Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Kostas Antetokounmpo, Frank Vogel's Coaching StaffJuly 8, 2021
While there are only a few games remaining in the 2020-21 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are fully focused on the offseason. After getting eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers will be looking to reconstruct their team in a way that gets them back to championship contention.
Los Angeles' core remains in place. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will continue to be the centerpiece stars. Other key players are still under contract. Frank Vogel will return as head coach.
But the Lakers also have a lot of work to be done. And they're going to need to make tough decisions regarding their roster and more.
Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding Los Angeles at this point in the summer.
Antetokounmpo's Time with Lakers Done?
Kostas Antetokounmpo has been with the Lakers the past two seasons, which included winning the NBA title with them in the bubble in 2020. But the 23-year-old forward also hasn't played a big role, appearing in only 20 regular-season games during that time.
But Antetokounmpo is young and provides depth in the frontcourt. He may still develop into a strong player if he's given the opportunities to succeed.
However, it appears that Antetokounmpo's next chapter of his basketball career won't take place in the NBA. According to Stavros Barbarousis of EuroHoops.net, Antetokounmpo is weighing his options and won't make a career decision until after the Olympic qualifiers are over.
But Antetokounmpo is garnering interest from a pair of EuroLeague teams in Greece—Olympiacos Piraeus and Panathinaikos Athens—while also receiving offers from several other clubs, per Barbarousis.
If Antetokounmpo isn't going to play in the NBA, it makes sense that he would return to Greece, where he and his older brothers (Giannis and Thanasis) were born.
While Antetokounmpo wasn't playing substantial minutes for the Lakers, they'll now have another open spot on their roster that they'll need to fill, assuming that he doesn't change his mind and want to return. Los Angeles will need to sign quite a few depth players this offseason, so it will be interesting to see how it does so.
Who Will Join Vogel's Coaching Staff?
Vogel may be returning to the Lakers for the 2021-22 season, but he lost one of his top assistants, as Jason Kidd was hired to be the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks. It hasn't taken long, though, for there to be buzz about potential hires that Vogel will make.
NBA reporter Marc Stein recently reported that Los Angeles interviewed former Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks for a spot on the staff. Brooks led the Wizards from 2016-21, but he parted ways with the team last month.
The 55-year-old Brooks would bring a lot of experience to the Lakers' staff. Before his time in Washington, he was the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2008-15. He also had stints as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets (2003-06), Sacramento Kings (2006-07) and the Thunder (2007-09).
While there's only been speculation surrounding Brooks, the Lakers have already brought in one assistant with previous head-coaching experience. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Los Angeles is finalizing a deal for David Fizdale to join Vogel's staff.
Fizdale had brief stints as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies (2016-18) and New York Knicks (2018-20). Wojnarowski noted that Fizdale chose the Lakers over a "more lucrative offer" to be an assistant with the Indiana Pacers, per a report from The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears.
Fizdale has a history with James, as Fizdale was an assistant under Erik Spoelstra when James played for the Miami Heat.
"Fizdale preferred being reunited with LeBron James and being home in Los Angeles, as well as the Lakers' title chances, the source said," Wojnarowski wrote. "James and Fizdale communicated after he agreed to the deal, according to the source."
Although Fizdale didn't have much success as a head coach, he could be a valuable assistant to Vogel and the Lakers in the near future.