The Warriors should mark their calendars for Dec. 21.
Not only is that a day prior to the NBA's targeted start for the 2020-21 season, but ESPN's Bobby Marks reported Sunday that is the last day players can sign a super-max extension. The Warriors don't have anyone on their roster eligible, but there's one on the Milwaukee Bucks they'll have their eyes on.
If you thought speculation surrounding the two-time MVP's future already kicked into overdrive, you won't have seen anything if Antetokounmpo doesn't sign the super-max on the first day of winter.
Antetokounmpo told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes that he wouldn't demand a trade following the Bucks' second-round elimination at the hands of the Miami Heat, and he appeared to reiterate that in a tweet thanking Milwaukee fans. Yet, Antetokounmpo still had an important meeting with Bucks ownership and he no longer follows his teammates on Twitter or Instagram.
The Heat reportedly will go "all-in" on trading for Antetokounmpo, and ESPN's Ramona Shelburne said last month she believes the Warriors would have the best package to offer the Bucks. Yet even if Antetokounmpo doesn't re-sign, it's hard to envision the Warriors, Heat or any team trading for Antetokounmpo.
Even operating under the pretense that it's better to receive something than nothing, the Bucks would be trading arguably the best player in the NBA for pennies on the dollar no matter what. Antetokounmpo is only 25 years old, and there's no guarantee any, let alone all, of the picks Milwaukee would get for him could give the Bucks the same value. If they're resigned to seeing the superstar leave, why start the rebuild any sooner than they have to when simply having Antetokounmpo on the roster makes the Bucks a potential contender?
That would leave the Warriors with some hope for free agency, but signing Antetokounmpo would require a pretty significant clearing of the decks. Given the backlash Golden State received for signing Kevin Durant in 2016, it's easy to see the Warriors paying a pretty steep price to trade the necessary contracts to accumulate cap space, and even easier to see no teams wanting to cooperate.
Acquiring Antetokounmpo nonetheless will remain the Warriors' dream, and it would inch closer to reality -- however slightly -- if he doesn't sign his extension by the reported deadline.