This has been some stoppage in the NBA. Before the Break the Celtics were vying for the 2nd spot in the Eastern Conference, Kemba Walker’s knee was a focal point and Gordon Hayward was starting to become a big contributor to the lineup. An item of interest for Celtics fans is discussion in the Bay Area and Milwaukee. There have been discussions starting to leak out revealing the Golden State Warriors could make a play for Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, whose contract expires at the end of next season. There would be a trade proposed sending the Warriors first round pick (potentially a top three pick after the lottery) and Minnesota’s 2021 first round pick along with Andrew Wiggins to Milwaukee in exchange for the services of Giannis for the 2020-21 season
Nothing is eminent or set to happen, however the San Francisco Chronicle had a source say the Warriors have been preparing for years to make a play for the Greek Freak. Milwaukee, Golden State, Giannis, where does Boston play into this? Obviously, if the reigning NBA MVP went west the league would look VERY different.
The Celtics would be a favorite to win the East. The key competition for Boston would be the Brooklyn Nets, led by the fan favorites Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, plus Philadelphia’s duo of Simmons and Embiid. Financially, the Celtics have Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart through the 2021-22 season and Jayson Tatum through next season. Gameplay wise, Antetokounmpo has been an NBA cheat code. The muscle, speed and craftiness of the Greek Freak makes him nearly unguardable and he is just getting into the prime of his career. With teammates like Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and George Hill, the East could be Milwaukee’s to own for years to come if Giannis signs an extension. The downside for the Bucks however could be Giannis’ success.
The big man would qualify for the supermax, meaning he could sign an absolute monster deal worth just over $250 Million over five years. Middleton already signed a big deal, so Giannis’ contract would leave the Bucks without bucks to spend
Should Giannis go West, the Warriors would be returning to a top five team in the NBA. Steph, Klay, Drummond, and Giannis would challenge the elite of the league. Like prior years, the Western Conference playoffs would be a shootout at the ole corral. Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Jazz, Rockets, Thunder, Warriors would make every playoff game a Conference finals caliber game. IF Boston managed to get to the Finals, they could face a Greek Freak that went through the gauntlet of Kawai, LeBron, AD, James Harden and more, potentially softening up Mr. Antetokounmpo.
This is all what-if’s, could be’s, imagine what could happen material; but with a stoppage upon us it’s worth thinking about the future. Potentially more important, what the future could mean for the C’s.