NBA Rumors: Bulls Could Acquire Giannis Antetokounmpo For Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen & Two 1st-Round Picks

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks tries to move against Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 28, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

In the midst of the ongoing 2020 Playoffs, several crazy trade ideas have started surfacing in the NBA. These include the blockbuster deal that would send reigning Defensive Player of the Year and Milwaukee Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo to the Chicago Bulls in the 2020 offseason. In a recent article, Andrew Miller of Fansided’s Pippen Ain’t Easy suggested three “too good to be true” trades that would enable the Bulls to acquire the “Greek Freak.”

Of all his suggestions, Miller believes that the “most realistic” deal is the one that would trade Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, and two unprotected future first-round picks to the Bucks in exchange for Antetokounmpo. Though none of them could ever fill the hole that Antetokounmpo will be leaving in Milwaukee, LaVine and Markkanen would still be great additions to the Bucks. As Miller noted, LaVine and Markkanen would enable the Bucks to rebuild while remaining a competitive team in the post-Antetokounmpo era.

“LaVine and Markkanen would still give the Bucks a good enough combination to start their own rebuild with a solid foundation. They would also get a good amount of future draft capital by getting two of the Bulls future first round pick with no caveats. All the Bulls get in return is Giannis, so this is also the most straightforward of the three hypothetical trade packages. LaVine is on contract for two more years, so he could have some longevity on his current deal with the Bucks. And it would give them a nice trio to build around for the future between him, Middleton, and Markkanen.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks drives against Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 28, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bucks defeated the Bulls 110-96.
  Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

LaVine and Markkanen could immediately become starters in Milwaukee next season. LaVine could serve as Eric Bledsoe’s new backcourt partner, while Markkanen could replace Antetokounmpo as the team’s starting power forward. Though they would not be as formidable as when the “Greek Freak” is on the roster, the core of Bledsoe, LaVine, Khris Middleton, Markkanen, and Brook Lopez, if they all mesh well, could still pose a threat to every powerhouse team in the league.

Meanwhile, the potential acquisition of Antetokounmpo wouldn’t make the Bulls an instant favorite to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next season, but it would be a huge step toward achieving their main goal. Antetokounmpo could save the Bulls from being stuck in mediocrity and would give them a proven leader and a player that they could officially call the face of the franchise.

With his incredible performance on both ends of the floor, Antetokounmpo would strengthen the Bulls’ chances of ending their playoff drought. If he commits to staying in Chicago beyond the 2020-21 NBA season, Antetokounmpo could also help the Bulls recruit some big names who will become available on the free agency market in the summer of 2021.