Giannis Antetokounmpo was one of the most talked about players within NBA Trade Rumors during the offseason prior to the power forward dedicating himself to the Milwaukee Bucks with his contract extension. Another disappointing playoff exit to the Miami Heat had threatened a break-up of player and team.
With discussions of what could have been still circulating if Giannis left, the latest NBA Trade Rumors suggest that there was potential of Antetokounmpo linking up with Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard.
NBA Trade Rumors: Giannis Antetokounmpo had the opportunity to train with Damian Lillard during league's lay-off
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard are two of the NBA's elite talents. Between them, they have nine All-Star appearances and were both candidates for MVP last season with the Greek securing his second trophy in a row. In recent NBA Trade Rumors, it appears that the two have grown close and may even have ended up joining forces this season, had Antetokounmpo not signed to stay in Milwaukee.
Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports discussed the potential of whether a move could have come to fruition:
"Sources have told me that Giannis and Damian Lillard, they’ve gotten really close over the last few months. And they were talking about working out together. Giannis doesn’t work out with anybody that’s not on his team. He’s turned down working out with LeBron James. Both of them were talking with each other about the possibility of what it would look like playing with each other when their contract allowed so."
Milwaukee finished with the best record in the league at the end of the 2019-20 season, yet struggled in the playoffs and for a third successive year failed to make the NBA Finals despite the hype surrounding them.
Giannis Antetokounmpo has made it clear that he wants his legacy to involve him winning a championship regardless of who that is with and that proclamation was the impetus for NBA Trade Rumors like this.
During the offseason, the usually extremely loyal Greek surprisingly announced that he would be happy to team up with another star in the league to chase a ring. This is what fuelled the majority of NBA Trade Rumors discussing what a potential trade deal for Antetokounmpo could look like.
Despite Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard's growing bond and respect for one another, it was unlikely that even if these NBA Trade Rumors did turn out to be true that they could have transpired.
The Portland Trail Blazers would have had to part ways with several of their key assets and any supporting cast would have looked a lot weaker than the stars have at their respective franchises currently. Together the two would be a formidable offensive force and perhaps in the future, we may see them combine. However for now their friendship will have to develop while in opposing conferences.Published 01 Jan 2021, 03:14 IST