NBA Draft Preview: Antetokounmpo a major wildcard in the field
AGONAsport’s Peter Katsiris previews the 2018 NBA Draft from the perspective of Kostas Antetokounmpo on Thursday night in Brooklyn, New York as the former University of Dayton player looks to be the third in his family to be drafted…
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Real Madrid’s Luka Doncic is among the headliners in this year’s NBA Draft, but Greece is also well-represented in the field as Kostas Antetokounmpo will look to take a major leap in his basketball careers by having his name called at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
While Greek players themselves have proved on many occasions that the NBA Draft hasn’t been the only way to land in the NBA, Thursday’s draft could go a long way in shaping Antetokounmpo’s career as he looks to follow in the footsteps of his older brothers Giannis and Thanasis.
With only 60 selections as part of the NBA Draft, there is certainly no guarantee for Antetokounmpo that he will hear his name called on Thursday night particularly after a rocky season at the University of Dayton this past college campaign.
What is unique for Antetokounmpo, however, is his family connection and it is possible that NBA team’s might leverage Kostas in a bid to land Giannis in a future deal when his contract with the Milwaukee Bucks expires.
With that considered, it is also possible that the Bucks themselves might not want to take any risks on losing Giannis – particularly as the team struggles to find postseason success – and in turn draft Kostas as an insurance policy.
With plenty of noise surrounding possible trades between the Bucks and in fact other teams on Thursday night in Brooklyn, it is very difficult to determine what will happen in the later rounds of the draft; however, Antetokounmpo isn’t expected to be drafted any sooner than a late second round pick.
Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo is the last Greek standing in the field of prospects after the trio of Georgios Kalaitzakis, Antonis Koniaris, and Vassilis Charalampopoulos all opted out of the draft despite initially declaring for the draft.