The Athletic’s Sam Amick reported that a front office executive said that Giannis Antetokounmpo might sign with the Miami Heat when he becomes a free agent in 2021 if the Heat go on to eliminate the Bucks.
"I asked the aforementioned front office executive which team Antetokounmpo might wind up with if Miami goes on to finish this job and create such havoc for the Bucks.— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 1, 2020
‘The Heat,’ he said."
- The Athletic’s Sam Amick pic.twitter.com/p6VAIuOcvj
As we’ve discussed before, the Heat plan to pursue Antetokounmpo in free agency. But this scenario wouldn’t be a repeat of LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach from 10 years ago. In that case, a Miami team of Dwyane Wade and a bunch of spare parts got bounced in the first round in back-to-back seasons. The Heat went into the 2010 free agency to form a new team, and that’s what happened.
Under this possibility, Antetokounmpo would add himself into an already-established Heat core. It would resemble Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors after his Thunder fell to the 73-win Warriors in the 2016 playoffs.
Of course, Durant then left for the Brooklyn Nets to go win a title on a new team. Draymond Green said earlier this year that Durant “wasn’t happy” after winning his first championship because he wasn’t thought of as the best basketball player in the world.
Will the blemish on Durant’s legacy dissuade Antetokounmpo from signing with the Heat, should Miami advance to the Eastern Conference Finals?