With the massive improvement made by the face of the franchise, Trae Young, in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Atlanta Hawks may consider speeding up their rebuilding plans this fall. Instead of focusing on the development of their core and adding more young and promising talents to the roster, the Hawks could start building a title-contending team around Young. One of the most intriguing trade targets for the Hawks in the 2020 offseason is reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Bucks haven’t shown any indication that they are planning to make Antetokounmpo available on the market, but if they fail to convince him to sign a massive contract extension, they could at least listen to trade offers for him this fall. If the “Greek Freak” becomes available on the trade block, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes that the Hawks are one of the few teams that could make a “grand offer” to Milwaukee.
In the proposed trade scenario, the Hawks would send a package that includes John Collins, Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, and Dewayne Dedmon to the Bucks in exchange for Antetokounmpo.
“Collins is a logical starting point, a 22-year-old power forward that would slide in immediately as a starter for Milwaukee. He’s a far better outside shooter than Antetokounmpo (40.1 percent on 3.6 attempts per game) and is averaging career highs in points (21.6), rebounds (10.1) and blocks (1.6) while making 58.3 percent of his field-goal attempts. While his defense is far, far below Antetokounmpo’s level, Collins will be a restricted free agent in 2021, giving the Bucks the chance to match any deal he receives and keep him in Milwaukee long term.”
The suggested deal would allow Milwaukee to gather assets for the future while keeping their status as a legitimate playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. While having an immediate replacement for Antetokounmpo at the starting power forward position, the Bucks would also be acquiring two young and promising players in Reddish and Hunter to boost their backcourt and wing.
Trading all those players would undeniably be a tough decision for the Hawks, but it should be a no-brainer if it means acquiring a player of Antetokounmpo’s caliber. The potential arrival of the “Greek Freak” in Atlanta would tremendously improve their offensive and defensive efficiency that currently ranks 26th and 28th in the league, respectively, according to ESPN. Pairing Antetokounmpo with Young could turn the Hawks from one of the worst teams in the league into a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference next season.
However, trading for Antetokounmpo comes with a huge risk since he is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2021. Before pushing through with the blockbuster deal, the Hawks should first get assurance that he intends to stay in Atlanta beyond the 2020-21 NBA season.