NBA Rumors: Stephen Curry Should Recruit Giannis Antetokounmpo The Way LeBron James Pursued Anthony Davis
Despite finishing the 2019-20 NBA season as one of the worst teams in the league, the Golden State Warriors are already emerging as one of the biggest threats to the reigning NBA champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, next year. That’s hardly a surprise as the Warriors are expected to have three members of their championship core — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green — back next season. However, in order to have a better chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and dethroning the Purple and Gold, the Warriors may still need to make a major roster upgrade in the 2020 offseason.
Using Andrew Wiggins’ massive contract, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2021 first-rounder, the Warriors will be in a strong position to engage in a blockbuster deal with the Milwaukee Bucks if Giannis Antetokounmpo demands a trade this fall. Even if it would cost them Thompson or Green, Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer believes Curry should recruit Antetokounmpo the same way LeBron James pursued Anthony Davis last summer.
“Giannis Antetokounmpo, the reigning two-time MVP, could be a free agent next season and there has been speculation about a move to Golden State in the past. This is where Steph needs to learn from LeBron. LeBron identified his next costar in Davis and pursued him until Davis demanded to play with him. Steph needs to do the same thing with Giannis. Steph may ultimately need to move on from Thompson or Green to make it happen. But that’s the price to pay at that level of the game.”
The Lakers had indeed given up plenty of precious trade assets to acquire Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans last summer, but their sacrifice has produced the result they wanted. There’s no 100 percent guarantee that the same thing will happen with Golden State, but pairing Curry with Antetokounmpo will no doubt make the Warriors a more dangerous team in the Western Conference next year.
Antetokounmpo would tremendously boost the Warriors’ performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option, rebounder, facilitator, and lockdown defender. This season where he was once again named the Most Valuable Player, he 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.
Aside from improving their chances of beating James and the Lakers, the successful acquisition of Antetokounmpo would also give the Warriors a player that would bridge the gap to the next era of basketball in Golden State when Curry is no longer in his prime.