Teams are circling around the MVP but the San Antonio Spurs don’t have a shot
One of the biggest storylines to follow this offseason will be the moves that the Milwaukee Bucks make to try to keep their star player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, in Milwaukee. After a disappointing postseason run, the Bucks are going to have to make changes to show Giannis they mean business. If they falter or come up short expect the San Antonio Spurs and 28 other teams to line up to make their pitches to the MVP.
Speculation about Giannis leaving Milwaukee is nothing new. The national conversation around superstars in small markets is almost always centered around “when will they leave.” We’ve seen it time and time again. Damian Lillard and pre-Lakers Anthony Davis got heavy doses of this treatment and you can already see the headlines forming if Ja Morant or Zion Williamson shows the slightest hint of dissatisfaction in their situations.
But the conversation around Antetokounmpo has a level of legitimacy that didn’t seem possible just a few months ago. After a lopsided defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Giannis sat down with the Bucks ownership to discuss what moves they will make in the offseason to reposition the team for a stronger title push.
That’s not the kind of conversation you typically hear a star player having with team ownership unless they’re seriously considering every option they have moving forward. The Bucks are going to offer Giannis a supermax contract somewhere north of $220 million over five-years but it looks like even a contract larger than the GDP of some countries might not be enough to keep Giannis in Milwaukee.
Available or not, the San Antonio Spurs aren’t getting Giannis Antetokounmpo
Throughout the season we saw countless Giannis to (insert your favorite team here) pieces put out. Innocuous interactions like a postgame simple dap up with Stephen Curry set off a flurry of potential trade pieces from Golden State writers who would like nothing more than to pluck the face of the league away from a small market to add to their evil empire.
Now, we’re no strangers to hypothetical trade pieces but we’re going to address this once and that should be enough – there is absolutely no chance that the San Antonio Spurs are getting Giannis Antetoknoumpo.
As far as I can tell, there isn’t much “Giannis to San Antonio” speculation going around save a few overly ambitious Spurs fans with access to an NBA trade machine. But before the rumor mill starts turning for almost every other team in the league let’s get the Spurs out of the mess.
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Speculation aside, everything we’ve heard from Giannis over the entirety of his career indicates that he’s going to sign that supermax contract and remain in Milwaukee for the next five years. He’s said time and time again how much the city means to him, his raising his family there, and they’re winning. But if Giannis does want out, the Spurs simply don’t have what it takes to make a trade for him.
Let’s play “what if” for a moment here. If the Spurs were to make a pitch to the Bucks it would take something like Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Lonnie Walker, Luka Samanic, and multiple first-round picks to make the Bucks even consider agreeing to a deal. They’re likely not going to want DeMar DeRozan, not with Khris Middleton on the roster, and LaMarcus Aldridge is on the downslope of his career, that does nothing fo the Bucks.
Even if the Bucks do want to go young, there are other teams out there that can put together a better package than what the Spurs can. Hate them if you want, but the Warriors have better draft picks to offer. The Heat have draft picks and Bam Adebayo that they could offer. The Spurs young core is promising but it’s just not enough to bring Giannis to San Antonio, not right now.
The San Antonio Spurs and Giannis Antetokounmpo both have bright futures ahead of them but their paths likely won’t cross any time soon. Hope for Giannis to come to the Alamo City all you want, but don’t hold your breath.