Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo signed a five-year, $228 million supermax extension with his team yesterday. The Greek national is just 26 years old, the contract will start next year, and he will still be in his prime by the time the deal expires, whether it’s after the fifth year, or if he opts out after the fourth year, or after the 2024-25 season.
You didn’t read this site for the Greek Freak though, even if I’ve praised European Union citizens like Washington Mystics forward and Belgian Beast Emma Meesseman, Latvian Laser Davis Bertans or one-time “Everybody Eats” Extraordinaire Tomas Satoransky.
But this is interesting. According to Brian Windhorst and Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN, Antetokounmpo was interested in getting Bradley Beal to come to Milwaukee via trade. The main reason for targeting Beal is because the Bucks front office felt that the team needs a boost in the backcourt afters some disappointing playoff finishes by then-point guard Eric Bledsoe, their starting point guard at the time.
Though Beal’s first position isn’t point guard, Antetokounmpo and Beal duo would pair up two of the top scorers in the NBA side-by-side in a conventional frontcourt and backcourt partnership as well. Either way, they would arguably be the best duo in the Eastern Conference.
Ultimately, the Bucks traded for then-New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday.
If the Bucks weren’t able to make a trade for Holiday and held off on making moves until the regular season started, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make another move for Beal, regardless of whether John Wall was traded for Russell Westbrook or not. That’s mainly because Antetokounmpo’s extension gives the Bucks some breathing room to make moves — and take advantage of other teams who may be trying to move toward a rebuild sooner rather than later.
The Wizards are certainly in position to make the playoffs this season if things run smoothly and I noted that in SB Nation’s NBA season preview earlier this week. However, history hasn’t been kind to Washington when they made “all-in” moves for a playoff run in a boom-or-bust situation. So while I don’t expect Beal to be heading to Milwaukee anytime soon, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bucks approach Washington again if the Wizards continue to play below .500 ball over the next couple seasons.