September 21, 2020

The Deets: Pump the brakes on Giannis to the Warriors talk

The Deets is a weekday morning dose of commentary — delivered at 7 a.m. — from sports columnist Dieter Kurtenbach that wraps up everything important in the world of sports and looks forward to another crazy day ahead.

The Big Thing

Giannis Antetokounmpo started his offseason Tuesday night by telling Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes that he wants to stay with the Milwaukee Bucks.

We’ll see how long he’s singing that tune.

Milwaukee’s early exit from the bubble and Antetokounmpo’s pending free agency in 2021 has the NBA abuzz right now. Could the soon-to-be back-to-back MVP be on the move this upcoming offseason?

The Bucks will extend a “supermax” contract to The Greek Freak later this fall — the new offseason. If he signs it, all of this conversation is moot.

But if he passes, opting to hit free agency after next season, this conversation is going to go into hyper mode.

And the Warriors — because they’re “light years ahead” — will be at the center of that conversation.

Could Giannis go to the Warriors?

At the moment, I’m skeptical. Here’s why:

The Warriors have no leverage

Golden State could put together a really solid package to trade for Giannis — Andrew Wiggins, any player(s) outside of Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, next year’s top-three-protected Minnesota Timberwolves first-round pick, and every draft pick the Warriors are legally allowed to send from their own arsenal this decade. It’s a good enough package to get the job done should Antetokounmpo demand a trade to Golden State.

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But a trade is the only straightforward way that Giannis could land in the Bay. Golden State doesn’t have the salary-cap space to sign Giannis should he become a free agent next offseason and creating that space would require so many moves — and so many haircuts — that the NBA league office would have to investigate if the team had tampered.

Things would have to work out just right for Golden State to land Giannis. Forgive me for thinking that the Warriors might have used up most of their luck over the last six years.

A trade won’t behoove Giannis

Everyone in the NBA knows the cautionary tale of Carmelo Anthony. The now-Blazers wing was a star in the league with Denver, but wanted out going into the final season of his contract with the Nuggets.

Instead of waiting to become a free agent in a few months, Anthony demanded a trade to the Knicks, securing more money for himself in the process.

But in trading for Anthony instead of signing him as a free agent, the Knicks kneecapped themselves for the remainder of Anthony’s prime. The star was paid, but he never sniffed a title.

Since then, stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant have opted to not make the same mistake as Anthony. In exiting could have demanded similar exits with Miami, Cleveland, Oklahoma City, and the Warriors, they wanted their new teams to be in the best condition possible when they arrived. (With the possible exception of the Nets sending D’Angelo Russell to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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