Thanasis Antetokounmpo, say that five times fast. The man is just as exciting as his name, and he is one of the three newest New York Knicks, as the team selected him with the 51st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Look for him to bring some energy and youth on both sides of the ball that the Knicks desperately need.
Antetokounmpo played in the D-League this past season for the Delaware Sevens, which helped improve his stock. He is a long 6-foot-5 with a 7-foot wingspan, quick and athletic which will show benefits on both sides of the ball. His brother, Giannis Antetokounmpo aka the “Greek Freak”, just played his first season with the Milwaukee Bucks and has burst onto the scene as a player who has the potential to be great. Thanasis is shorter and older (21 years old) than his 19-year-old brother, but they both hold a similar skill set and potential on both sides of the ball.
With the Sevens last season, Thanasis scored 12 points, grabbed 4.3 rebounds and dished out 2.1 assists per game, so he can do a lot of different things well. His length and speed give him the ability to attack the basket and score as a slasher, resulting in him shooting a respectable 46.9 percent from the field last season. He also will have an instant impact on the defensive end, stealing the ball and hunting down shooters for blocked shots. He averaged 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks per game with the Sevens. This guy is clearly all over the place on both sides of the ball.
Despite so many bright sides, Thanasis still has room to get better. He seems energetic and willing to learn, so improving will come naturally to this guy. While being all over the place, he can be out of control at times. He turned the ball over more times than he assisted it in Delaware (2.3 per game) and is also still working on his three-point shot and free throw stroke (shot 30.9 percent and 66 percent respectively).
While he can do a lot of things well, he is yet to master anything, which will come with time especially since he has only played two years of professional basketball heading into next season. He clearly can do a lot of things and play two different positions, either the two or the three, so that will help him become valuable on both sides of the ball. Phil Jackson should be happy with this pick which will bring a lot of excitement, energy and fun to Madison Square Garden.