Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has already said on numerous occasions that he wants to spend his entire NBA career playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, but with his impending free agency, rumors continue to swirl around the All-Star power forward’s future with the team. If Antetokounmpo declines to sign a massive contract extension, there are speculations that the Bucks may consider listening to offers for him in the 2020 NBA offseason. Once they start the bidding war for Antetokounmpo, several teams are expected to express a strong interest in adding him to their roster, including the Boston Celtics.
Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge may have decided against trading for legitimate NBA superstars like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Anthony Davis, but Andrew Hughes of Fansided’s Hardwood Houdini believes that he would not let the opportunity pass to acquire a player of Antetokounmpo’s caliber. In the potential blockbuster deal that would bring him to Boston, Hughes wrote that the conversation would start with a Celtics’ trade package that would included Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward.
“Hayward is a win-now piece that could allow Milwaukee to remain competitive, and while Brown also contributes to winning in the present, he holds great value as a 23-year-old who averages 20 points per game this season. Ainge wouldn’t stop there, though, considering this would be a deal for arguably the league’s most dominant player. Romeo Langford, Grant Williams and any other recent draft pick should be on the table, as should a number of future first round draft picks.”
Trading Antetokounmpo to the Celtics in exchange for Brown and Hayward is undeniably a good deal for the Bucks, especially if they want to remain a competitive team in the Eastern Conference. Brown and Hayward would give them two reliable contributors who could join the core of Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez. Brown may not be on the level of Antetokounmpo right now, but if he continues to improve his performance on both ends of the floor, he could potentially become the new face of the Bucks’ franchise. With Hayward’s contract expiring after the 2020-21 NBA season, Milwaukee would have the salary cap flexibility to chase big names in the star-studded free agency class of 2021.
Meanwhile, the successful acquisition of Antetokounmpo would dramatically change the fate of the Celtics. His arrival could turn the Celtics from an average playoff team to the No. 1 franchise in the Eastern Conference. However, before engaging in a blockbuster deal with the Bucks, the Celtics should first get an assurance from Antetokounmpo that he would intend to stay long-term in Boston. Otherwise, they would be losing two All-Star caliber players for just one year of Antetokounmpo’s service.