Warriors: 5 trade packages for Giannis Antetokounmpo

Warriors, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Warriors, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Warriors, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Warriors, Giannis Antetokounmpo (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Golden State Warriors Giannis Antetokounmpo Trade No. 3

  • Warriors Get: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe
  • Milwaukee Bucks Get: Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole, Ky Bowman, GS 2020 1st (2nd overall), MIN 2021 1st (Top-4 protected), GS 2022 2nd, 1st round pick swap (2022-2023)

Fans may be baffled by Bledsoe’s inclusion, but it’s not an unforeseen consequence of Milwaukee moving on from Antetokounmpo. Bucks ownership was already unwilling to pay the luxury tax before the COVID-19 pandemic.

It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see them significantly cut their salary if they do move on from Giannis.

Bledsoe is a solid player but is owed $54MM over the next three seasons. Milwaukee probably couldn’t find a trade market for him alone. If they’re going to have to move Antetokounmpo, it would create a prime opportunity to force a team to take Bledsoe as well.

Golden States’ $17 million trade exception (from the Andre Igoudala trade) makes that possible. Bledsoe is due for a $16.875 million salary cap hit next season, just enough to fit in the Warriors exception.

The Bucks would still have George Hill and Ky Bowman to offer depth at the position. Plus, Milwaukee would have the second overall pick in a draft deeper at the point guard position. If they draft a player like LaMelo Ball, it would make moving Bledsoe even easier.

The Warriors, on the other hand, would gain their best bench player since Igoudala. Bledsoe could hold his own defensively, but also take over a game offensively in bursts.

It would obviously push Golden State deep into the luxury tax, but if that’s the cost to add Giannis Antetokounmpo, they’ll happily pay that price.