That’s because, of all the spots within the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, home of both the courts and the lodgings for the restarted 2019-20 season, the Gran Destino Tower could be where the bulk of the action is. The Bucks and star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will be housed there for the duration of their run into the league’s playoffs next month and, most likely, beyond.
Also shacking up in the Tower with the Greek Freak and friends will be the Los Angeles Lakers. Of course, there is backstory there: The Lakers spearheaded by LeBron James, intend to make Antetokoumpo their top free-agent prize in less than a year.
Antetokounmpo will be the most coveted free agent on the market in the summer of 2021, and he is a rare commodity: only 26 years old, already with four All-Star team selections under his belt and (so far) one MVP trophy. He was averaging 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists when the season was put on hold in March as the novel coronavirus spread.
The Bucks, obviously, are desperate to keep Antetokoumpo in the team’s fold and he has indicated in the past that he’d like to stay in Milwaukee on a long-term contract extension.
But if the Bucks, who have not reached the NBA Finals since 1974, flop out in the playoffs again this year, the chances that Antetokounmpo will be open to exploring other options in free agency grow exponentially.
And he’ll likely be the subject of many whispered sweet-nothings in the next few months weeks—many coming from folks with Lakers attachments.
Lakers Will Have Ample 2021 Cap Space for Giannis Antetkounmpo
The Lakers are among the teams best set up to make a run at Antetokounmpo in 2021. Assuming LeBron James opts out for the year, L.A. has no one on their books for that year, though they could wind up with some commitments, including their 2020 first-round pick, a possible extension for forward Kyle Kuzma, and/or a new contract for Anthony Davis in the coming months.
Even with those deals, the Lakers probably would have enough money to sign Antetokounmpo and bring back James as a free agent …read more