NBA insider names 3 dark-horse trade suitors for Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo says he isn't ready to sign an extension with the Milwaukee Bucks. That means some unlikely landing spots could enter the mix.
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In a few weeks, Giannis Antetokounmpo will be eligible for a three-year extension worth $173 million. Last week, Tania Ganguli of the New York Times spoke with Giannis. They talked about family, off-court investments, and Giannis' current standing with the Bucks.

Despite clinching their conference and finishing the regular season 58-24, the Bucks lost in the first round of last season’s playoffs to the 8th-seeded Miami Heat. Not long later, Milwaukee fired head coach Mike Budenholzer and hired Adrian Griffin, a former assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors.  According to Ganguli, Giannis credited this change with part of the reason why he's unsure if he'll resign.

"You’ve got to see the dynamics. How the coach is going to be, how we’re going to be together. At the end of the day, I feel like all my teammates know and the organization knows that I want to win a championship. As long as we’re on the same page with that and you show me and we go together to win a championship, I’m all for it. The moment I feel like, oh, yeah, we’re trying to rebuild ..."

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis explained, "There will never be hard feelings with the Milwaukee Bucks." He described how he "bleeds green," how they have had 10 incredible years together. Ultimately though, he finished with the sentiment, "But we have to win another one.”

In case that wasn't enough to drive stakes into the hearts of Bucks fans everywhere, Giannis revealed something else next. Despite Giannis' dreams of emulating Dirk Nowitski, Kobe Bryant, and Tim Duncan by playing for only one franchise, Antetokounpo admitted:

"... But at the end of the day, being a winner, it’s over that goal. Winning a championship comes first. I don’t want to be 20 years on the same team and don’t win another championship."

Giannis Antetokounmpo

3 dark horse trade suitors for Giannis Antetokounmpo

According to NBA Insider, Marc Stein, "The Lakers and Knicks are already being talked about as franchises that are considering Antetokounmpo." However, according to's Sean Deveney, one Western Conference executive believes there are other dark horses out there that could lure Antetokounmpo.

1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

"No one would be in better position to go after him than OKC," the anonymous exec said. "They have the young talent, they have, I think it is nine (first-round) picks in the next three years. If Milwaukee decides, OK, we’ve got to move on here, that is the first team you call."

2. San Antonio Spurs

Giannis Antetokounmpo
Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs may not have as many picks as the Thunder, but they have a lot of cap space. They also have the picks and young players available to make Milwaukee think about a package, should one be offered. (That duo of Wemby and Giannis would be enough rim protection to make the slashiest of slashers tremble.)

3. Toronto Raptors

Giannis Antetokounmpo
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

If Giannis wants to win anywhere and it doesn't matter where, he could take a page out of Kawhi Leonard's playbook and head north. If you're Milwaukee, Toronto has intriguing star caliber assets in Barnes, Siakam, and Anunoby. The executive admitted. "If Toronto gave up only one of its guys and brought back Giannis? They would really have something there.”

It would appear Giannis is not eager to give Milwaukee any more of his glory years without getting a feel for the direction this re-vamped Bucks team is headed. Clearly more teams than just the Lakers and the Knicks would be willing to make a deal to land Giannis Antetokounmpo. Which isn't at all surprising, considering the 28-year-old two-time MVP has the potential to be a game-changer for any team. 

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