The Milwaukee Bucks proved once again that they can’t play in the postseason. Their MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo could be out the door because of it.
It only took five games for the Miami Heat to embarrass the Milwaukee Bucks and eliminate them from the playoffs in only the second round. You could chalk their premature playoff exit to three things. The obvious being Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton both randomly disappearing this round. You could also point the finger towards the role players, as they were outplayed by Miami’s bench for the majority of the series. It could also be that the Heat were just a bad matchup for this year’s one seed. Overall, Miami proved to be the better side. They deserve to play in the Eastern Conference Finals, and we should applaud them for that.
The Bucks, however, not so much.
For a ‘stacked’ team with a Coach of the Year candidate to get eliminated before the Eastern Conference Finals is the epitome of underperforming. I want to preface this by saying that I don’t think the Bucks should clean house, but Giannis should do everything he can to get out of Milwaukee. A reigning MVP, likely to win the award again, only at 25-years-old. There’s no need to clean house because the haul you get for Antetokounmpo is ridiculous. Despite the underwhelming display he had this postseason, I believe three teams could go all-in for the Greek Freak that could get him much closer to his first ring.
Golden State Warriors
This one is probably the most likely to happen, in my opinion. The only aspect of a possible trade between these two teams that rubs me the wrong way is that the Warriors may need to include Klay Thompson. If Golden State is somehow able to keep the splash bros together, and then you add Giannis? The Warriors will re-ascend to league dominance, and likely capture another title.
The playstyle between these three would be the perfect combination. Now instead of worrying about only defending the perimeter, which is already hard enough against Golden State, you have to further worry about this team in transition. According to ESPN, the Warriors easily led the league in pace and offensive efficiency in the 2018-19 season.
We’ll excuse 2019-20 because almost every important player on their roster was injured at some point. It’s safe to assume that if everyone is healthy, a Warriors team with Giannis will be nearly the same as a Warriors team with Kevin Durant, just add more paint presence and less three-point shooting. Unless they lose Stephen Curry or Klay, this team with the Greek Freak is back into the title picture, further cementing one of the best dynasties the NBA has ever seen.
The nice thing about this deal is that the 76ers wouldn’t be losing too much despite their star power. Giannis can do most of what Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can do. As long as Philadelphia keeps one of their current stars, they would still improve. Of course, they would still lack heavily from three, but that’s something that they can improve on with the 21st pick in this year’s draft. The most enticing aspect of this Philadelphia team with Giannis would easily be the defense.
As the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year, Antetokounmpo would add to a Sixers team that already sports the 8th best defensive rating in the NBA, according to lineups.com. Of course, scoring could still prove an issue for this team as they could clog the paint with their overwhelming inside presence. If they can pick up a competent head coach, and maybe some extra perimeter shooting, Giannis could be the answer to the Sixers finally completing “The Process.”
It would be very Kevin Durant-Esque of Antetokounmpo to go to the team that just beat him in the playoffs, but I kind of like this move. For Miami, it would be a large gamble that I’m not sure they’re willing to make. At the very least, Tyler Herro or Duncan Robinson are included in the deal. Worst case scenario, Bam Adebayo is leaving Miami, but Pat Riley isn’t an idiot. He understands the culture he’s built in only a year in South Beach. Because of that, I think he’d be able to swing more than just Giannis in a potential deal.
As good a leader as Goran Dragic is, he’s aging. If Riley could somehow swing Bledsoe and Antetokounmpo, and hold on to either Robinson or Herro, the Heat are a lock to make it out of the Eastern Conference. Eric Bledsoe, Duncan Robinson/Tyler Herro Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Bam Adebayo? Easily one of the best starting fives in the NBA, and I for one would be on board to see how that plays out.