After drafting Wichita State forward Cleanthony Early with the No. 34 pick, Phil Jackson’s second pick ass team president of the New York Knicks was a little more of a reach in Thanasis Antetokounmpo.
If the name sounds familiar it should as Antetokounmpo is the older brother of Greek forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was drafted in the first round of last year’s draft.
Antetokounmpo, 21, played for the Delaware 87ers of the NBA D-League last season. He came to the United States with his family when Giannis was drafted in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks. However because he played in Greece he was ineligible to play collegiately.
He averaged 12.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game for the 87ers last year and he is far from a polished player offensively, but could make an impact immediately on the defensive end of the floor where he is always around the ball getting steals and blocking shots.
Antetokounmpo stands 6’6″ and weighs 205 pounds and was a below-average rebounder for his position and turnover-prone last season in Delaware.
However he has a ton of upside and if he grows to become even half of the player his brother looks like he is going to be, then the Knicks may have something here.
The Knicks are hoping he can develop into an attacking wing who can move the ball, finish at the rim and defend like crazy in the right system.
Considering that they had no picks coming into the 2014 NBA Draft, rolling the dice on a player with upside like Antetokounmpo at No. 51 makes a whole lot of sense.
Here’s a nice look at the newest New York Knicks draft pick.