Superteams formed by players themselves used to be a real rarity in the NBA, as almost every team had their franchise player and controlled the movement of players between teams. But the modern era of basketball has shown us that players have more freedom and leverage than ever to move around, form superteams, and choose who they want to play with. Some would argue it has been good for the NBA due to the lucrative blend of stars playing together, while on the other hand, others would say it is bad because of the disbalance of the teams around the whole NBA.
But considering all the success those teams have enjoyed recently, seen in the example of the Golden State Warriors and the Miami Heat before them, that trend could only become even more extensive. That’s precisely why recently we had a situation in which numerous NBA executives were scared another superteam could be forming very soon.
According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, before Giannis Antetokounmpo signed that lucrative extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Executives feared he would turn them down and join forces with Luka Dončić in Dallas to form a superstar duo:
“Perhaps the follow-on issue is that version of Antetokounmpo — as much finisher as initiator — requires an elite creator closer to his level. This is why rival executives lived in abject terror before Antetokounmpo signed his supermax over the spectre of Antetokounmpo joining Luka Doncic with the Dallas Mavericks.”Zach Lowe, via ESPN
A 26-year old 2x MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo joining forces with the 22-year Slovenian sensation that soon could be the face of the league could have been one of the scariest tandems ever. The two young European superstars would complement each other so well. Giannis needs a shot creator and ball-handler next to him to get some pressure off his shoulders, while an athletic phenom like “The Greek Freak” running the floor and cutting would be the perfect target for Luka’s passes.
Let’s just say if the Mavs had Giannis instead of Porzingis this year, they probably would have blown the Clippers off the floor and competed for a ring. So you can see why executives all over the NBA were terrified of this happening. Luckily for the rest of the league, it will remain one of the biggest “what-if” teams in NBA history. But considering how young they both still are, maybe one day in the future, we will see the potential duo happening.