KD in 2016, LeBron in 2018, and… Giannis in 2020? Giannis Antetokounmpo is now a free agent, and his decision may be as impactful on the league as any other NBA superstar in recent years.
When KD joined the Warriors, he made an instant impact, as he won back to back Finals MVPs in addition to becoming a two-time champion. When LeBron joined the Lakers, it only took two seasons for them to go from a Los Angeles tourist attraction, to NBA Champions. So where might Giannis sign, and will this team reach the top within the next few years?
There are plenty of teams that are going to throw all the money they can at Giannis, and rightfully so. After all, he is the reigning back to back NBA MVP, and reigning Defensive Player of the Year. It seems like just about every team could use Giannis, but there are only a few places that I think really make sense for him.
First off, there is most certainly a chance that Giannis re-signs with the Bucks. The Bucks are the only team that can offer him a supermax five year contract, which would mean the most money for Giannis. It isn’t like the Bucks were a bottom feeding team either, heck they were first place in the east this season.
It just seems like when the Bucks hit the playoffs, they seem to fizzle into a much less competent team. Teams begin to sag off of Giannis on defense and force him to shoot, which is the weak part in his game. The Bucks have gave Giannis some shooters around him, but even they seem to preform quite underwhelming in the playoffs.
This is definitely an option for Giannis to stay, it just does not seem as dominant as some other moves he can make, but do not be surprised if Giannis stays in Milwaukee.
Next, one of the most talked about moves Giannis could make would be to the Golden State Warriors. Now yes this move probably would make him one of the most hated players in the league, much like it did with Kevin Durant, but when you think about the business side of the ball, it just makes sense.
Now when I say the business side of the ball I don’t mean money, I mean why he plays basketball professionally. Giannis is a player who plays to win. If he has an option to go play with a team that knows how to win, alongside future hall-of-famers both on the court and coaching on the bench, why wouldn’t he? He would also be surrounding himself with two of the best shooters the game has ever seen in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson as well as whoever Golden State decides to take with the number two pick in the draft.
Now the Warriors would have to make some roster moves in order to dump the salary that it would take to acquire Giannis but I am sure that would be no problem to them, as they want to maximize their opportunities at championship runs while they still have the Splash Brothers.
The Miami Heat are also a “Giannis Contender” and after a magical playoff run this season, the Heat are going to be a much more tempting destination. The Heat have shooting, young talent, great leadership, and are only a piece away from being at the top of the NBA.
If you add the MVP to a hungry team, coming off of an NBA Finals loss, that now know what they are capable of… the rest of the league would be put on notice.
Jimmy Butler seemed as if he could go toe to toe with LeBron until he burnt out after game five. If only he had a great defender that could match the size of LeBron to help with the load as well as help with the scoring load on offense. Plus, I’m sure Giannis may enjoy the change from cold and snowy Wisconsin to the beaches of Miami.
Finally, the potential Giannis destination that is the most intriguing to me, would be the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks have great players such as Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, but don’t seem good enough to make a legit run at the title.
This is where Giannis would thrive. First off the Mavericks were the most efficient offense in the NBA and were only not good enough to make a deep playoff run because their defense is among the worst in the league. Adding a 30 point per game scorer that shoots over 50% would not hurt the offensive efficiency, and adding the defensive player of the year would do wonders for their struggling defense.
As I mentioned the youth in the Miami Heat roster, this Dallas roster is led by a 21 year old and a 25 year old. Adding Giannis who is also only 25 years old, would mean this team is led by individuals who can only get better, and potentially run the league for years.
As you can see, there are many intriguing options for Giannis to choose from. I would love to see him go to Golden State, Miami, or Dallas, just to see how much the league would change. If I had to put any money on where Giannis will be at the beginning of the 2021 season, I would probably say he stays in Milwaukee, but as of now, it is all speculation and nobody knows where the reigning MVP will play next season.