Milwaukee Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is expected to be the most coveted superstar in the 2021 NBA free agency. The Bucks may be planning to offer him a massive contract extension after the 2019-20 season, but with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic to the salary cap, Antetokounmpo could pass on inking a new deal and seek a better payday in next year’s offseason. Once Antetokounmpo officially becomes an unrestricted free agent, plenty of teams would likely express a strong interest in stealing him from the Bucks — including the Denver Nuggets.
Evan Siegel of Fansided’s Nugg Love believes that the Nuggets could be a “sleeper contender” for Antetokounmpo. Though they are not viewed as a favorite landing spot, Siegel thinks that the presence of talented players like Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray could be enough for Antetokounmpo to consider the Nuggets as his next destination in the summer of 2021.
“The Nuggets wouldn’t be favored to land Antetokounmpo, but they could pitch Nikola Jokic’s superstardom as a tremendous attraction for him. Antetokounmpo’s best days in Milwaukee have come when he has capable center play around him in the front court. Brook and Robin Lopez have made his work substantially easier as he is able to effortlessly gallop up and down the floor and score in the paint despite not being able to shoot from the outside. The Nuggets also have one of the league’s best point guards in Jamal Murray.”
As Siegel noted, the Bucks would need to part ways with some of their key players to create enough salary cap space to offer Antetokounmpo a maximum contract in free agency. However, sacrificing their depth would definitely be worth it for the Nuggets if it means acquiring an MVP-caliber player like Antetokounmpo. He would be an incredible acquisition for the Nuggets as he would tremendously improve their performance on both ends of the floor.
Pairing Antetokounmpo with Jokic and Murray would enable the Nuggets to create their own “Big Three” that could put them on the same level as other Western Conference powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. Jokic wouldn’t mind surrendering the role as the main man to Antetokounmpo, as long as it would increase their chances of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning an NBA championship title. If Antetokounmpo, Jokic, and Murray grow together and build good chemistry, the Nuggets would have the opportunity to create their own dynasty.