the pot.
Milwaukee gets two great players in Wiggins and Green, and similar to the second scenario, they won’t necessarily need to do a full revamp with these two on their side. The projected first overall pick gives them something to build on in years to come, with Green, Middleton, Bledsoe, and Brook Lopez all aged 28 or above.