The Los Angeles Lakers currently have one of the best superstar duos in the league with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who give the team one of the best chances in the league to win the 2024 NBA Championship. That being said, Lakers fans are still looking forward to what stars could come to LA in the future.
It is hard to blame Lakers fans for doing this. The history of the franchise has been loaded with superstar after superstar and the team is going to have to bring in someone to contend with Anthony Davis — who just signed a massive contract extension — once LeBron leaves.
A previous name that Lakers fans were interested in was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who recently re-stoked those purple and gold flames with his comments to The New York Times. Giannis made it simple: if the Bucks are not aligned with him in contending for championships then he won’t sign a contract extension.
Los Angeles naturally becomes a place of interest as the Lakers are a franchise that is always looking to contend for championships. After all, Giannis would not be the first all-time great to leave the Bucks to join the Lakers.
Los Angeles won’t be alone. Every team in the league would obviously love to sign Giannis in the summer of 2025 (when he becomes a free agent). But not every team is a legitimate threat and there appears to be one team, in particular, that will be competition for the Lake Show: the New York Knicks. Marc Stein recently outlined how the Lakers and Knicks are the two perceived teams to interest Giannis at this point in time.
"“The Lakers and the Knicks are already being mentioned as franchises presumed to interest Antetokounmpo down the road if he does decide to move on from Milwaukee, which just made a slew of moves (re-signing Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez and replacing Mike Budenholzer as coach with Adrian Griffin) to try to appease its face of the franchise.”"
Knicks are Lakers’ biggest competition for Giannis Antetokounmpo
This isn’t totally surprising as the Lakers and Knicks are the two biggest teams in the entire league. This is also eerily similar to what happened with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as the Knicks were also in the running to bring him in as well.
Kareem himself said that he wanted to be traded to the Knicks. The Knicks couldn’t make the deal, however, because they were strapped for cash after committing to George McKinnis. The NBA works differently now, but nobody would put it past the Knicks to get in their own way.
Anything can happen from now until Giannis is a free agent and for the first time in a long time, the Knicks actually have a bright future. If this happened five years ago there would be no reasonable chance that the Knicks would be able to lure Giannis to the Big Apple.
But now, they should be viewed as legitimate competition for the Lakers. It will be interesting to see how everything shakes out.