The LA Clippers are expected to pursue a deal for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Fasten your seatbelts, Clipper Nation. The LA Clippers are reportedly planning to pursue a deal for Giannis Antetokounmpo according to multiple league sources of Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
There’s not a lot to go on from that article outside of the fact that the team wants him.
One source did say that “Antetokounmpo has an ‘admiration’ for Clippers head coach Doc Rivers” but that’s about the only actual insight we are given.
Other teams interested include the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, and the Milwaukee Bucks who hope to retain him.
Following the elimination of the Bucks from the playoffs, Giannis will be entering the final season of his contract. He, along with the Clippers’ own Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, will be the cream of the crop in the 2021 free agency class.
The article from The Ringer does say “pursue a deal” though, which has us wondering if that would be just going after him in free agency or actually working towards a trade. The latter would be hard to pull off after the team traded nearly all of their assets last summer in order to acquire Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The only tradable pieces the Clippers will have under contract outside of their two stars include Ivica Zubac, Landry Shamet, Patrick Beverley, and Lou Williams. Montrezl Harrell could be enticing for the Bucks but he is a free agent this offseason and will likely get a solid deal from the Clips or another team after winning Sixth Man of the Year.
Getting Antetokounmpo in free agency in 2021 is a cleaner path than a trade but still would require some finagling around the cap. It would also likely require one or both of Leonard and George to take less money. It could also mean one of them does not get re-signed. It will be tough to see that happening if the team does win a championship either this year or next year.
The Clippers are still deep in the pursuit of their first championship so the focus should remain there. This is an interesting development and may not end up being more than the team doing their due diligence but is definitely something we all will be keeping our eyes on. In the meantime, make sure to continue to check back here for all your news, rumors, and coverage!