The game which has a lot of interest despite the Suns destined non playoff state due to the recent trade of Eric Bledsoe to the Bucks and Greg Monroe heading the other way, the recent news is sure to add more drama.
Timing is everything particularly in a multi billion dollar industry like the NBA and the Bucks poor timing could have lasting long term damages.
At a time superstar players are fidgeting around, dismissing Kidd who was close to the Greek Freak is a bad step move. Portland Trailblazers Point Guard Damian Lillard had a meeting with Team Owner Paul Allen; the meet was communicated to other members of the team after it was held.
Lillard’s reason for holding an abrupt sit down with Allen; to reaffirm his commitment to the team’s course, his support for Coach Terry Stotts and inquire about moves to make the team better than a first round playoff team it has been the past three seasons.
In San Antonio, the Spurs have trouble on their hands again after dealing with LaMarcus Aldridge’s issues about his fit in the team in the past offeseason. The result of a fruitful discussion has manifested in a three year deal that will pay the former Trailblazers player a $24 million annual average salary.
However, Kawhi Leonard is reported to be unhappy with the team’s roster since it lacks the star power to challenge for a title. In the Western Conference which had marquee players like Jimmy Butler and Paul George move from the East, such concerns are legitimate. Looking at teams set to make the second round of the postseason, the Spurs lack an A- List roster to take them down. Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder have the stars and valuable contribution from the bench to oust San Antonio.
With LeBron James struggling to keep things together at Cleveland Cavaliers, there is a high possibility he could choose San Antonio ahead of other suitors. While that looks a long shot to call given Los Angeles Lakers immense calling cards, it is a viable possibility since James has declared his love for Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich to the extent he is ready to play for USA at the 2020 Olympics. Adding him to Leonard and Aldridge creates the latest super team.
To fully get the best out of a talented group of players, Bucks management ended Kidd’s time in charge with an obvious aim to do better than its seventh rank in the weaker conference. Until that happens and winning becomes a consistent mark, Antetokounmpo’s time in Milwaukee could be soon over. Playing in the first season of a four year deal worth $100 million, Giannis is under the team’s control for the foreseeable future. However, ever since he signed the deal rival executives according to reports have been monitoring the situation since last season and are ready to pounce with a dozen draft picks and solid players in exchange.
As super good as he is now and as great as he will be in the future, Antetokunmpo is in a worse Kawhi situation as he has no All Star player helping him out. Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe and reigning Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon are very good players but hard to envisage winning multiple playoff rounds to lift the team’s second Larry O’Brien trophy. Management has thus far failed to give Antetokounmpo the stellar sidekick to free him up more coupled with the dismissal of Kidd who turned Giannis into an elite star. Milwaukee’s bench is in the last five places in scoring yet traded away Greg Monroe who is a reliable scorer off the pine.
Moving Kidd is indicative of the team’s grand ambitions not to settle for a mid tier rank but ride on the back of a versatile lengthy youngster can only see daylight if management is ambitious with its dealings. Reports indicate Los Angeles Clippers Center DeAndre Jordan has been targeted for a trade to solve the team’s rebounding issues. With an attractive group of young player destined for bigger things in the league, the team shouldn’t lowball on the length it has to go to be a true title challenge.
Antetokounmpo could be nudging for a move by his third year if the grand plan fails; after ignoring his calls on Kidd’s decision, there will be a lot less influence to keep him in Bucks land.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter