With the No. 51 pick in the NBA Draft, the Knicks selected Thanasis Antetokounmpo from Greece.
He recently played in the NBA D-League.
He averaged 12 points and just over four rebounds per game for the Deleware 87ers in the D-League. His D-League numbers ranked fourth in block rate, fifth in steal rate and fourth in assist rate among small forwards, according to DraftExpress.
Antetokounmpo is the older brother of Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Keith Schlosser, Lead WriterThanasis Antetokounmpo.
Let that name sink in a little. Start pronouncing it now, because he’s the type of player the Knicks will want to hold onto.
Antetokounmpo opted to play for the Delaware 87ers last season, and that’s where he truly began to explore what he could do playing professional ball in the states. The swingman is a well-balanced talent who can do a little bit of everything. He’s a solid defender, can rebound the ball, and has good hands to deflect balls away from defenders.
He can score the basketball too, but ironically enough, Antetokounmpo didn’t do all too much of that in the D-League. Such offensive prowess will become more prevalent as the youngster gains more confidence and develops his instincts even further. Hopefully the Knicks will be able to remain patient and provide him with the opportunity to thrive, because the potential to contribute in a number of ways is there.
Raw prospects need time before they can shine.
Sam SpiegelmanI hate the concept of drafting foreign players, because there’s always the risk of them not bothering to come over to the states.
With that being said, he sounds like a talented prospect that could certainly be a valuable rotation player. Scouts suggest he is a player comparable to his brother, which is a best-case scenario, and that could be awfully beneficial for the Knicks’ front court.
Harris DeckerThis seems like a project guy for Phil and the Knicks. Antetokounmpo (did I get all those letters in there?) seems like a very, very raw talent. What concerns me are his D-league numbers which were not all that impressive. Still, Jackson and company must have seen something from the small forward.
Once again, this was Phil addressing a need. A team with no depth at forward added several on draft night.
Below are D-League highlights for Antetokounmpo: