- The Miami Heat (+300) are favored to be the next destination for Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Giannis and the Bucks were eliminated by Miami in the 2020 NBA Playoffs
- Read below for a deeper look at the Greek Freak’s future and odds on all team able to land him
After a 4-1 series loss to Miami in the East semifinals, the Bucks are out of the playoffs, and the focus now shifts to the future for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Despite telling Yahoo’s Chris Haynes he’s committed to staying in Milwaukee after last night’s loss, the oddsmakers have begun speculating on where his NBA career could continue if he chooses to leave Wisconsin.
Coincidentally, it’s the Miami Heat that are favored to be the next destination for the Greek Freak.
Odds on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Next NBA Team
|New Orleans Pelicans||+500|
|New York Knicks||+500|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+800|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+1000|
|Golden State Warriors||+1200|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+2000|
Odds taken Sep. 9
Does Giannis Want the Blowback?
If Giannis were to turn around and go to the team that bounced him from the postseason, it’s no secret that he would catch flak from NBA fans. That was the case when Kevin Durant left OKC for Golden State after being bounced from the playoffs by that Warrior team.
Fans, media, and almost everybody in between turned on Durant after that move, and it’s a mark he’s had to deal with ever since. Durant was fairly well-liked before leaving OKC, but he became one of the league’s more polarizing players when he chose to play for the team that beat him.
On the same token, Giannis is one of the league’s most well-liked stars. After this most recent playoff exit, many have been critical of his play, but there is still overwhelming positivity towards Giannis as a guy.
A move to Miami may change that.
Not only would Giannis be playing for the team that defeated him, but he’d also be joining up with an already-good team to make them a championship contender in a market that’s had its fair share of championship success in the last 20 years. A move to Miami would bring success for Giannis, but it would come at a cost.
If he’s to become a star at the level of LeBron or Durant, he’ll have to pay that cost.
Will Giannis Be Playing Big Market Basketball?
Teams like New York (+500), Philadelphia (+500), and Boston (+800) stand out in the odds, partially because of just how much these teams get covered on a daily basis. These are, along with Los Angeles, the biggest markets in basketball. For Giannis, however, there’s reason to avoid them.
New York is the easiest one to make a decision on. That decision, based on abysmal basketball and dysfunctional ownership, should be a no. The idea of resurrecting the Knicks is one that is brought up often, and it sounds great and legacy defining, but it can’t happen while James Dolan owns the team.
Philadelphia isn’t nearly as dysfunctional, but it would still be an awful fit for the Greek Freak. Elton Brand has been adamant about keeping Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in town, and that eliminates the possibility of getting Giannis. Simmons won’t shoot the basketball, despite being paired with a seven-footer in Embiid.
Adding Giannis, whose three-point shot exists merely for show, would make no basketball sense.
As for Boston, they appear to have their plan in place. Jayson Tatum is blossoming into a star alongside Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and a talented roster of young players.
Of the three teams, it makes the most sense for Giannis, but there is a question as to whether or not Danny Ainge will pursue Giannis strongly. Ainge was burned by the last mega-star he went out and got in Kyrie Irving, and this Celtics squad is currently in the midst of a deep playoff run with its current core.
Best Landing Spot?
For Giannis, the best place to go will be Toronto. Yes, they won a title last year, and yes, Giannis would be joining an already-great team, but there’s a case to be made for the Raptors.
Most importantly – he wouldn’t be joining the title team. Kawhi Leonard is a Clipper now, so Giannis would avoid the optics that Durant faced when he joined Steph Curry.
Moving to Toronto would be viewed as more of a great match of styles, and less of a league-breaking superteam. With guys like Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, and OG Anunoby, the Raptors are a great team that would be elevated back to a championship level with the Greek Freak.