In case you didn’t think the Golden State Warriors had enough big stars with their current lineup of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, the team is reportedly thinking internally about adding another major superstar – the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo – when he becomes a free agent in two years.
According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, in his weekly newsletter, the Warriors “have internally mused about a run at Giannis — however futile it may prove to be — in the event they can’t convince Kevin Durant to re-sign this summer.”
This followed a report in the Athletic earlier in this week which speculated that the Warriors could make a run at Antetokounmpo in 2021, which would give the Warriors a core of Curry, Antetokounmpo, and Klay Thompson.
This scenario would entail either Kevin Durant leaving the Warriors as a free agent this summer or signing some type of short-term contract that would allow him to leave Golden State in 2021. Draymond Green would also likely not stay with the Warriors in that scenario. And it would also mean the “Greek Freak” not agreeing to an extension with Milwaukee in the next two years.
The basis of both pieces is that Curry and Antetokounmpo appeared to have outstanding chemistry with each other at the All-Star Game last weekend, including the bounce-lob play (per NBA.com) that was the game’s highlight. Curry was Giannis’ first pick in the pre-All-Star Game draft, just as Giannis was Curry’s top selection the previous year.
The two players are both represented by the agency Octagon and are known to be friendly with one another.
Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a four-year, $100 million extension with Milwaukee in September of 2016, per Hoops Hype, three years after the Bucks got Giannis with the 13th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. The player, whose contract expires in the summer of 2021, is still only 24-years-old.
The Athletic report noted that the Warriors have a history of organizing their salary cap obligations years in advance in order to plan future free agency pursuits; this is how they managed to add Durant to an already loaded team in the summer of 2016.
By the time they would be pursuing Giannis in 2021, the Warriors will have already moved into their new arena in San Francisco, the Chase Center, from their current home in Oakland. The new building is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.