In the past few months, rumors have been circulating that the Golden State Warriors will be one of the top suitors of Milwaukee Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2021 NBA free agency. However, the Warriors may no longer need to wait for the summer of 2021 to chase Antetokounmpo, especially if the reigning MVP and the Bucks fail to reach an agreement regarding a contract extension next summer. In his recent article, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle discussed the possibility of a potential blockbuster deal between the Warriors and the Bucks involving Antetokounmpo.
If the Warriors finish the 2019-20 season as one of the worst teams and get the No. 1 pick in the next summer’s draft, Letourneau believes that they would use it as the main trade chip to acquire Antetokounmpo from the Bucks.
“First of all, it’s highly unlikely that Milwaukee would make Giannis Antetokounmpo available in a trade. But if the Bucks did, they certainly would have a big asking price. The mega-trades that sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers and Paul George to the Clippers have set the standard quite high. If the Warriors got the No. 1 pick, they’d probably need to offer Milwaukee that selection, D’Angelo Russell, Draymond Green or Klay Thompson, and another young piece or two — think Eric Paschall and Kevon Looney — just for the Bucks to take them seriously.”
As surprising as it may seem, the Warriors indeed have a strong chance of getting the top selection in the 2020 NBA Draft. With some of their key players — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and D’Angelo Russell — going down with injuries one after another, the Warriors have struggled to find a way to return to the win column. As of now, the Warriors are in the No. 15 spot in the Western Conference, holding the NBA’s worst record at 4-15.
If the Warriors win the No. 1 pick, trading it for a player of Antetokounmpo’s caliber is definitely a no-brainer. Antetokounmpo is a generational talent who could give the Warriors a realistic chance of continuing their dynasty. However, the No. 1 pick alone won’t likely be enough to convince the Bucks to make a deal.
As Letourneau noted, it would take a godfather offer for the Bucks to consider trading the face of the franchise. Aside from the top selection in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Warriors would also need to sacrifice one of their core players — Thompson, Green, and Russell — and the likes of Kevon Looney and Eric Paschall. Though the asking price is too high, acquiring Antetokounmpo would definitely be worth it for the Warriors.
However, before pushing through with the deal, the Warriors should first get an assurance from Antetokounmpo that he intends to re-sign when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2021.