One player the Thunder should target on each team in the Central Division

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) (Photo by Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports)
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) (Photo by Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) has said he's open to leaving Milwaukee
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) (Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo

He’s made it clear he won’t stay in Milwaukee if he doesn’t think they can win a championship. And if winning titles is his only goal, Bricktown is his most logical destination. Here’s the case: Antetokounmpo likely won’t leave in free agency. If the Bucks aren’t meeting expectations and sense the two-time MVP is looking elsewhere, they will trade him.

This means the team who will trade for Antetokounmpo must not only have enough assets to make a suitable offer but also enough remaining talent to contend once the deal is made. This prerequisite shortens the list of realistic suitors considerably.

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No team could offer a more significant, diverse package of assets than the OKC Thunder. They could provide first-round picks from multiple franchises, as their own picks will have little value once they’ve acquired Antetokounmpo. OKC could send the Bucks first-round picks from the Rockets, Clippers, Heat, or Sixers, along with undeniable blue-chip talent.

A lineup featuring Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chet Holmgren, and two shooters would give the rest of the league nightmares. The OKC Thunder might become the deadliest transition offense in league history.

Gilgeous-Alexander and Antetokounmpo would take more than twenty free throws combined each night. Holmgren would become a more versatile version of Brook Lopez next to Antetokounmpo on defense. The team’s rim protection would be elite.

In short, if Antetokounmpo were to hit the trade block, and if the OKC Thunder were to acquire him, then the franchise would contend for titles for the foreseeable future. They don’t need to chase a star this season, but if a player like the Bucks forward becomes available, then they should put the best offer on the table. Sam Presti has filled the team’s vault with assets for a reason, and this is it.

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