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NBA Rumors: Warriors 'Preparing for Years' to Target Giannis Antetokounmpo

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2020

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) dribbles against Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

The Golden State Warriors have reportedly been "preparing for years" to target Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo via trade or free agency.

Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reported the update Wednesday and noted the indefinitely delayed 2019-20 NBA season could help the Dubs' cause in their pursuit of the Greek Freak.

"Though all indications are that he's on good terms with team management, league sources believe that Antetokounmpo would want out of Milwaukee if he loses confidence in the franchise's ability to win championships," Letourneau wrote. "This is why the NBA shutdown could buoy the Warriors' chances of landing their long-coveted Greek."

In February, Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus examined how the Warriors' blockbuster trade to acquire Andrew Wiggins from the Minnesota Timberwolves before the deadline set the stage to make a serious charge at Antetokounmpo if he doesn't sign an extension with the Bucks.

"The pick Golden State acquired from Minnesota could be a gold mine, especially if coupled with the Warriors' own lottery pick," Pincus explained. "And if it's not Antetokounmpo, the Warriors will be well-positioned to go after the next superstar who becomes available via trade."

Antetokounmpo is under contract with Milwaukee through the 2020-21 season, but if he doesn't sign a long-term extension during the offseason, the team may be forced to explore trade options to avoid the potential of losing him to the open market in 2021.

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The reigning NBA MVP said in September he wasn't going to discuss his contract status during the campaign to avoid distractions during the team's championship pursuit.

"I'm not gonna talk about it a lot this season, and I'm not going to try to address it," Antetokounmpo told reporters.

The Bucks owned the best record in the NBA at 53-12 when the season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic. They'll be in the select group of top-tier title contenders alongside the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers should the campaign eventually resume.

Meanwhile, the departure of Kevin Durant paired with injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have dropped the Warriors to the bottom of the league's standings with a 15-50 record.

However, they are primed to bounce back next season with Curry and Thompson returning and the addition of either a high-end prospect in the draft or a marquee addition via trade using their wealth of draft assets in the coming years.

Acquiring Antetokounmpo could restart the Warriors' dynasty, which led to three championships from 2015 through 2018.

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