With Giannis Antetokounmpo undecided about his future in Milwaukee, the Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly gearing up for a run at the NBA MVP next offseason.
Antetokounmpo still hasn’t signed an extension with the Bucks, but the Lakers seemed to have moved on from their pipe dream anyway. On Wednesday, the franchise inked superstar LeBron James to a two-year, $85 million contract extension. Less than 24 hours later, the Lakers signed Anthony Davis to a five-year, $190 million max contract, and they said goodbye to any chance of landing Antetokounmpo in the process.
The Lakers showed interest in Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently set to become a free agent at the end of the 2020-21 NBA season if he doesn’t sign a max contract extension by Dec. 21. If he does enter free agency next offseason, numerous contenders would make a run at ‘The Greek Freak.’ And who wouldn’t?
Antetokounmpo has gone three straight seasons averaging at least 25 points and 10 rebounds, and he’s won MVP in each of the last two years. The Bucks’ superstar has the potential to become an all-time great, so his impending free agency would be one of the biggest spectacles in the sport.
The Lakers, who just won an NBA title behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis, were one of the teams interested in courting Antetokounmpo. Brian Windhorst of ESPN recently hatched the idea that Davis was waiting on Antetokounmpo’s decision before signing a contract with the Lakers. If Antetokounmpo didn’t re-sign with the Bucks by Dec. 21, Davis was expected to sign a short-term deal to make room for the MVP next season.
Well, apparently things have changed in LA.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis sign max contract extensions
With all the chatter about LeBron James and Anthony Davis waiting on Antetokounmpo to decide on their future plans, all that went out the window in the span of 24 hours.
First, James re-signed with the Lakers to the tune of two years and $85 million. If that didn’t already shut off Antetokounmpo’s path to LA, Davis completely axed the idea the next day. On Thursday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Davis and the Lakers agreed to a five-year, $190 million max contract extension.
The deals will keep James in LA until 2023 and Davis with the team until 2025. Lakers fans — you have your future, and it doesn’t involve Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The Lakers are officially out of the Giannis Antetokounmpo sweepstakes
With James and Davis both signing max contract extensions this week, the Lakers have withdrawn from the Giannis Antetokounmpo sweepstakes. The only way LA could steal away the MVP was to sign Davis to a short-term deal and leave a max slot open for Antetokounmpo next year.
But that dream is officially dead. Even if Antetokounmpo decides not to re-sign with the Bucks and becomes a free agent next year, the Lakers won’t be in the running to land the generational talent.
It’s not all bad in LA, though. Signing Antetokounmpo was a long shot either way, so the Lakers locked in their two All-NBA talents for at least two more seasons together. The Lakers also added valuable pieces such as Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews, and Montrezl Harrell in the offseason, and they’ll enter the 2020-21 season as the prohibitive favorites to repeat as champions.