Lakers Rumors: Giannis' Brother Kostas Antetokounmpo Claimed off Waivers

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 21, 2019

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 10: Kostas Antetokounmpo of the Dallas Mavericks looks on in the Nike Zoom Freak 1 shoes against Croatia during the 2019 Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 10, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers claimed power forward Kostas Antetokounmpo off waivers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Antetokounmpo is the brother of Milwaukee Bucks star and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. He appeared in two games for the Dallas Mavericks in 2018-19, playing 11 total minutes and scoring two points.

The 21-year-old spent most of the year in the NBA G League, averaging 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in 40 games with the Texas Legends.

Of course, most will view this move through the prism of Giannis' free agency in 2021. What better way for Giannis to learn of how the Lakers operate behind the scenes than to talk to his little brother about the franchise.

To some extent, the Lakers did the same thing as part of their long-term sales pitch for LeBron James. They signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who shares representation (Klutch Sports Group) with James, a year before LeBron hit the open market.

ESPN's Baxter Holmes reported in May that one member of Los Angeles' coaching staff thought Caldwell-Pope's agent, Rich Paul, was effectively doing reconnaissance for James ahead of his move to L.A.

Signing Antetokounmpo comes with little downside for the Lakers.

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They don't have a wealth of depth at power forward and center, so he could have a shot at earning a spot at the end of the bench. More likely, he'll feature for the South Bay Lakers in the G League to get regular playing time.

If it gives the team even the slimmest of advantages in the Giannis sweepstakes, then adding him is worth it.