The Los Angeles Lakers have officially lost their first free agent of the offseason. There were recent rumors that forward Kostas Antetokounmpo was headed to play in the EuroLeague and it’s now been confirmed. According to Eurohoops.net, Antetokounmpo has signed a two-year deal with LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne.
The current president of the team is former NBA star Tony Parker. Antetokounmpo never had a chance to make much of an impact in Los Angeles but was a respected member of the team. Heading to the EuroLeague will give him a better chance at more playing time and possibly refine his craft. His brothers Giannis and Thanasis are still in the NBA so perhaps there’s still an NBA future for the young big man.
It was previously thought that Antetokounmpo would be returning to play in his home of Greece but LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne is based in France. It remains to be seen what exactly changed his mind.
ALL the latest Los Angeles Lakers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Lakers newsletter here!
Giannis on Thanasis on Their Way to 1st Championships
Kostas was the first Antetokounmpo brother to earn an NBA championship last season with the Lakers. Giannis and Thanasis are hot on his tail, however. The Milwaukee Bucks are in the midst of a heated NBA Finals battle against the Phoenix Suns. Right now, the series is tied 2-2.
Out of all of the Antetokounmpo brothers, Giannis is clearly the best. He’s won two MVPs and is putting together a historic Finals performance. If he can keep it up, the Antetokounmpo will have three championship-winning brothers.
Lakers Could Be Searching for New Big Men This Offseason
With Kostas headed to France, the Lakers are down a big man. They could also lose a couple more this offseason. Andre Drummond is a free agent and while he’s expressed interest in returning, he could be too expensive. Marc Gasol is under contract next season but wasn’t overly impressive during his lone season with the team. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they tried to move on.
Montrezl Harrell has a player option, which he could decline and hit free agency. If he doesn’t decline, he’ll almost certainly get traded at some point as he wasn’t a great fit. That could mean the Lakers will have no centers returning from this season’s squad. That might be a good thing considering none of them played particularly well.
It’s possible that the Lakers look at a couple of familiar faces this offseason. JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard were important pieces during the team’s championship run last season. They will both be free agents. Perhaps Los Angeles wants to go back to what worked. If not, Drummond shouldn’t be off the table quite yet. He didn’t play great during his stint with the team but he also wasn’t with them for very long. He also didn’t get much of a chance to play with LeBron James. A full offseason of work with the team could lead to Drummond being a much better player for the Lakers.