Milwaukee Bucks: Terrible Giannis Antetokounmpo trade proposals are everywhere

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

With endless terrible trade ideas dreamed up online, what would Giannis Antetokounmpo’s value really be if the Milwaukee Bucks ever had to trade him?

The Milwaukee Bucks should not, and certainly never would, trade Giannis Antetokounmpo unless they find themselves in a position where they’ve no other option.

Barring Antetokounmpo essentially making it clear at that he would walk away as a free agent, there’d be no valid reason for the Bucks to trade a player who’s likely to soon be a back-to-back MVP winner.

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In spite of all of that, a day doesn’t go by online without fans from teams elsewhere, or websites eager to drive traffic, coming up with potential trade ideas that could land their team the player who looks set to be the most valuable asset in the NBA for the best part of the next decade or so.

With that obvious and indisputable value in mind, you might think these trade ideas would present incredible hauls to convince the NBA’s best team to give up, of their own volition, on years of guaranteed contention.

In reality, though, they are almost all comically and absurdly bad.

To be clear, that’s not simply taking account of these hypothetical deals from a Bucks’ perspective, but generally just taking into account the recent precedents set for superstar trades.

The latest Antetokounmpo trade idea to really drive conversation suggested (like they almost always do) that Giannis would land with the Golden State Warriors. In return, the Bucks would receive Andrew Wiggins, along with the Warriors’ 2020 first round pick, the Timberwolves’ 2021 first round pick (top 3 protected), and the Warriors’ 2022 first round pick.

This is not intended to be a scapegoating of that particular proposal as the worst that’s ever been dreamed up, as there have been worse. But as it is one that has been the focus of plenty of online chatter in the last few days, let’s use it as a template to compare to the kind of haul the Bucks would be seeking in reality.

Having failed to live up to the pre-draft hype, Andrew Wiggins is now the owner of one of the league’s worst contracts, as he signed a five year max deal that will run through to the summer of 2023 and has yet to come all that close to living up to that value.

Along with a player the Bucks would almost certainly then be trying to get rid of immediately, this deal would also give them a likely top-3 pick in a draft class roundly described as one of the worst in recent memory, a protected pick from a Timberwolves team that with Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell could possibly end up being relatively mediocre in 2021, and then a pick from a Warriors team that would likely be right at the end of the first round in 2022, given Antetokounmpo’s place on their team.

I mean, what are we doing here? If the internet is going to insist on trying to force Giannis out of Milwaukee, the least that anyone can ask for is for the trade proposals to get better than this.

When the Lakers traded for a want-away Anthony Davis last summer, the Pelicans had lost leverage due to Davis’ well-publicised desire to force his way out of New Orleans. Still, they managed to land a stellar haul of high potential young players, who were all still on rookie deals, such as Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and Brandon Ingram, who has already broken through as an All-Star.

Additionally, the Pelicans received the fourth overall pick in the 2019 Draft, will get a top-8 protected pick in 2021, hold a pick swap option for 2023, and will receive another unprotected first of their choosing between either 2024 or 2025.

Again, as another star looked to force his way out last summer, the Oklahoma City Thunder received a monumental haul of assets from the Clippers for Paul George.

Not only did the Thunder land one of the league’s most promising point guards in the form of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and a highly skilled veteran in Danilo Gallinari, but they also got their hands on four unprotected first round picks, a protected first, and the option to swap picks in two years additionally.

It’s worth pointing out that neither of Davis or George were MVP winners, nor had they shown any ability to single-handedly drive winning to the degree which Antetokounmpo has.

For the Bucks, all signs point to their relationship with Antetokounmpo being as strong as ever. Rather than weighing up trade proposals, they currently have every reason to feel optimistic that he’ll commit his future to the franchise in the form of a supermax extension this offseason.

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If the worst was to happen, though, and the Bucks were forced to make a deal, you can guarantee they’ll be looking for a lot more than three underwhelming picks and a non All-Star who’s paid like an All-Star.