When Kawhi Leonard left for the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2019 NBA free agency, most people were expecting the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors to undergo a rebuilding process. The core of Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and OG Anunoby may be able to extend the Raptors’ playoff streak in the 2019-20 NBA season, but without Leonard on their side, it remains to be seen if they have what it takes to bring another Larry O’Brien Trophy home to Toronto. As of now, the Raptors continue to insist that they have no intention of undergoing a full-scale rebuild.
Instead of patiently building around Pascal Siakam, rumors are circulating that the Raptors are planning to go after a legitimate NBA superstar that would help them fully dominate the Eastern Conference and contend for the NBA championship. According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, as quoted by Yahoo Sports, the Raptors would be “one of the chief pursuers” of reigning MVP and Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2021 NBA free agency.
“Oh, and did I mention — there is one giant, long-armed Greek shadow looming over every decision this franchise makes. Sources say the Raptors are likely to be one of the chief pursuers of Giannis Antetokounmpo if and when he hits the 2021 free-agent market, so any moves that eliminate the possibility of max cap space that summer would be extremely unlikely.”
Since the 2019 NBA offseason, rumors have been circulating around Giannis Antetokounmpo and his future with the Bucks. Antetokounmpo hasn’t shown any sign that he’s no longer happy in Milwaukee, and he has said on numerous occasions that he wants to finish his NBA career with the Bucks. However, according to a previous Inquisitr article, Antetokounmpo said that signing a contract extension with the Bucks next summer would become a “lot more difficult” if they underperform in the 2019-20 NBA season.
If Giannis Antetokounmpo really decides not to ink a new deal with the Bucks and test the free agency market in the summer of 2021, the Raptors will surely do everything they could to create enough salary cap space for a maximum contract. The successful acquisition of Antetokounmpo would undeniably make the Raptors one of the top favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals once again.
Like Kawhi Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently considered as one of the best active players in the league. At 24, Antetokounmpo perfectly fits the timeline of the Raptors’ promising core of Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Norman Powell, and Fred VanVleet.