golden state warriors - greek freak
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Can the Golden State Warriors land The Greek Freak?


The NBA is always filled with myths, rumors, ideas, and what ifs. One of the biggest questions in NBA circles aside from when will the 2019-2020 season be back (late July seems to be the target), is the notion that there might be a chance that the Golden State Warriors can welcome the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to their ranks.


Photo Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

YES, the Warriors who have won three of the last five NBA titles, not to mention five straight Western Conference and Pacific Division titles as well. These same Warriors who have rewritten how the game is played by employing small ball (playing with a smaller unit of players to be faster and keep the defense in unfavorable matchups), and have etched their names in the record books with their shooting from beyond the arc.

Despite the success of the last five seasons, the 2019-2020 season was not a good one for the DUBS. They lost their two-time finals MVP, Kevin Durant, to free agency. One half of their “Splash Brothers” duo Klay Thompson (the other being Steph Curry) was still recovering from an injury suffered in game 6 of the NBA Finals last season. Then Curry sustained a thumb injury that forced him to miss several months of play, and they had the worst record in the NBA (15-50) at the time of stoppage due to COVID-19. But you know, things have a funny way of working out. 

Even after such a down season, The Warriors are in line to continue their reign of terror on the league with a healthy Curry and Thompson set to return for 2020-2021. They might also land the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft. The most significant change to the team’s future fortunes could be a drastic trade that would not only reshape the team that has been so dominant in five of the last six seasons but put a new mark on the NBA as a whole.


There is a growing chance the Warriors make a move to land Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks.


Photo Credit: NBA

Giannis is in line to possibly repeat as MVP, and very well could also land the “Defensive Player of the Year” award. Now, to pull this move off, they will have to make Klay Thompson part of their offer to the Bucks. The Bucks no doubt would like to keep their star player and re-sign him to a long term max deal instead. They have done an exceptional job of building a quality squad around their franchise player, continually working the market every offseason to bring in talent to fill needs on the team in hopes of contending for a title. 

So we witnessed a dynasty being built from the ground up from a franchise that hadn’t seen much success in the last 40 years. After going back to back to the NBA Finals and winning one, GSW set the record for wins in the regular season at 73 in 2016. Then they added a former MVP and, by most accounts, the second-best player in the league in Kevin Durant. After winning two more titles, it was time for a reality check. 


But the issue with small-market teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks is when a star player becomes better, their value increases.


Photo Credit: NY Times

It becomes nearly impossible to keep them from hitting the market to seek riches elsewhere. So it might be a benefit for the Bucks to make a trade and at least get some value back for Giannis instead of letting him walk for free. Teams like the Denver Nuggets got a load of assets when they traded Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, and the New Orleans Pelicans were able to get a nice young core of players in exchange for Anthony Davis to the Lakers. 

So to recap, what will it take? For starters, every player on the Warriors’ roster not named Steph Curry should be up for grabs. Any trade offer MUST include Klay Thompson. He is one of the best shooters in NBA history and one of the top two-way players in the league. No one will be non-negotiable if the Warriors want Giannis. They could even add Draymond Green, another young player, along with the Warrior’s lottery pick. Will it be enough? Possibly. The Bucks will try to hold out to see if they can either reach a deal or get max value in return for one of the best players in the league.

 One thing is for sure. IF the Warriors pull off having Curry and Antetokounmpo lead the DUBS back to glory in their new Chase Center arena in San Francisco, it would probably ensure every game is sold out. It would also be a reminder to the rest of the NBA that it’s again time for the Warriors to come out and play.

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-Kalani Lua – Franchise Sports Media

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