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#pounditThursday, June 20, 2024

3 dark horse teams lurking for Giannis Antetokounmpo?

Giannis Antetokounmpo warming up

Oct 23, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) warms up before the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo may have some intriguing suitors beyond just the usual suspects.

Speaking with Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports this week, an anonymous NBA executive named three potential dark horse teams for the Milwaukee Bucks superstar Antetokounmpo. The executive mentioned the Oklahoma City Thunder, opining that “no one would be in better position to go after him than OKC” from an asset standpoint. Additionally, the exec pinpointed the Toronto Raptors and the San Antonio Spurs as two other dark horses because of Antetokounmpo’s fondness for “winning” organizations.

Antetokounmpo is facing questions over his future with the Bucks, who are coming off an embarrassing first-round exit and just hired a first-year NBA head coach in Adrian Griffin. Those questions arose in large part because of Antetokounmpo himself — the two-time MVP recently said publicly that he will not extend his contract with the Bucks if they do not remain committed to championship-level basketball.

When it comes to the Thunder, they are indeed stuffed with enviable young talent. Even if Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren are untradable, OKC can still offer a package centered around Rookie of the Year runner-up Jalen Williams, versatile 20-year-old Josh Giddey, menacing defender Luguentz Dort, and a seemingly infinite number of future draft picks.

Meanwhile, the Raptors have an advantage of their own due to president Masai Ujiri’s close relationship with Antetokounmpo. Oh, and don’t forget about the Spurs’ ability to offer up a Victor Wembanyama-Gregg Popovich partnership to the Greek Freak.

Of course, most of the scenarios involving the aforementioned three teams would hinge on Antetokounmpo requesting a trade from the Bucks. Should Antetokounmpo instead decide to leave Milwaukee as a free agent (which he can do as early as the summer of 2025), expect some very heavy hitters to enter the equation at that point.


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