Kostas Antetokounmpo: The other Greek Freak
By Jasmyn Wimbish
After trading back in the second round with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Dallas Mavericks used the extra pick to select, Kostas Antetokounmpo with the 60th pick. You may know his last name, but here’s what you can expect Giannis’ brother to bring to the Mavericks.
First off, the basics. Kostas is a 6’10”,195 pound forward with a 7’2″ wingspan. He boasts the hyper-athleticism that is synonymous with his oldest brother Giannis, and is a prospect that has tremendous upside. His long frame likely signals more growth in the next couple of years, making him a few years away from being a complete player.
Although Kostas only averaged 15 minutes per game as a freshman at Dayton, he was highly effective on the defensive end of the court. Antetokounmpo averaged 2.8 blocks per 40 minutes, and shot 57.4 percent from the field. Kostas exhibits quite a bit of skill on offense, especially in the post, but is most effective when used in a pick-and-roll to catch a lob at the rim.
He runs the court well and has a good jumper, although in his limited time at Dayton most of his points came inside the paint. Kostas’ biggest plus by far is on defense. He’s always active at the rim and can step out on shooters to get the block. If given time Kostas looks like he could fill a similar role to what Dwight Powell is for the Mavericks. A guy who will fill in where needed, grab rebounds and have the occasional 15-point game.
As the 60th pick in the draft, also known as Mr. Irrelevant, don’t expect Kostas to get major minutes in the rotation with the Mavs, especially with Dorian Finney-Smith and Doug McDermott already on the roster. However, if he puts in the work during Summer League and makes the roster, he could challenge those guys for minutes next season.
If Dallas is looking to trade the likes of Powell, Finney-Smith and/or McDermott to chase a big free agent this summer, then Kostas’ progression will be pushed a bit faster to produce for the team. But if the Mavericks are patient with him, let him grow into his body and work on his offensive game, then it’s entirely possible he becomes a key player coming off the bench at small forward.
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This pick was a low-risk high-reward situation for Dallas, because if Kostas turns out to be a solid role player for the the next few years then the Mavericks got an absolute steal in the draft. However, if he doesn’t pan out Dallas didn’t sacrifice anything for testing him out. Summer League will be a great indicator of what Kostas can bring to the table, and if he’s anything like his brother Giannis, then Dallas got really lucky.