What’s in a name? Apparently, a lot if you are a Lakers fan.
The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired Kostas Antetokounmpo, younger brother of 2019 NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo off of waivers.
The Los Angeles Lakers have claimed Kostas Antetokounmpo off free agency waivers, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 21, 2019
The 21-year-old power forward and center spent most of last year playing in the G League for the Texas Legends. He averaged 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in 40 games in the developmental league and played in a grand total of two games for the Dallas Mavericks.
In those pro games, the younger Antetokounmpo played 11 minutes and scored two points.
The move doesn’t immediately help the Lakers who are trying to build a championship-caliber supporting cast for LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but of course the social media conspiracy theorists wasted no time in giving the Lakers credit for signing Kostas as part of a plan to acquire Greek Freak, who will become an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
NBA teams will indeed be lined up to get a crack at the MVP, and there are some folks who believe that signing his brother will give the Lakers leverage when summer of 2021 comes around.
NBA fans, of course, made tampering jokes about that.
Giannis to Lakers 2021 confirmed.
— HoodieBoogie (@HoodieBoogie15) July 21, 2019
— Get Buckets (@PlayoffWalter) July 21, 2019
LeBron James fans are certainly all for it. According to LBJ supporters, he never has enough talent around him, so adding another future Hall of Famer to the mix would be another justified step towards helping Bron get another NBA title.
In all seriousness, the Lakers might really be eyeing Giannis, especially after hearing Anthony Davis’ latest comments to the Chicago Tribune about eventually returning to his hometown of Chicago to ball.
A few days ago, the 26-year-old directly acknowledged he would think about playing for his hometown Bulls, which had to give Lakers GM Rob Pelinka stomach pains.
“I mean, (this is) definitely hometown,” Davis told the Chicago Tribune. “If the opportunity ever presents itself and when that time comes, I’d definitely consider it.”
That had to be a scary moment for the Lakers organization which gave up a treasure chest of assets to acquire The Brow and team him with an aging LeBron for one last series of titles runs before Bron rides off into the NBA sunset.
Comments Davis made to Rachel Nichols in a recent interview also leaves opens the possibility that The Brow will leave LA without signing a new contract.
“I’m just focused on this season,” Davis said in an interview with Rachel Nichols. “I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I have one year here, so I’m gonna make the best of this year, and when that time comes around in the summer or whenever the season’s over — hopefully around mid-June after we just had this parade and I need a couple of days to think — then we can talk about that. But until then, I’ll try to do whatever I can to help this team win this year.”
Anthony Davis pays lip service to playing for Bulls someday while liking his Lakers’ chances in new-look NBA: “The league is going to be fun this year.” Tribune story: https://t.co/zjk5oJyAAy
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) July 20, 2019
So if you put all of these different scenarios into perspective, the thought that the Lakers would be pursuing Giannis — as Anthony Davis departs — is not that far fetched. It’s just thinking too far ahead, especially considering how the Lakers tried to move mountains, already endured tampering accusations and gave away most of their young talent, just to get AD here.
That’s the beauty of the NBA now and why it had become a 24-7,365 days a year business and sports topic. Everyone plans for three years down the road and the superstars are always trying to position themselves to play with other superstars on their own terms.
Should be a fun next couple of years.