Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo caused a stir in August by expressing a willingness to play for an NBA franchise if his current team isn’t committed to winning a championship. Unsurprisingly, it’s generated new NBA trade rumors regarding Antetokounmpo’s future.
Antetokounmpo, entering his age-29 season, has already won NBA MVP twice and brought a championship to Milwaukee in 2021. However, consecutive early exits in the playoffs have led to the seven-time NBA All-Star contemplating his future in Wisconsin.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo stats (2022-’23): 31.1 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 5.7 APG, 55.3% FG
In an interview with the New York Times, Antetokounmpo made it clear that he isn’t looking to be traded out of Milwaukee right now. However, he wants to ensure the Bucks’ front office is as committed to competing for another championship as he is. If not, he’s prepared to leave the team for good.
For now, the Bucks don’t have any reason to worry. Antetokounmpo is under contract through the 2024-’25 season, meaning Milwaukee should have at least two more years with the future Hall of Famer on its roster. Beyond that, though, there are already swirling NBA rumors about what teams will pursue him.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, there has already been a lot of talk around the league about the Lakers and Knicks having presumed significant interest in Antetokounmpo if he requests a trade.
The Knicks are the most obvious landing spot for a trade New York has a collection of future first-round picks and it also possesses young talent and big salaries that it could use to swing a deal with Milwaukee. Furthermore, the Knicks have been holding off on pursuing a trade for a secondary star with the hope that one of the NBA’s best players will become available.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo contract: $45.64 million salary in 2023-’24, $48.787 million in 2024-’25, $51.935 million player option in 2025
The Lakers, among the NBA teams with the least amount of future draft picks, would be hard-pressed to find a deal for Antetokounmpo that works for Milwaukee. Instead, Los Angeles could view 2025 free agency as its best path to landing the All-Star forward. With LeBron James off the books by then, the Lakers could build a team around Antetokounmp and Anthony Davis.