NBA Rumors: Celtics Emerging As ‘Under-The Radar Destination’ For Giannis Antetokounmpo, Per ‘The Athletic’

Will the Celtics consider trading Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward to Bucks for Giannis Antetokounmpo?

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks looks on during the second quarter of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics during the 2019 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden on May 06, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Will the Celtics consider trading Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward to Bucks for Giannis Antetokounmpo?

Since the Milwaukee Bucks got eliminated by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2020 Playoffs, rumors have started to swirl around Giannis Antetokounmpo and his future with the team. With their inability to contend for the NBA championship title, there are speculations that Antetokounmpo could follow the footsteps of other superstars and start finding his way out of Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo may still be under contract with the Bucks until next season, but if he declines to sign the max extension that they are planning to offer, they would be left with no choice but to listen to offers for him in the 2020 offseason.

Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, several teams will surely do everything they can to acquire him from the Bucks. One of the teams that are currently being linked to the “Greek Freak” is the Boston Celtics. According to Danny Leroux of The Athletic, the Celtics are considered as an “under-the-radar destination” for Antetokounmpo in the 2020 offseason.

“A surprisingly under-the-radar destination considering their current success and young talent, the Boston Celtics absolutely have the assets to make a deal happen,” Leroux wrote, as quoted by HoopsHype. “Presumably Jayson Tatum is off the table, but Danny Ainge could make Jaylen Brown the centerpiece and add in a variety of young talent and/or capable veterans, depending on what the Bucks want. Additionally, the Celtics can offer to use Gordon Hayward’s expiring contract as a tool to take on undesirable long-term money, though that would get intensely expensive for their ownership down the line.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks looks to pass around Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
  Ashley Landis-Pool / Getty Images

Though they are currently establishing an impressive performance this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Celtics really decide to go after Antetokounmpo this fall. Knowing Ainge, he will surely not let the opportunity to add a generational talent like Antetokounmpo slip through his hands. The potential arrival of the “Greek Freak” in Boston would further improve the Celtics’ performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option, rebounder, facilitator, and lockdown defender.

This season, the 25-year-old power forward averaged 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. If he meshes well with Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart, the Celtics would undoubtedly become the No. 1 favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals next year.

Meanwhile, if they realize that Antetokounmpo’s departure is inevitable, a package that includes Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward is undeniably one of the best offers that the Bucks could get this fall. Brown would give the Bucks a potential centerpiece in the post-Antetokounmpo era. Hayward and his expiring contract would enable them to remain competitive next year while providing them with salary cap flexibility in the summer of 2021, when plenty of big names are expected to be available in free agency.