The Miami Heat upset the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs and now Giannis Antetokounmpo’s future with the team is unclear.
Rumors of Giannis are starting to heat up after he revealed that he’s unsure about a Bucks contract extension.
He said that he and the Bucks need to be on the same page when it comes to competing for a championship before he re-signs:
Giannis says that he doesn’t plan on signing an extension until he knows the Bucks will continue to compete for a championship. pic.twitter.com/8H7dJUxPHM
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 24, 2023
According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, an anonymous NBA executive sees some small market teams being a potential suitor for Antetokounmpo if he becomes available.
The Oklahoma City Thunder would be in a prime position to acquire him because of their young assets and draft picks.
The NBA executive also lists the San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors as potential dark horses who could land Giannis:
The Raptors have team president Masai Ujiri, who has long sought to acquire Antetokounmpo, and with star-caliber assets on hand—some combination of Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby and/or Pascal Siakam—Milwaukee could be tempted into a deal. We know from the Kawhi Leonard experience that Ujiri is not afraid to take risks on star players, whether they’re committed to staying or not.
If Giannis is on the market expect every team to try and make a run for him.
Raptors linked to Giannis Antetokounmpo
Masai Ujiri tried to trade up in 2013 to acquire Giannis so there’s no denying that he would be interested in the Greek superstar if the opportunity presents itself.
Ujiri’s relationship with Giannis goes beyond basketball. Ujiri helped Antetokounmpo get Greek citizenship, which jump started his career.
For Ujiri to acquire Antetokounmpo it would take a whole ton. In a trade, the Raptors would have to give up a lot of assets. Any trade for Giannis would almost certainly have to include Scottie Barnes. However, the Raptors have been reluctant to include him in any trade talks.
In free agency, the Raptors would have to shuffle their roster to free up the necessary cap space to sign Giannis. All while keeping their team competitive for a chance to win a championship.
The idea of Giannis to Toronto is enticing, but it seems extremely unlikely.
Have you subscribed to the Raptors Nation YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!