Welcome to the NBA offseason, the time where anything worth discussing is just thrown on out there. Some prime examples are LeBron James’ broken hand, Golden State playing Red Rover to protect Stephen Curry, and whatever it is that Kobe Bryant is doing. There is even a new talking point for Bucks fans, especially with the recent news regarding Giannis Antetokounmpo’s younger brother Kostas:
Kostas Antetokounmpo will keep his name in the 2018 NBA Draft at the early-entry deadline, a source tells ESPN. The 6'10 Greek forward has mysteriously elected to cancel all of his remaining scheduled private NBA workouts. Expect rampant speculation among NBA teams as to why.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 11, 2018
For anyone who might not know, the Milwaukee Bucks have already gotten involved in the pre-draft process with Kostas.
"It's been my dream since I was little."— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) May 23, 2018
Closer look at NBA Draft Prospect - Kostas Antetokounmpo: pic.twitter.com/xTyKWXEBUY
This news would seem to indicate one of two things: either there is either a red flag that someone has hidden, or Kostas was possibly guaranteed a first round selection by a team. Odds are it will be the latter and with Kostas not being projected as a lottery pick, there is a team that could maybe be in the mid to late first round range that could draft him...
I know Kostas reportedly had a workout planned with the Bucks. I wonder if he got that one in or if it’s among those cancelled.— Adam McGee (@AdamMcGee11) June 11, 2018
So the Bucks taking Kostas at 17?— Will Armstrong (@vladjristhegoat) June 11, 2018
So, here’s the question: should the Bucks take Kostas Antetokounmpo this month (either in the second round or even as high as 17th overall) of this year’s NBA draft?
No. There are too many reasons why this ends poorly, and Frank and Eric briefly discussed it on Locked on Bucks a few weeks ago.
For my part, I see these potential issues:
With Milwaukee’s not-so-great history of first round draft picks the last few years, whoever does get drafted might be counted to contribute immediately by Bucks fans. With the hire of Mike Budenholzer, Giannis already being a superstar, and a potential opening with LeBron James’ departure, Milwaukee is looking to be a contender in the Eastern Conference. If drafted 17, Kostas would be a project expected by some to be a role player in his rookie year. That is a difficult task to accomplish for any rookie drafted, but if you share the same name as the franchise player that pressure only increases.
Kostas didn’t light the college basketball universe on fire while he was at the University of Dayton; he redshirted his freshman year and had sporadic playing time last season. In his first full season at Dayton, Kostas averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds while playing 15.1 minutes. Those are not numbers that will get you high chances of being drafted.
Kostas isn’t as talented as Giannis right now and as Frank said in the aforementioned LoB episode “Giannis at Kostas’ age was already starting for a playoff bound Bucks team”. On The Stepien, Kostas is not listed in the top 100 prospects, and he isn’t listed in The Ringer’s Big Board either. Taking Kostas would be an extreme reach, no matter who the team is.
You have a superstar for the first time since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and he has a contract that carries into the end of the 2021 season, with the chance to extend him in the summer of 2020. The best way to ensure Giannis stays is to build a winning lineup and win. Bringing Kostas, if he doesn’t pan out, leads to the eventuality of saying “Kostas, you’re not good enough,” and releasing him.
This can potentially cause issues with Giannis to the point where he has a sour relationship with the Bucks’ front office no matter how successful the team is. The best way to ensure you won’t create an awkward situation with Giannis is by not putting yourself in a position for it to happen in the first place!