Not much is known about the interesting prospect from Greece –very few even know how to properly pronounce his name –but what we do know is that he’s an extremely interesting and intriguing player that will most likely hear his name called on Draft night. There must be something, though, that has “the Greek Freak” on everyone’s draft board, even while being labeled as one of the biggest mysteries in recent drafting years.
Antetokounmpo’s length is downright incredible. His size allows him to cover plenty of ground in a short amount of time, and his slim build helps him finish at the rim as if he were one of the best point guards or ball handlers in the league. Antetokounmpo’s skills with the rock are also under appreciated for someone his size; he’s no Kevin Durant, but Antetokounmpo can play point-forward better than most in the league.
Giannis is very, very raw and very, very inexperienced. While he’s been playing in both the Greek League (second division) and Spanish League over the last couple of seasons, Antetokounmpo hasn’t faced anywhere near the amount of talent that he’ll see in the NBA. His consistency with passing the ball needs to improve (0.88 assist-to-turnover ratio); also, if he hopes to play oversized at the point guard position, his consistency from the free-throw line and three-point land need to improve. Should Antetokounmpo decide to play down low with the big boys, he’ll need to put on more weight (currently 205 lbs).
Antetokounmpo poses a great high risk-high reward factor for any team that’s contemplating taking him in this draft. Giannis will easily need more time to develop overseas before a franchise contemplates bringing him over to play on US soil. Yet the idea of a poor-man’s Magic Johnson (point guard stuck in a 6’9” frame) will be too good for all 30 teams to pass up twice. It may take some time, hard work, and plenty of patience, but Antetokounmpo could one day carve out a nice career as a change-of-pace point guard, or help any team short on size off the bench.
Late-first to mid-second round
For continued coverage of the NBA’s rookies, keep visiting NBA Rookie Class. Also, stay tuned as we begin to look towards the next year of rookies and the 2013 NBA Draft!