Laying out an Antetokounmpo trade
Building a trade for Giannis Antetokounmpo depends in part on whether the Milwaukee Bucks are looking to rebuild or want to stay competitive. Given that they have a roster built to win now and owe a number of future draft picks, it's likely they want to get younger, restock their draft pick cupboard but not completely tear things down.
With that in mind, Keldon Johnson looks like the obvious choice to build a trade around. He makes the Bucks younger and gives them a replacement at power forward, and Johnson's $20 million contract helps to get the Spurs toward the necessary matching salary. From there the Spurs would need to add some more salary, at least one other young player, and a strong handful of draft picks.
Here's one potential form of that deal:
The elephant in the room is that the Bucks are highly unlikely to trade Antetokounmpo right now, but let's assume for the moment that they are open to moving him. If so, this deal checks a lot of boxes for Milwaukee. Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan give them a frontcourt pairing for the future, Doug McDermott and Reggie Bullock can be rotation wings or trade chips down the line, and worst-case they're expiring money to help the Bucks get out of the tax next season.
It's possible that they prefer a package with fewer players and more picks, and the best construction may be a three-team deal to reroute someone like Bullock or McDermott immediately and relieve the Bucks' roster crunch. One of the Bucks' recent second-round picks could go back to the Spurs ahead of being waived.
As currently constructed, this deal would also save Milwaukee $2.4 million, an important factor for a team in the luxury tax. This deal allows them to keep multiple paths forward open for now.
If the Bucks are on board, does this trade work for the Spurs?