Heat, Raptors May Be Frontrunners For Giannis Antetokounmpo

With the Bucks in a 2-0 hole against Miami, there may be a lot more at stake than just winning a playoff series. Several suitors have their eyes on Giannis Antetokounmpo, writes Vincent G0odwill of Yahoo Sports, and Miami is making a strong bid by winning the first two games.

The Heat and Raptors are considered the frontrunners to eventually land Antetokounmpo, with one source telling Goodwill it’s an “open secret” on the Disney World campus. The Bucks star is headed for free agency in 2021 if he doesn’t agree to a new deal with Milwaukee. General manager Jon Horst has said the team plans to offer a supermax deal to the reigning MVP, but Antetokounmpo’s interest in staying with the Bucks could be tied to their playoff success.

Although Antetokounmpo has put up impressive numbers in the first two games against Miami, averaging 24.5 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, the Heat defense designed by coach Eric Spoelstra has made him work for everything. Goodwill notes that Milwaukee has looked off-balance so far, with Miami dictating the style and pace of play.

“This is what great players do, present challenges,” Spoelstra said of facing Antetokounmpo. “You want it to be easy? It’s not gonna be easy. He’s not gonna stop. He’s incredibly gifted and aggressive and he’s gonna put you in compromising positions.”

Goodwill suggests Antetokounmpo might benefit from playing for an elite coach like Spoelstra, just as LeBron James did at a similar stage of his career. James was already a dominant player when he came to Miami 10 years ago, but Spoelstra was able to challenge him to improve and led him to his first two NBA titles.

Antetokounmpo is the cornerstone of what Milwaukee been building for several years, and the decision on his next contract will determine the future of the franchise. The whispers about his departure will only get louder if the Bucks don’t find a way to get past the Heat.

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63 thoughts on “Heat, Raptors May Be Frontrunners For Giannis Antetokounmpo

  1. Sillivan

    Heat have the best assets
    Heat get Giannis
    Bucks get Bam Adebayo,Duncan Robinson and Herro and salary release

    Heat starters will be old
    Dragic 35 yrs old
    Butler 31
    Crowder 31

    • Sillivan

      Raptors don’t have enough assets

      Warriors get Giannis
      Bucks get Klay #2 and Wolves pick
      Warriors get Giannis

      • firstbleed

        If I’m the Bucks I want nothing to do with Klay. Bloated overpaid contract, getting older, coming off a bad injury and he will cry if he leaves Cali.

        • Noel1982

          Taking Klay is better then taking Wiggins who is closer to absolutely sucking then he’s closer to turning into a star

      • RootedInOakland

        Both these trade ideas blow, and why do people keep assuming he’s getting traded this offseason? Bucks gonna run it back and if he leaves in free agency they’ll prolly still be able to get some compensation in a sign and trade, the idea that the Heat or Dubs would give up all that is dumb

        • baseballpun

          I think even if they’re sure he’s gone, Milwaukee should do everything they can to load up for one more run and hope to grab a title before he leaves (if they don’t come back and win this year). When have they ever had this chance? When will they ever again?

      • RenoChris

        Warriors are never trading Klay, ever. If you followed the Warriors at all you would know this!

      • joeyrocafella

        It would most likely be a sign and trade so that he can get the supermax.

        • Noel1982

          He can only get the super max if he stays with bucks once he’s traded or signs elsewhere like Kawhi pg13 and Davis he loses the ability to get it

        • Curtisrowe

          Maybe, but they wouldn’t need to trade him to the Raps or the Heat. Those two teams are rumored free agent destinations, not trade partners.

          • baseballpun

            I said “should” when I meant “could.” I think they should try to get a title now even he’s going to walk.

      • Sillivan

        Like Davis。Giannis is a great guy, he wants to get good assets for Bucks

        If Knicks want to get Davis,Knicks have to make trade next season

        • Noel1982

          Knicks aren’t getting Davis though ! I think. Lakers since they already have Davis bird rights and can open up a Max in 2021 are the only team with a chance to make that duo happen and that’s very unlikely , but Davis to Knicks isn’t happening if he leaves Lakers it’s going to be to the heat

  2. bogs79

    Mavs will have plenty of cap space when Giannis enters free agency in ’21. Pairing him up with Luka would be elite.

    • They both want the ball in their hands. They both like to lead the offense. Who takes a back seat?

      You can’t expect Giannis to take the back seat because he’s not a spot-up shooter waiting on the wing for a dish from Lucca.

      You can’t expect Luca to take a back seat because he’s one of the best in the league with the ball in his hands. Giannis wants nothing to do with Dallas. That be like playing with LeBron: You better shut up and stand in the corner.

      • justinkm19

        You don’t know the back story. Donnie Nelson has a very close relationship with the Antetokoumpo family dating back to when he was 14.

      • Rewane

        Narrative that two ball dominant players can’t co-exist is crazy. LeBron with Wade and Kyrie won championships, Harden with Paul, despite their conflict, won 67 games and was the closest team in defeating the Warriors during its title run.
        Giannis can form a pick and roll combination with Luka that rivals LeBron and Davis, and he actually needs another ball dominant guard like Luka to create shots in the clutch.
        If Giannis doesn’t go to Dallas the reason would not be fit.

