Lakers Angling For Antetokounmpo?

The Lakers have stated that they want Jason Kidd on their coaching staff to serve as a veteran assistant to Frank Vogel and a mentor to Lonzo Ball, but the real reason may be more ambitious, according to Steve Popper of Newsday.

A source familiar with the Lakers told Popper at this week’s draft combine that the Lakers are hoping to make a pitch for MVP finalist Giannis Antetokounmpo when he becomes a free agent in 2021. They hope Kidd will provide the personal connection needed to attract the Bucks star.

Kidd was Antetokounmpo’s coach for three and a half years in Milwaukee before being fired in the middle of the 2017/18 season. He helped Antetokounmpo develop from a part-time player as a rookie into one of the NBA’s top talents.

L.A. currently doesn’t have any salary committed past 2021 other than $5MM owed for the final year of Luol Deng‘s stretched contract. LeBron James has a $41MM player option for the 2021/22 season, while Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart will all be eligible for extensions by then.

Although nobody can tell what might happen in two years, the Lakers seem to have a tough sell to convince Antetokounmpo to leave a Bucks team that appears headed for a long run as a title contender. Beyond that, he will likely be eligible for a supermax contract that would pay him 35% of the salary cap, but that’s an offer that only the Bucks can make.

Winning this year’s MVP honors would automatically qualify him for a super-max, as would being named Defensive Player of the Year or making an All-NBA team in 2021 or two of the next three seasons.

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54 thoughts on “Lakers Angling For Antetokounmpo?

  1. dunham

    Anyone who think the Bucks are gonna let Giannis hit the FA market is a moron. I am sure Giannis figured out how much of an idiot Kidd was about 7 games into the season.

  2. heartbreakjake

    I’m a bucks fan but even I know that they wouldn’t be where they’re at with just giannis. He needs shooters around him just like Lebron did when he won it all. If you’re gonna put Lonzo and Ingram around him then it’s not gonna work. I think they’ll need a lot more than just Jason Kidd to be considered a serious landing spot for him.

    • knickscavsfan

      I think Giannis wants to be different than most of the rest. Where most other guys seem to be chasing titles or looking for best destinations to join others, the Bucks have done a great job of developing a system that best compliments him and proceeded to fill it with a bunch of really solid starters and role players. No superstars, but really good solid players.

      Right now, the Lakers supporting cast isn’t nearly as good and I don’t think Giannis’ game is a good match with LBJ’s style of play UNLESS, LBJ decided to alter that style and become more of a facilitator and moved the ball around instead of playing ISO or wearing down the clock and dishing out to post-up shooters. I think LBJ is smart enough to know how to best fit with Giannis but even then, there’s overlap between the two and not enough depth to be a title contender.

      I doubt he would go to LA.

  3. kenleyfornia2

    Basketball really likes to talk about guys years from free agency. We dont hear about this is any other sport. He literally said he would never leave for the Lakers.

    • hiflew

      Bryce Harper disagrees. They were talking about his free agency in like 2015.

      • kenleyfornia2

        Not really. People knew when he was a free agent but didn’t do much to try and project him

        • knickscavsfan

          Of course they did. They assumed he would eventually sign with the Yankees or Dodgers. It’s so disrespectful now-a-days. I really do feel like the media is to blame for a LOT of the disruptions in sports today. There probably wouldn’t be as much animosity towards Durant and to a lesser extent, Irving, if there were rumors that they had already decided they were going to depart their current teams.

    • jonnyzuck

      I think it’s because of the max salary that limits their earning power and makes them massive values. In other sports you need to overpay to sign the stars but in the NBA you have LeBron making only around twice as much as guys like what Timofey Mozgov signed for a few years ago

      • hiflew

        So you think NBA players are underpaid? That’s an interesting take.

        • LordBanana

          I mean, players like LeBron and Durant are underpaid relative to their production as a result of the max salary. Just because they make a lot doesn’t mean they’re not underpaid. They’d each be making 50m without it.

  4. afsooner02

    This story begs for a Kareem Abdul Jabaar connection. Won a championship for the bucks (as Lew Alcindor) then ditched them for LA.

    Same could happen here….(but I doubt it.)

