After winning the LeBron James sweepstakes, the Los Angeles Lakers are filling out their roster with one-year deals to preserve cap space in hopes of making another splashy move in the near future.
With James on the roster for the next four years, they’ll be an appealing destination for free agents, but Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks doesn’t see a future for himself in Los Angeles.
In an interview with Colin Cowherd on “The Herd,” the Greek Freak was asked if he would ever consider leaving Milwaukee to follow in the footsteps of all-time NBA greats and play for the Lakers. His response was discouraging for Lakers fans, to say the least.
"My goal is to win in Milwaukee, bring a Championship to the city... I would never leave for LA." — @Giannis_An34 pic.twitter.com/IDwlih5c44— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) July 2, 2018
”Honestly, no way. My goal is to win in Milwaukee, bring a championship to the city. I would never leave for LA.”
While it was doubtful that Antetokounmpo was ever going to suit up in the purple and gold, this all but rules it out. The 23-year-old (!!!) won’t hit the open market for another three years.
At that time, he’ll likely be eligible to for the designated-player exception, also commonly known as the “supermax.” For a small market team like Milwaukee, it’s an absolute no-brainer to keep arguably the best player in the Eastern Conference at all costs.
However, that won’t stop the NBA from keeping a close eye on the Lakers, who were fined for tampering with Antetokounmpo in February because of comments made by Magic Johnson, who said that he was confident Antetokounmpo would one day bring a championship to Milwaukee.
Not Los Angeles. Not the Lakers. Milwaukee.
“With his ball-handling skills and his passing ability. He plays above the rim I never could do that. But in his understanding of the game, his basketball IQ, his creativity of shots for his teammates. That’s where we [have the] same thing. Can bring it down, make a pass, make a play. I’m just happy he’s starting in the All-Star game because he deserves that. And he’s going to be like an MVP, a champion, this dude he’s going to put Milwaukee on the map. And I think he’s going to bring them a championship one day.”
The Bucks even used the quote on their Instagram, but go off, I guess.
$50k for this? Give me a break.— Silver Screen & Roll (@LakersSBN) February 6, 2018
(photo via @Bucks team Instagram) pic.twitter.com/LQwQ2SBMfP
Antetokounmpo might not be coming, but expect the Lakers to be in the conversation for big name free agents for as long as the King is in Tinsel Town. Who knows? Maybe one day the Greek Freak will have a change of heart.