The Los Angeles Lakers just signed an Antetokounmpo, but it’s not the two-time reigning MVP. Giannis’ brother, Kostas, has returned to the Lakers in free agency though, and will re-join the team on a two-way contract for the second consecutive year after the Lakers claimed him off of waivers last season.
The team announced the news in a press release on Thanksgiving Day:
The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed Kostas Antetokounmpo to a two-way contract, it was announced today.
Antetokounmpo appeared in 38 games (37 starts) for the South Bay Lakers last season, averaging 14.1 points (.623 FG%), 7.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 blocks in 25.4 minutes. He tallied 10 double-doubles with South Bay and scored in double figures 33 times, including eight games with 20+ points. In five games with Los Angeles, Antetokounmpo averaged 1.4 points in 4.0 minutes.
The Lakers have now used both of their two-way contracts, as they signed Devontae Cacok to a two-year, two-way deal last season. Two-way contracts do not count against the main roster, but they can only spend a limited number of days with their NBA team, normally 45 days, with their salary pro-rated to NBA levels for the day they’re with the parent roster. However, this season those limitations have been changed to give teams extra roster insurance as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and two-way players will instead be limited to “50 games and will be paid a flat $449,155.”
Given the uncertain situation for the G League this season, it’s unclear how much Kostas will get on the court for the Lakers, either in South Bay or the NBA, but this signing may not really be about that. Kostas has been spending his offseason showing his brother the benefits of being a Lakers champion, and it is well-documented how the Lakers may be using him as a lure for Giannis, although most of that is speculation for now.
The devil works hard but Rob Pelinka works harder. https://t.co/sH8tLGJv9P— Christian Rivas (@RadRivas) February 16, 2020
Those are obviously long-shot efforts, but until Giannis re-signs on a supermax to stay in Milwaukee, them continuing to play things out is hardly a surprise, and a good investment of less than half a million dollars for a team that prints money.
The Lakers should get even more shameless, if anything. Have an Antetokounmpo jersey giveaway night if fans are allowed back in for a Lakers-Bucks game at any point. Go crazy until Giannis re-signs or leaves for another team. After all, it seems like Anthony Davis might be waiting to see, so the Lakers might as well keep this up, too.