Where will Giannis Antetokounmpo play basketball in 2021? That has become one of the NBA’s biggest questions.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you already knew that Antetokounmpo is slowly approaching free agency after the 2020-21 season. Yes, it’s still a full season away, and yes the Bucks are the only team in the league that can offer Giannis a five-year extension worth $247.3 million. But with Giannis once again struggling in the playoffs and Milwaukee on the brink of falling short of the NBA Finals for a second consecutive season, people are talking.
Rumours around the Disney World bubble say that the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat have emerged as favourites to land the “Greek Freak” and those rumours are being supported by Vegas. According to SportsBetting.ag, The Heat have the best odds to land Giannis at +300 (wager $10 to win $30), with the Raptors right on their tail at +400. Listed at +500 are the New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks (yeah, right), and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Raptors appear so high on the list for a number of reasons, Antetokounmpo’s relationship with Masai Ujiri is no secret, Nick Nurse has taken the team from being pretenders to contenders, the young and fun “Bench Mob” from a few seasons ago are now experienced vets with championship pedigrees, and the team only has $46 million committed to salaries after next season.
Notable longshots are the Los Angeles Clippers at +800, the Lakers at +1000, Golden State Warriors at +1200 and Brooklyn Nets at +2500.
It is just a matter of time before Antetokounmpo wins his second Most Valuable Player award – as of Aug. 11, he was -3300 (wager $33 to win $1) to win the award. He will become the 14th player in league history to go back-to-back and will be first player since Steph Curry did it in 2015-16.
Giannis led his Bucks to the league’s best record of 53-12 prior to the March shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had seen an uptick in almost every major stat from his 2019 MVP campaign. He led the team in almost all major categories, including points (29.8), rebounds (13.7) and assists (5.7) per game.
There’s no way to dance around it; he’s a franchise-changing player, a guy that any general manager and team president would want in their lineup. Will Milwaukee lock him up long term this off-season, will they use him as a trade piece at the 2021 trade deadline, or will he walk in free agency to a team like the Heat or the Raptors? That remains to be seen.
Giannis Antetokounmpo next team
Heat +300 (3/1)
Raptors +400 (4/1)
Pelicans +500 (5/1)
Knicks +500 (5/1)
76ers +500 (5/1)
Celtics +800 (8/1)
Clippers +800 (8/1)
Mavericks +1000 (10/1)
Lakers +1000 (10/1)
Pacers +1200 (12/1)
Rockets +1200 (12/1)
Warriors +1200 (12/1)
Bulls +2000 (20/1)
Jazz +2000 (20/1)
Trail Blazers +2000 (20/1)
Nets +2500 (25/1)