Giannis Antetokounmpo Rumors: MVP cited Bradley Beal as trade target?

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 2: (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Before signing the supermax extension, Giannis Antetokounmpo reportedly listed Bradley Beal as a desirable trade target for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Giannis Antetokounmpo silenced any speculation regarding his future after signing the five-year supermax extension worth $228 million to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

It was a turbulent ride to this point in an offseason unlike any other, most notably because of the well-documented Bogdan Bogdanovic saga. Bogdanovic, a close friend of Antetokounmpo, was being heavily recruited to the Bucks as a restricted free agent, and a sign-and-trade deal had even reportedly fallen into place, leading to the deal to fall through.

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The Serbian sharpshooter was reportedly not the only high-end shooting guard that Antetokounmpo expressed interest in playing with as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Kevin Arnovitz reported that Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards was also on his list of preferred targets:

"“In addition to Bogdanovic, he cited Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal as a desirable target for the Bucks. Without impugning specific teammates, Antetokounmpo was implicitly suggesting what just about everyone in the organization — and the NBA — knew: The Bucks needed to upgrade their backcourt.”"

Windhorst and Arnovitz also indicated that Milwaukee reportedly checked in on the availability of Spencer Dinwiddie, Dennis Schröder, and Victor Oladipo in addition to Bogdanovic. While all of those would have been intriguing targets to bolster their backcourt, none of them would have been as substantial as Bradley Beal.

Beal, a two-time All-Star, has been swarmed in trade speculation for the past several seasons and only further raised his stock with a career year in 2019-20. In 57 games, Beal averaged 30.5 points on .455/.353/.842 shooting splits, 4.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game, miraculously having been snubbed for All-Star honors.

Being one of the premier shooting guards in the league today, hearing that Bradley Beal had been on Antetokounmpo’s wishlist is easy to justify. An Antetokounmpo-Beal tandem would have been thrilling to watch, but any hope of pairing the two was a short-lived pipe dream.

Bradley Beal was never reportedly on the trade market for teams like the Milwaukee Bucks to pursue this offseason.

Although there was no shortage of interested suitors, the Wizards never intended to trade their All-Star shooting guard. Early last month, Washington Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard silenced any speculation involving a Beal trade when he told reporters that “Bradley Beal’s not going anywhere.”

After that declaration, the Bucks crossed Beal off the list of Antetokounmpo’s reported targets and switched their focus to the next candidate on the list: Jrue Holiday.

Milwaukee put all their chips in on the two-time All-Defensive guard, including three first round picks and the rights to two future pick swaps. It was a hefty price to pay for the guard, considering he can enter unrestricted free agency after this season. Still, it was necessary to try and garner a long-term commitment from Giannis Antetokounmpo and it worked.

Next. Giannis Antetokounmpo: 3 takeaways from MVP’s supermax extension. dark

Fans can only imagine what a Bradley Beal and Giannis Antetokounmpo duo might have accomplished, but it would have been something special.