Still, that won’t stop rumors from flying and speculation from circulating, and one former Western Conference executive already floated a fascinating possibility regarding The Greek Freak’s future.
“He could be on the Warriors in three months,” the exec told Bleacher Reports’ Eric Pincus.
Golden State seems like a logical fit if Antetokounmpo backtracks and ultimately forces a trade. The Warriors finished this season with the NBA’s worst record on the heels of Kevin Durant’s free agency departure and injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but adding Antetokounmpo to a healthy core that also includes Draymond Green would thrust Golden State right back into the NBA Finals conversation.
The Warriors, who landed the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft via the lottery, have the pieces to assemble an enticing trade offer should Antetokounmpo become available.
Here’s more from Pincus:
The Warriors can offer the massive contract of Andrew Wiggins ($94.7 million over the next three years), along with the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, a lightly protected future Minnesota Timberwolves first-rounder and Eric Paschall. Wiggins’ contract is far from ideal, but the Bucks may feel compelled to make the best out of a bad situation. High picks can be extremely difficult to come by.
One former general manager views the Warriors as “the only leverage opportunity” for Milwaukee.
“Time is on their side,” he said. “They would get a huge deal.”
Antetokounmpo currently is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2020-21 campaign, during which he’ll earn $27.5 million. Milwaukee can offer the 25-year-old a supermax contract extension whenever this offseason begins, so perhaps we’ll know soon enough whether Antetokounmpo is genuine about his stated desire to remain with the organization that drafted him 15th overall in 2013.
If Antetokounmpo doesn’t sign the supermax, however, trade conjecture undoubtedly will become more rampant, much like it was with Anthony Davis ahead of his trade from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers. It’ll be interesting to see which teams pop up in such chatter.
The Miami Heat (who eliminated the Bucks from the playoffs) and the Toronto Raptors already have been mentioned as the “frontrunners” to sign Antetokounmpo if he tests free agency after next season.
Pincus wondered whether a team like the Brooklyn Nets or Phoenix Suns would consider putting together trade packages before then, provided Antetokounmpo would be willing to leave Milwaukee and sign an extension with his new franchise.
Basically, buckle up. The Bucks, who entered the Orlando bubble with the NBA’s best record and championship aspirations, face several offseason questions after a disappointing second-round exit.
Those questions start and end with the Bucks’ best player, despite him stating clearly Tuesday he intends to stay in Milwaukee.