Just a year ago, the Milwaukee Bucks were the NBA champions, as they beat back the Phoenix Suns after falling behind 2-0 in the title series.
Giannis Antetokounmpo finally got over the hump in that series after two tough playoff losses in which he failed to take charge for his team.
He averaged 35.2 points on 61.8 percent shooting, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 blocked shots per game while pouring in 50 points in the Game 6 clincher en route to Finals MVP honors.
Underrated part of Giannis' game 6 performance were his 5 blocks pic.twitter.com/GXPWSIINEx
— Nathan Marzion (@nathanmarzion) August 28, 2021
The Bucks were unable to successfully defend their championship this past season, as they lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals in seven games with Khris Middleton out because of a knee injury.
Now, Milwaukee has reportedly shown interest in trading for Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets superstar who is reportedly on the market this summer.
“The Philadelphia 76ers expressed recent interest in Durant while the Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets also inquired with the Nets in late June and early July to gauge the price tag, according to sources,” wrote Shams Charania of The Athletic.
It seems ludicrous that the Bucks would want to break up one of the best, if not the best core in the league by giving up a good amount of it for Durant.
Would Durant Help The Bucks?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes, providing that the Bucks don’t give up too much to get him.
If Antetokounmpo isn’t the best player in basketball, then perhaps Durant is.
He averaged 29.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game, and after all these years, his handles, jumper and overall game are still smooth as silk.
His game could complement Antetokounmpo’s well, as the latter isn’t a good outside shooter and loves to attack the basket, while the former made 38.3 percent of his 3-point attempts in the 2021-22 season and has an outstanding perimeter jumper in general.
Kevin Durant’s midrange game is underrated.
— Guru (@DrGuru_) August 19, 2022
Such a tandem would make Milwaukee the odds-on favorite to return to the Finals, and possibly the favorites to win another world championship this coming season.
Antetokounmpo’s excellence in multiple facets in the game and on both ends of the floor could also help take the load off Durant and help him age more gracefully.
Why Would They Even Try To Trade For Durant?
Having said all that, it doesn’t mean the Bucks need Durant in order to win it all again.
A strong argument could be made that had Middleton not gotten hurt in the playoffs, Milwaukee would’ve returned to the championship series and possibly defeated the Golden State Warriors there.
The Nets are reportedly asking for the NBA equivalent of the George Washington Bridge and Prospect Park in return for Durant.
But with his 34th birthday looming, he has had trouble staying healthy, as he has played in just a total of 90 games over the past two seasons.
Durant, of course, tore his Achilles three years ago, so he may not be a smart medium-term investment, especially for a team that already has just about all it could ask for.