  5. stretch123

    Bucks will give Giannis 100 million under the table if they need to to keep him.

    • stretch123

      On top of which, Milwaukee will have at least one NBA a championship by then. So why should he leave for a dysfunctional franchise like that the Lakers?

      • Equinsu Ocha

        not that I think he will… but you ask why. because the Lakers provide the chance for more exposure. His legend would be greater in a more visible market.
        but he did say he’d never play in L.A. he likes being in a smaller market.

        • SuperSinker

          Shouldn’t the Lakers demonstrate they aren’t a tire fire before going after another MVP

    • ColossusOfClout

      100 million? Lol, the same franchise that was close to moving to Vegas a couple years ago? Ya, ok.

  6. E munchy

    I never had any beef with the Lakers but the mess and all this talk of everyone going to LA is making me sick.

    • knickscavsfan

      I think you’re partly right. Yanks were at one time victims of that up until the end of this past year where they passed on both Harper and Machado. If that’s the Lakers way of thinking then it doesn’t bode well for the future success of the Laker’s team. Having Pelinka as a former agent for your GM seems like he’s more in the game of acquiring players and not assimilating an identity and players that complement each other especially LBJ. You can’t simply wait for guys close to FA and assume you’re going to get them. It’s obvious the amenities a city offers isn’t going to be the key reason why a superstar will base their decisions upon. Otherwise, Miami, LA and NY would be teeming with stars. Right now, aside from LBJ, D’Angelo Russell is probably the best player in those 3 cities.

  7. What a load of crap! Every team would love to sign the Greek freak, so why do the Lakers think they need to put out a story that they want him now?

    • knickscavsfan

      Is it really the team or is it what the media hears a whisper of and turns it into a booming echo? It’s so hard to tell what’s real news vs contrived news for clicks and attention.

  8. TJECK109

    I’ll be amazed if Kidd and or Vogel are still with the Lakers at that point

  9. Z-A

    When it’s a slow day, you just get someone in the media to inject FA drama. Doesn’t matter how far out it is or fake. KD, Kyrie, Butler, Klay, LBJ every year, Harper, Trout. Sports banter is all speculation basically anyway, the only time I play attention really to MLBTR is hot stove season and some upto the trade deadline. NFL upto the draft and start of FA. NBA has actually dragged out the rumors the best of the 3 major sports. They have created a year round rumor mill that people pay attention to. On here, MLB is way more popular, but that’s bc it was around for a while before the others. These feeds used to look like the hockey page. But anyways, we obviously like the nonsense of 2 yrs out where will Giannis go, it’s interesting to think ab and argue ab.

  10. hiflew

    Seems like nothing more than trying to sell tickets while excusing poor play for the next 2 years.

  11. imindless

    The media makes the lakers worse than they actually are. Only the media would try to make sense of a wacky hire and try to connect the dots with the freak. Even i know this man is different and loyal. He aint leaving for the lakers or any other team he can run the east for the next 5 years easy.

  12. Danthemilwfan

    Lol come on. Giannis doesn’t like big market cities, considers Milwaukee his home, loves coach Bud way more then Kidd and already has the best team in the league(especially if golden state loses Durrant and or Thompson)

    • ColossusOfClout

      Slow your horses, they’re not even in the conversation as best team in the league until they win something.

      • “Not even in the conversation…”. They’re two games away from the Finals, have lost only one playoff game thus far and have shown no signs of slowing against Toronto. What season are you watching if the Bucks aren’t even in the conversation?

  13. x%sure

    Nothing that happens now or is said now will matter in two years. Some Laker was probably just throwing something out to support the Kidd hire.

  14. antsmith7

    Giannis isn’t leaving. He’s about to win a championship with the Bucks either this year or next year, and he doesn’t care about any of that Hollywood stuff. And even if he did leave, it wouldn’t be for the Lakers.

  15. brewcat

    This post is a riot. If Giannis has learned anything from Coach B is how much Kidd held him back. The Lakers are the LAST place he’d go if he were to leave. And he’s not.

    • x%sure

      Nice challenge. It was not even mentioned that Giannis even likes Kidd! (Does he?)

  16. caryloyd

    When will the Lakers realize that you can’t buy a championship. Champions are built from within.

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