Fran Fraschilla on Antetokounmpo: ‘NBA-level athleticism but offense is a work in progress’

Adam Zagoria, Team Reporter

In Thanasis Antetokounmpo, the No. 51 pick of the NBA Draft, the Knicks are getting a tremendous athlete and a high-character guy who still has a long way to go offensively.

So says ESPN international basketball expert Fran Fraschilla.

“He’s more athletic than his younger brother but not as polished,” Fraschilla told SNY.tv and The Knicks Blog at the Draft, referring to Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. “Right now he’s got NBA-level athleticism and energy. He loves to play defense.”

The 6-foot-7, 210-pound Thanasis Antetokounmpo is a two/three who spent last season with the Philadelphia 76ers D-League outfit, the Delaware 87ers, where he averaged improved over the season.

According to USA Today, over his final 21 games he averaged 14.1 points and shot 53.7 percent from the field and 39.1 percent on three-pointers, compared to 10.4 points, 41.5 percent and 25.6 percent in the first 29 games.

“Everybody says I’m a good athlete, that I have a lot of energy and that I really have a love of the game,” Antetokounmpo told USA Today. “The things I do best is that I have a good work ethic, have good character. I’m a reliable person. I’m a person you can depend on doing stuff. I’m a humble person and the thing that drives me is the love for my family and the game.”

“His offensive skills are a major work in progress but they have improved,” Fraschilla said. “For him to be a factor on this Knicks’ team his offense will have to improve but his defense is outstanding.

“I think he’s going to either be on the roster or go back and forth to the D-League like he did last year. He had a very good year, improved dramatically offensively at the end of the year, but plays with great energy and passion. A high-character guy who is a great pick at this point in the Draft.”


Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider for NBA.com and SNY.tv. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog.