thanasis nba draft

Report: Knicks to stash Thanasis Antetokounmpo in Europe next season


The Knicks selected Thanasis Antetokounmpo with the 51st pick in this summer’s draft, and the 21-year-old brother of Bucks sensation Giannis Antetokounmpo appears to have an NBA-ready skill set, at least on the defensive end of the floor.

But New York is going to take its time in developing this particular prospect, and will reportedly stash him in Europe for the upcoming season.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Greece’s Thanasis Antetokounmpo will be able to show his skills when the Knicks open their Las Vegas Summer League schedule Friday, but The Post has learned it will be the last American venue for their second-round selection for a while.

According to source close to the defensive specialist, the Knicks drafted him with plans of stashing him in Europe for one season, even if he has a solid summer league showing. The Knicks have their first summer-league practice Tuesday in Las Vegas. Antetokounmpo was selected by the Knicks with the 51st pick, which they acquired as part of the Mavericks trade that sent Tyson Chandler to Dallas.

There’s always a bit of a risk with not locking up these European prospects to NBA deals immediately, because many of them choose to stay overseas for extended periods that are longer than what the NBA team was initially led to believe was the plan.

With Giannis being in the states and already thriving in Milwaukee, that’s mitigated here to a strong degree. But it seems as though Knicks fans will have to get their fill of Thanasis during Summer League, enough to last them for at least the duration of the upcoming season.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.