The Cavaliers finalized a minor trade on Monday that will have them following what comes next for Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Thatâ€™s because part of the deal removed protections on the Bucksâ€™ 2022 first-round pick, acquired by the Cavs two years ago. This is interesting solely because Antetokounmpo is in a contract year. Should he decide to move on from the Bucks … well, theyâ€™re likely to be a lot worse in 2021-22.
And who knows? Maybe that pick will turn into a lottery selection that summer for the Cavs.
Granted, thereâ€™s a lot of hypothetical involved there — and the pick may mean nothing. But itâ€™s worth noting what Antetokounmpo decides to do this season. He is eligible for a supermax contract extension, and the Bucks have certainly made the type of moves to show the back-to-back league MVP they want to keep him.
One of those moves involved the other portion of the Cavs-Bucks trade completed Monday.
In that separate transaction, the Cavs acquired the Bucksâ€™ 2025 second-round pick in exchange for the rights to 2012 second-rounder Ilkan Karaman, a 30-year old forward from Turkey.
Basically, teams arenâ€™t allowed to go without first-round picks in back-to-back drafts, or trade picks more than seven years in advance. And the Bucks are landing veteran point guard from Jrue Holiday from the New Orleans Pelicans.
Long story short, by removing protections on the 2020 pick going to the Cavs, the Bucks freed up their 2025 and â€™27 first-rounders, which will be sent to the Pelicans as part of the Holiday deal.
The Bucks sent the second-rounder to the Cavs as sort of an incentive to remove the protections in 2022. And all the Cavs had to give back was someone who never played in the NBA and likely never will.