NBA executive says Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t that attracted to big markets in light of Lakers interest

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

One Western Conference executive believes that Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo isn’t attracted to big markets like many other stars are, according to’s Sean Deveney.

“Another executive, with a Western Conference team, pointed out that Antetokounmpo is less enamored of big markets than other major stars, and that the teams poised to make a trade for him – if it comes to that point – are not in places NBA fans might normally expect a star trade,” Deveney wrote.

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly are a threat to land the Bucks star if he ends up being traded, but it may not be easy for the team if he doesn’t want to play in the Los Angeles market.

Antetokounmpo recently revealed that he doesn’t plan on signing an extension with the Bucks unless the franchise is on the same page as him. He wants the team to commit to competing for championships going forward before agreeing to stay there for the long haul.

Antetokounmpo is under contract with Milwaukee for the 2023-24 season and the 2024-25 season. He then has a player option in the 2025-26 campaign.

If the Bucks can’t come to terms with the two-time MVP on an extension, they may look to trade him before the 2024-25 season rather than letting him opt out of his deal in free agency prior to the 2025-26 campaign.

Obviously, the Bucks should want to keep Antetokounmpo around, but it’s possible that the situation could be out of the team’s hands if he asks to be moved.

The Lakers would certainly love to land a player like Antetokounmpo, especially if LeBron James (who is in the final season of his deal in the 2023-24 campaign) is retired or leaves the franchise.

The Bucks and Antetokounmpo won a title in the 2020-21 season, but they have failed to make the Eastern Conference Finals in each of the last two seasons. The team lost in the second round to the Boston Celtics in the 2021-22 season.

That wasn’t the worst playoff defeat the Bucks have suffered lately, as the team lost in the first round to the Miami Heat last season. Milwaukee was the No. 1 seed in the East, but an injury to Antetokounmpo hurt the team in the first round and it ended up getting upset.

The Bucks are hoping that they can get back to contending for a title in the 2023-24 season to help convince Antetokounmpo to stay.

However, if they can’t, the Lakers can attempt to sway the star to Los Angeles, even if he isn’t set on playing in a big market.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.