Despite failing to acquire their top targets last summer, the New York Knicks still haven’t given up with their hopes of adding a legitimate NBA superstar to their roster. Though there will only be limited interesting free agents available this offseason, the summer of 2021 is expected to be extremely different as several NBA superstars would become available on the market. One of the players that the Knicks could target in the 2021 NBA free agency is Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Antetokounmpo may seem happy and committed to the Bucks, but as of now, he hasn’t given them any assurance that he’s planning to ink a new deal, giving teams like the Knicks hope to steal him from Milwaukee. However, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post, they may only be a minimal possibility for the Antetokounmpo-to-New York to happen as the Knicks might have already hurt their chances of signing the reigning MVP in the past years.
Berman mentioned two instances that could have influenced how Antetokounmpo viewed the Knicks. Aside from being stuck at the bottom of the league, the Knicks’ decision not to give Giannis’ brother, Thanasis Antekounmpo, a chance to showcase his talent might play a major role in his plans in the 2021 NBA free agency.
“The Knicks’ lure is the bigger stage but they probably won’t be a winner in 2020-21. And we know Antetokounmpo was disappointed with the franchise when it didn’t give his brother, Thanasis, a 2013 second-round pick, a chance. Thanasis, who played just two games with the Knicks, is now with the Bucks.”
Also, Berman revealed that when Antekounmpo declared for the 2013 NBA Draft, the Knicks didn’t even send someone to scout him in Greece.
“Then came a weird remark in a documentary last season from one of Giannis’ agents, Giorgos Panou, who stated the Knicks were the lone team not to send a scout to Greece to watch Giannis play. The Knicks denied the charge.”
However, despite all the things that happened in the past, Berman said that the Knicks would be given the opportunity to mend fences with the Bucks superstar. Giannis’ younger brother, Alex Antetokounmpo, recently decided to skip college to play professionally in Europe. Drafting the younger Antetokounmpo in the 2021 NBA Draft could help the Knicks land the reigning MVP when he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Acquiring Antetokounmpo won’t make the Knicks an instant title contender, but it would dramatically change the direction that they are currently taking. Also, with Antetokounmpo on board, the Knicks could become an enticing destination for superstars once again.