Rich Paul claims Bucks would have made NBA Finals if they swapped Giannis Antetokounmpo for Anthony Davis
Rich Paul had plenty to say about his Klutch Sports client, Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis, in an interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. Paul lauded Davis for his greatness, but perhaps went a bit too far with his praise. The known superstar agent prompted that the Milwaukee Bucks would have reached the NBA Finals last season if they had Davis playing on their team instead of Giannis Antetokounmpo:
“He’s just as talented as anyone who’s ever played this game,” Paul said of the new Lakers star. “Six-11, makes 3s, blocks shots. I think he’s one of the better passing big men in our game. In my opinion, this is what makes him different from Giannis [Antetokounmpo].
“Like, if you put Anthony Davis on that Bucks team last year, they’d be playing in the Finals. He knows how to make guys better. That’s not a knock to Giannis, but that’s just what [I think].”
Paul was clearly tossing roses Davis’ way, but it seems like he lost all realm of the perception of objectivity when making these comments.
Antetokounmpo has averaged more assists than Davis in each of his first six seasons in the league. Yes, even during the first season in which he played a mere 24.6 minutes a night. Looking back to last season, Antetokounmpo also had a commanding lead in his assist numbers after putting up career highs in scoring, rebounding, and assists:
Davis is a score-first forward while Antetokounmpo is a playmaker at heart, which shows in the stark comparison between the two. While The Brow has the more dominant intangibles advantage, he has yet to reach the creme of the crop of passing big men in the league — not while there’s Nikola Jokic, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin, Marc Gasol, and Al Horford — who all averaged more assists than Davis last season.
While Paul points to Davis’ 3-point shooting, he made less than one per game last season while shooting 33.1%. He’s also only at 31.4% from distance for his career, which isn’t all that much better than Antetokounmpo’s poor 27.7% mark.
Ultimately, to say a Davis-for-Antetokounmpo swap would bring the Bucks to the NBA Finals will only spark the flames once the reigning MVP gets wind of these comments, as he’ll likely have a little more than two cents to add about the matter.