The Toronto Raptors may not have done anything to fill the void left by Kawhi Leonard last summer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Masai Ujiri, the team’s president of basketball operations, has no plan to build another title-contending team. As of now, the Raptors are maintaining their salary cap flexibility to make sure that they have enough money to chase big names in the star-studded 2021 NBA free agency, where their No. 1 target would be reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
In a recent appearance on First Things First podcast that is currently posted on Twitter, FS1 analyst Chris Broussard talked about the Raptors and their potential pursuit of Antetokounmpo. Though Ujiri has some connection with Antetokoumpo, Broussard doesn’t see the Raptors as the top favorite team to land the Bucks superstar in the 2021 NBA free agency. Broussard said that NBA teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Miami Heat are “ahead” of the Raptors in the chase for Antetokounmpo in the summer of 2021.
“If Giannis leaves Milwaukee, it’s going to be because the big lights of a major American coastal city draw him,” Wright said, as quoted by NBC Sports.
“Be it Miami, I don’t think the Knicks are ever going to get it together, or a team out in California. He’s not going to leave Milwaukee to go to Canada. And I think our friend [NBA commissioner] Adam Silver would absolutely have a fit if he did because while Toronto is a great city, a major metropolitan city, because it’s in Canada and the television ratings and all of that doesn’t work the way the NBA wants it to.”
It won’t be surprising if Antetokounmpo really chooses the Warriors or the Heat over Toronto. Though the Raptors have built a solid fandom in the past years, their current market is not as big as the Warriors and the Heat. If Antetokounmpo isn’t interested in playing for big market teams, Broussard believes that it’s more likely for him to stay with the Bucks in the 2021 NBA free agency than sign with the Raptors.
Though he discussed potential landing spots for Antetokounmpo, Broussard is one of the few people who strongly believe that the “Greek Freak” would stay in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo may not have given an assurance about whether he would re-sign with the Bucks in the 2021 NBA free agency, but he has already said on several occasions that he doesn’t have any interest in teaming up with other NBA superstars just to win an NBA championship title. Broussard thinks that at least making it to the NBA Finals in the 2019-20 NBA season would be enough to convince Antetokounmpo to remain a Buck for life.