        • I think the Luka Giannis Dynamic is a little bit different because Luka is so good with the ball you would never want to take it out of his hands, and Giannis is such a poor outside shooter you have to have him leading the offense. This is a different type of 2 ball dominant guys in my opinion. But I see what you guys are saying. It’s all good.

      • Pnut6669 2

        Uhhh its actually perfect luka is the floor general and giannis is a power/small forward luka would make passes to him all day the reason why luka takes shots now is becuse he’s our best/only really good player kristrappus isnt the unicorn anymore (maybe he still is) but that would bre a perfect combo and I bet the west would be scared to see them together !!

      • Pnut6669 2

        Uhhh its actually perfect luka is the floor general and giannis is a power/small forward luka would make passes to him all day the reason why luka takes shots now is becuse he’s our best/only really good player kristrappus isnt the unicorn anymore (maybe he still is) but that would bre a perfect combo and I bet the west would be scared to see them together !!

  3. imindless
    imindless

    Giannis just isn’t that good tbh….can’t shoot outside. He is like a better version of 03’ lebron but needs great supporting cast to win. Driving through the lanes only gets you so far. I really don’t see him teaming up with any of these squads for the black lash it would provide for him. If he loses to heat then to join them he looks just as bad as kd did. Won’t go to Gsw way to old and to many injuries also bad rep if he goes there. If he does leave it will be somewhere that hasn’t won in while but has cap space to recruit other stars.

  4. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    From WikiPedia: “In 2016–17 he led the Bucks in all five major statistical categories and became the first player in NBA history to finish a regular season in the top 20 in all five statistics of total points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. He received the Most Improved Player award in 2017. Antetokounmpo has received four All-Star selections, including being selected as an All-Star captain in 2019 and 2020, as he led the Eastern Conference in voting in these two years.

    In June 2019, he was named the NBA Most Valuable Player. In August 2020, Antetokounmpo was named the 2019-20 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.”

    So, since you’re going against the consensus of a LOT of well-informed basketball people, what in your opinion does it take for a player to be considered “good?”

    • imindless
      imindless

      “Good” means being able to make it to finals with a top seed team. Lebron made it to finals yearly if you want to be considered great making you finals helps. They were obliterated by raptors and are being dominated by heat this year so much so that the league is talking about him leaving as if it’s bucks fault. Come playoff time simply going for layups and p and rs isn’t gonna cut it.

      • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

        Got it. Once you get out-argued, simply change the definitions of words.

        • x%sure

          Let’s say good enough then. imind can exaggerate. But Giannis does not have a game well-rounded enough to be champ if he’s as much of a one-man team as many fans think.

          Giannis should take some time off next year and let the team jell without him, get polished again, then rejoin them to include the playoffs.
          (Next year though, who knows what that means. It will be very late at least.)

          • earmbrister

            Giannis doesn’t have a well rounded game? That is about as funny a statement as I’ve heard in quite some time …

      • earmbrister

        You’re right mindless, Giannis is not a good player, he’s a dominant player. What sport are you watching? BTW, it’s a team sport. And they used to say the same things about Lebron.

        Hubcap, you nailed it.

        • x%sure

          Giannis either goes in or he doesn’t. A defender can stand in if the stakes are high enough. Refs can bail out the driver sometimes, but not reliably in the playoffs. Look at the defenders gathered at the FT line vs Giannis on the break.

          It’s like if the best quarterback or best running back will win the Super Bowl. And I don’t even know the answer to that; I just assume that linebackers that will avoid getting hammered by a ballcarrier in the RS, will be more willing to front him in the Super Bowl.

          Lebron has always been a better deep shooter.

  5. C-Daddy

    Seems odd that the headline includes the Raptors as a possible destination but there’s no mention of them in the actual article.

  6. Reflect

    I thought LeBron didn’t even like Spoelstra. That was the narrative back then.

    • x%sure

      I did not see an improvement there, except in team results. I think he worked inside more but that was already in motion gradually.

  7. Sillivan

    Whoever gets Giannis via trade,the team will be old

    Weak point
    Heat have little future pick

    • Except it doesn’t have to be through trade either since he’s a free agent

  8. x%sure

    The original article was just about the embedded writer and he undermined his main point of Miami being the top option for Giannis, talking about the game:

    “… just the way Butler, Bam Adebayo and the rest of the Heat want things: off-balance and chaotic.”

    Pretty sure Giannis does not like things chaotic & off-balance.
    Capspace will be everywhere in 2021… No good reason was given for Miami & Toronto specifically. Adebayo is good, but not a complement as ideal as Brook Lopez— assuming he can hang on (32 now) and Giannis has not started hitting 3s.
    If Giannis is thinking Toronto, he might want to see if Siakam levels off like he has been hinting. Neither have been big shotblockers.

    Miami led a little throughout but Giannis committed the worst foul, so he may not even blame the team.

