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Rumor: Warriors could be thinking about Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are bracing for the departure of Kevin Durant in the summer, a move that could range from possible to inevitable, depending on one’s sense of pessimism. If he does, it won’t be long before the Warriors reload, though, as they could well target Giannis Antetokounmpo in the summer 2021, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic.

Yes, that is two summers-and-change away from taking place, but that is how free agencies are mapped out nowadays — just ask Danny Ainge and the saliva he has collected through two years of lusting after Anthony Davis.

If Durant leaves, Golden State will have to go back to its vintage core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson (if re-signed) and Draymond Green, but it wouldn’t be too long before they could pitch The Greek Freak on new horizons.

The Warriors would be trading one near-7-foot monster for another, and while Giannis doesn’t have the elite shooting touch of Durant, getting him at 26 years old could be a boon for the franchise moving forward.

“It’s gotta be Giannis now,” wrote Thompson. “After Durant wears the crown this summer, Giannis will be the league’s next huge free-agent target, with his current Milwaukee deal set to expire in July 2021.

Curry, Giannis and Klay Thompson: that’s a viable reset if Durant leaves. It’s possible. It would first require Giannis wanting to play with the Warriors.

Tell me you didn’t get a sense he’d want this from the All-Star festivities.”

Curry and Antetokounmpo bonded even before the monster bounce-to-the-oop seen around the world during Sunday’s All-Star Game. The sharpshooter selected Giannis last season during the blind All-Star Draft, and Antetokounmpo returned the favor by making Curry his first pick this year.

The two traded pleasantries during All-Star Weekend, and Curry’s happy-go-lucky playing style balances the Milwaukee Bucks star’s competitive edge, making them a perfect yin and yang.

To make this possible, the Warriors would have to make some sacrifices, including cutting the cord on Green, as the trio of Curry, Thompson and Antetokounmpo could max out the cap space nearly all by themselves.