LA Clippers ‘Plan To Pursue A Deal’ For Giannis Antetokounmpo, Per ‘The Ringer’
The Los Angeles Clippers may be one of the heavy favorites to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still want to upgrade their current roster. Despite having one of the deepest rosters in the league, they are unlikely to sit quietly if a big name becomes available on the trade or free agency market. Among the superstars who are currently being linked to the Clippers is reigning Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Clippers “plan to pursue a deal” for the “Greek Freak,” who reportedly has an “admiration” for Coach Doc Rivers.
“The truth is that Giannis can choose from all 30 teams, because every one would move whatever salaries necessary to create the cap space for him. Or, as Jimmy Butler’s move to Miami last summer showed, a sign-and-trade can be worked out. Take the Clippers, for example: Multiple league sources have recently said the Clippers plan to pursue a deal for Giannis. One of the sources said Giannis has an ‘admiration’ for Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. But who doesn’t have an admiration for Doc? Does that really even mean anything? Rumors will persist regarding Giannis’s future until he signs a deal with the Bucks or someone else.”
Antetokounmpo would undeniably be a dream acquisition for the Clippers. He would give them another MVP-caliber player who is a very reliable scoring option, rebounder, and defender. This season, Antetokounmpo established another outstanding performance, averaging 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.0 steal while shooting 55.3 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
Though he would have to adjust his game to make himself fit with two ball-dominant superstars, pairing Antetokounmpo with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George would enable the Clippers to assemble one of the best “Big Threes” that the league has ever seen. Antetokounmpo may not have given any indication that he’s no longer happy with the Bucks, but if they don’t have any plans to make major changes to their roster, he might be better off finding his way out of Milwaukee.
Joining forces with Leonard and George would not only give him a clear path to the NBA Finals, but it would also give him a realistic chance of winning multiple championship titles. Though they are currently buried deep in the luxury tax hell, the Clippers could find a way to chase Antetokounmpo in the 2021 free agency. Once Antetokounmpo becomes an unrestricted free agent, they could execute a sign-and-trade scenario with the Bucks. However, without including Leonard or George in the package, it remains a big question mark if they could convince the Bucks to engage in a blockbuster trade involving the “Greek Freak.”