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Ranking the Roster 2019: Thanasis Antetokounmpo Steps Aside at #14

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Finally, justice is served.

FIBA World Cup - Greece v Czech Republic Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Editor’s Note: Apologies again for the Ersan vote and not tallying up the Mason/Reynolds vote alongside Thanasis’s percentage. My bad on even including that. It looks like we’re back to normal here and will continue as planned with the series...


Whatever was afoot this week, whether it be the work of some nefarious Brew Hoop bots, a disgruntled reader ready to exact revenge or an editor who skipped math in college and plan to stick it to himself backfired, I think we all know the most likely culprit for Thanasis Antetokounmpo somehow escaping the 15th slot to finally finish at 14:

Regardless, the fact remains, Thanasis Antetokounmpo is now officially off the board as the next least valuable Buck, and likely the actual least valuable Buck by many’s estimation. By far the most controversial signing of Jon Horst’s summer, Thanasis has merely had a few cups of coffee with Phil Jackson’s Knicks during his time in the NBA before shipping back to do some dunking and defense overseas.

None of his numbers there were spectacular, as he barely averaged over two rebounds in his finest year to go with a piddling 3.9 career points per game number. He has the athleticism to potentially contribute as a defensive force with his switchability and decent size, but it’s also not like there’s significant room for improvement. He’s already 27, well past a developmental stage for most players, and calling his shot a work in progress seems more than complementary. It’s possible Ben Sullivan can work his magic, but the whole, “he’ll fix his shot” narrative feels like it’s batting well below the Mendoza line at this point among players.

There really haven’t been any signs he warrants a place on an NBA roster, outside of his last name of course, and there’s the souvlaki rub. The entire narrative surrounding his signing is that his presence on the team could give the Bucks a leg up on signing Giannis next season. For some, having Thanasis add even a 1% more chance Milwaukee retains Giannis might be enough to justify his presence on the roster. For others, it feels like a foolhardy move that sets a dangerous precedent for a team whose chemistry was reportedly sunshine and rainbows all last season. Pandering to a superstar is nothing new, but it certainly opens a troubling Pandora’s box for Horst and company.

I don’t think there’s any chance Bud succumbs, or likely faces, any pressure to play Thanasis, but it certainly hamstrings Horst’s ability to play with the roster. The optics of trading your young superstar’s kin is Clockwork Orange-level distressing. Couple his likely lack of production, minimal room for improvement and potential to tie up Horst’s trade machine fingers, and I’d say that’s certainly the least valuable asset on the roster. Bender, for what it’s worth, still seems to have a little bloom left on his desert rose. Plus, his contract is laden with ways for Milwaukee to parachute out before it triggers guarantees. Thanasis, amazingly, is fully guaranteed for the next two years.

I thought Thanasis should’ve been gone first from the start, and at least now we can move forward with him out of the fray. Let’s get back to voting.

2019 Brew Hoop Roster Ranking

14. Thanasis Antetokounmpo

15. Ersan Ilyasova

Poll

The Next Least Valuable Buck on the Roster is...

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Dragan Bender
    (351 votes)
  • 4%
    Sterling Brown
    (21 votes)
  • 1%
    Eric Bledsoe
    (8 votes)
  • 3%
    Wesley Matthews Jr.
    (16 votes)
  • 7%
    Donte DiVincenzo
    (37 votes)
  • 6%
    D.J. Wilson
    (33 votes)
  • 4%
    Kyle Korver
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    George Hill
    (1 vote)
487 votes total Vote Now