Giannis Antetokounmpo is possibly the best regular-season player in the world right now, mainly because LeBron James emerges from his slumber as the best player in the world as soon as the Playoffs come closer. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a 2-time MVP and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year because no player can impact the game on both ends of the floor like him. Giannis had a sensational season last year averaging 29.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG, and 5.6 APG, and he will likely put up similar numbers next year.
The Bucks made a big move by trading 3 first-round picks and some key players for Jrue Holiday, but that won't be enough to help Giannis win the title. Reports indicate that James Harden has Milwaukee as one of his preferred destinations for a trade, which is fantastic news for the Bucks. They have one superstar and MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo, and adding James Harden would catapult them to the NBA Finals with a great chance to lift the trophy. Here is how this deal affects both teams and how it would work.
Trade Package: Khris Middleton, Donte DiVincenzo, D.J. Wilson, two future first-round picks for James Harden
The Milwaukee Bucks Have The Best Starting Lineup In The NBA
A starting lineup of Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, Jrue Holiday, and Brook Lopez is easily the most talented and dominant lineup in the league. Giannis already led the Bucks to the best record in the NBA for 2 straight years, and the addition of James Harden and Jrue Holiday improves the Bucks in every way. Giving an MVP another MVP teammate normally improves title odds, but James Harden isn't any ordinary superstar. He has won the scoring title on 3 straight occasions, and he doesn't look like he will be slowing down anytime soon.
Harden's ability to score and be the primary playmaker along with Giannis means the Bucks have the most unstoppable duo in history. Giannis Antetokounmpo is unstoppable inside and James Harden is unstoppable from the perimeter. Giannis Antetokounmpo can be defended by building a wall in the paint, but teams can't do that with James Harden on the squad. Harden can hit the outside shot or penetrate to the rim for lobs to Giannis or easy finishes, meaning the Bucks have two of the top 5 players in the world.
Jrue Holiday and Brook Lopez are two of the best two-way players in their respective positions. Holiday is a star player who can score, pass, and defend at an All-Star level. Lopez is one of the rare players who can defend the rim and hit threes, as he averages 1.8 BPG and shoots 34.1% from three for his career. These two starters alongside the two superstars mean the Bucks are making the Finals and possibly winning the title, as their superstar duo matches up with the Lakers duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The Rockets Get An All-Star, And Two Young Players
The Houston Rockets want a massive return for James Harden. The best way to get max return is to acquire an All-Star, young talented players, and future draft picks. Khris Middleton is nowhere near as great as James Harden as a scorer, but he is a much better defender and is a more accurate shooter from outside. Middleton shot 41.5% from three last year while averaging 20.9 PPG. Middleton of course can't create his own offense as Harden can, but he can spot up for shots playing alongside John Wall. The Rockets can still build with an All-Star frontcourt, and the additions of Christian Wood and DeMarcus Cousins makes them formidable inside.
Donte DiVincenzo is a very talented basketball player who has only played two seasons so far. His numbers look average, but his potential is very high as a guard. He stands 6'4" and can rebound and score at a strong level. DiVincenzo averaged 9.2 PPG and 4.8 RPG while shooting 33.6% from three. He can grow with Houston, and so can D.J. Wilson. Wilson has averaged only 12.3 MPG so far in his NBA career, but a young big man with great athleticism is always a solid addition to a rebuilding roster. More importantly, the Rockets can acquire some future first-round picks to add to their stash. New GM Rafael Stone has made an initiative to recoup picks by trading away Russell Westbrook and Robert Covington, so this deal helps the rebuild while also getting Houston another All-Star to likely keep a playoff spot in the Western Conference.