How Giannis signing an extension will affect a James Harden trade

Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat, Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

#3 Miami and Dallas are on the clock

The two franchises that had been linked most heavily to Giannis Antekounmpo over the past year have been the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. The two franchises thought that if they were able to sit Giannis down in free agency that they had the goods to convince him to make a move south.

Neither will have that opportunity but both remain serious contenders and won’t be done trying to improve their rosters. The Miami Heat have a plethora of options if they want to make a move for James Harden and the Mavericks have enough assets to get the Rockets interested.

One of them was going to lose the Giannis sweepstakes but now both have and their best available option is James Harden. Sure, they could hope to snag Kawhi Leonard in the summer but that’s a risk neither should want to take.

With the Heat and the Mavericks now in the mix for Harden, the Rockets will be able to weigh their options. Do they prefer Kristaps Porzingus or Bam Adebayo? Would they ever entertain an in-division trade? Who else on Dallas’ roster do they covet? Can you get Adebayo and Herro from the Heat?

The worst news for the Houston Rockets was when Harden announced that he wanted a trade, but Giannis signing his supermax has made this the ideal time to trade him. Franchises never want to lose their best player but when the right confluence of events occurs they can get a return that sets up the organization for years to come.

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