D-League Prospect Thanasis Antetokounmpo Garnering Interest In Anticipation of NBA Draft

NBA D-League

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of younger brother Giannis of the Milwaukee Bucks, Thanasis Antetokounmpo is hoping to garner consideration in this coming summer's NBA Draft, and is using the D-League to do so.

Despite owning the NBA D-League's worst record (9-26), the Delaware 87ers still have a potential 2014 NBA Draft candidate in 21-year-old Thanasis Antetokounmpo. The 6'7" slasher has an athletic frame and body type of a taller Tony Delk. He is one of the most athletic players in all of the D-League, has good floor vision and can defend a handful of positions. He is still raw as a 21 year old, and needs to develop his offensive game, but has a lot of upside.

Antetokounmpo exhibits a very aggressive style of play in general. On the offensive end, he is an inconsistent three-point shooter, as someone who struggles from both corners. Antetokounmpo uses a hard crossover from right to left, creates space well, and finishes effectively with the left hand.

Antetokounmpo played in 26 games for Filathlitikos in the Greek Second Division last season, averaging 12.2 points and 4.9 rebounds. The young gun is trying to follow in the footsteps of his 19-year-old brother, Giannis, who was drafted as the 15th overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. Thanasis made the decision to enter the D-League as pro prospect, as opposed to playing internationally in Greece. Delaware selected Antetokounmpo with the ninth pick of the 2013 D-League Draft.

Though Delaware drafted Antetokounmpo in the D-League Draft, should he go undrafted in the upcoming June NBA Draft, he would then be a free agent and could sign with any NBA team, according to NBADL Vice President of Basketball Operations and Player Personnel Chris Alpert.

While Antetokounmpo's production this season has been less than spectacular this season, his minutes have been controlled by the club. In addition, he had a real good showing in last month's D-League Showcase in front of many NBA executives. The other interesting component is the amount of exposure Antetokounmpo has received for several reasons

The fact that his younger brother was a mid-first round selection has helped peak the interest of NBA clubs. In addition, the way in which NBA clubs arrange their scouting coverage has allowed more NBA personnel to evaluate Antetokounmpo. Typically, NBA teams have a Director of Minor League Operations or Assistant GM in charge of their D-League team (mainly the teams with one-on-one hybrid affiliations) or a player personnel scout in charge of scouting the D-League (mainly teams that don't have the hybrid setup). However, because Antetokounmpo must go through the NBA Draft, many scouting directors who typically handle college scouting coverage, are making a trip to see Antetokounmpo and crosscheck him with other members of the organization's scouting staff.

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