The Hornets could go any number of directions with the 55th pick in the draft. By then, just about all of the highly regarded names are off the board and teams are taking European prospects that draftniks have never heard of with no intention of ever bringing them over to the NBA. The Hornets could use their pick to take the biggest of swings by selecting Kostas Antetokounmpo, brother of Giannis.
There younger Antetokounmpo cancelled all his workouts after his time with the Hornets, leading to speculation that the Hornets may have given him a promise. A player with such a meek resume staying the draft despite having three years of college eligibility remaining makes little sense unless that player has been assured he’ll have an NBA home after the draft. Antetokounmpo only worked out for 4 teams, the Grizzlies, Raptors, Lakers, and Hornets, so make of that what you will.
He also plays basketball.
Question marks: Almost everything. Is he actually good at basketball?
Antetokounmpo struggled to find consistent playing time on a Dayton team that finished the season 14-17, finishing the season averaging just 15.1 minutes played per game. His playing time actually became more sporadic later in the season, with 5 of the 7 games in which he played fewer than 10 minutes coming in the second half of his freshman campaign.
Kostas only attempted 15 3-pointers during his lone season at Dayton and converted a measly 2 of them. His poor shooting touch was further illustrated by his 51.6% free throw percentage. He finished with 13 assists against 39 turnovers and committed 6 fouls per 40 minutes, illustrating his limited feel for the game.
What he brings to the table: The same name as an All NBA player, long arms, theoretical potential
Antetokounmpo is likely getting a boost to his pre-draft buzz thanks to his brother, and it’s somewhat understandable. Giannis came to the NBA from the second tier of the Greek Professional Basketball system, and he only averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.0 block in 22.5 minutes per game against competition that was likely inferior to what Kostas faced while playing at Dayton. Maybe the Antetokounmpos are late bloomers.
Kostas Antetokounmpo is going to be heavily reliant on his physical tools to make an impact in the NBA. He stands 6’10.5” in shoes with a 7’2.25” wingspan and 9’2” standing reach. He averaged 2.8 blocks per 40 minutes while playing for Dayton, so he showed some semblance of defensive prowess. His highlight tape is full of impressive blocks and lob catches, but there are very few instances of discernible basketball skill on display.
How does he fit with the Hornets?
Fran Fraschilla famously commented that Bruno Caboclo was two years away from being two years away after he was selected by the Raptors in the first round of the 2014 draft. Those same words are an apt description of Kostas Antetokounmpo. The Hornets new front office has preached player development, and what better way to prove that than by selecting the ultimate developmental prospect. If drafted, Kostas would likely spend the majority of his first professional season with the Swarm to see how he develops with consistent playing time. Selecting Antetokounmpo at 55 would be a big time home run swing, but it’s a low risk proposition. At the very least he’d bring some intrigue to the organization.