    • El Don

      Giannis shoots well enough, actually I don’t care how he shoots the 3 ball… what I can’t stand & I don’t understand is how he is so bad at FT’s & how fans complain about his deep shooting, which is ok, but no one complains about how appalling he is at FT’s is getting into Shaq level, in the 50’s… I mean is pathetic. If he got up to 70/75% in FT”s, then is all I care.

  9. There is a slight chance Milwaukee holds onto Giannis in the hopes that they can re-sign him in free agency. There is a slight chance they don’t trade him if he doesn’t sign new contract when eligible this winter. So if he walks when this contract is up perhaps Miami or Toronto can fit him under the cap. Lowry would be gone and I think Miami probably has a room.

    But that ain’t going to happen in my opinion. Coach budenholzer knows better than to let a guy walk for nothing. Best case scenario is a trade this winter. Maybe around draft time, You hit up Giannis hard to re-sign an extension between the draft going back to next week when they’re bounced. If he doesn’t sign the extension you find the best deal possible out there at the draft.

  10. Piggybacking on my trade Giannis post let me add this. There’s no way you hold onto Giannis until the trade deadline to trade him. He would disrupt team chemistry and offense too much to work that in with two months left in the season.

    You have to get him in training camp in order to rebuild the offense around his ball-handling scoring and passing. He’s your new point forward so to speak.

    • x%sure

      Of course you hang onto him if he doesn’t extend. For instance he may want to see how Siakam turns out, be disappointed, and re-sign then. For more money under the CBA too. That’s as likely as any other one option.
      I doubt HC Buden will have much say in the matter.

      • “Of course you hang on to him if he doesn’t extend?” Not sure about that. You risk losing him for nothing. Look at the Warriors offer as an example. Wiggins PLUS this year’s number two pick PLUS next year’s wolves pick which could be top 10 PLUS maybe a Paschal and Jordan Poole. That’s pretty powerful.

        • x%sure

          That was a nice haul for Durant but the equivalent situation would not happen for Giannis until 2022, at the end of his contract. Then he and two FOs at least would have to agree to an S&T.

          If he leaves in 2022 in a worst case, he would leave lots of capspace behind to sign somebody else… Unless big new salaries are added, and/or George Hill opted for, which is possible.

          But nobody in the FO would want to be responsible for getting rid of him in trade.
          Giannis is safe.

          • Noel1982

            Also Wiggins sucks teams would want those picks just to take him forget sending warriors value back ! Lose me with 20 ppg as well when he takes 22 shots per game to get those points

  11. I doubt he’s going anywhere. He’ll only be traded if he demands a trade, and that would be inconsistent with his character. Suggestion that he’d leave over a playoff loss that he has to own is insulting to him. Spoelstra is good HC, nothing more. Coach Bud is as well.

    • Have you heard him rail his teammates in the last 2-3 weeks? Questioning whether they’re going to play hard or rebound or play defense, stuff like that. He’s as good as gone. He wants to play with the Splash Brothers.

      • LOL. I think it’s you that wants him to play with the Splash Brothers. Even if he wants to leave, I don’t think the GSW would be a destination. But we’ll see soon enough.

  12. Yep it is

    Spoelstra an elite coach? LOL any coach in the world could of won 4 with the talent he only won 2 with. What a joke that comment was. What has he won before or since? That is ridiculous calling him “ elite”

    • wagner13

      What a joke this comment is. Spoelstra developed a pair of undrafted guards into starters and helped Bam earn runner-up for most improved. That doesn’t happen without excellent coaching. Miami didn’t completely fall off the map when LeBron left and was back to being competitive after a couple of retooling seasons. He’s up 2 games already over the 56-win Bucks, led by the league MVP. How many coaches, outside of Nurse and maybe Kerr, can you argue are definitely better than Spoelstra?

  13. BStevens

    It’s no secret that Giannis will become a Free agent if he doesn’t sign and extension with Bucks. This article says absolutely nothing. Complete click bait

  14. KnickerbockerAl

    Bucks team is not built long term now. That could be an issue if they lose again. But it’s not over. Denver came back down 3-1. Bunch whining fugazies out here. Let play out before you send him away.
    Miami has been very vocal about wanting Giannis. It will be his first FA. So he will do tour. I’m sur there will be 2-3 options out there. He’s a good guy. He’s not walking out on Bucks. If he leaves it will be sign n trade or trade. He’s the closest to Dr J I have ever seen. And Dr J made the NBA. Not Magic n Larry.

  15. abssamanta

    “With the Bucks in a 2-0 hole against Miami…” welp… make 3-0 now. Are the Bucks seriously about to get swept by Jimmy Butler and the Heat? No disrespect to the Heat but I’m surprised that the 1 seed is in a 3-0 hole.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Everyone was expecting a Lakers/Bucks Finals to practically be a given, but now it’s looking like neither of them has a very good chance of getting to the conference finals. At least the Lakers can still get there a lot easier than the Bucks, but even if they do it’s highly unlikely they will get past both the Rockets and Clippers who are arguably the two best teams in the NBA right now.

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