Meanwhile, his brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo – drafted No. 51 by the Knicks – is playing for their D-League affiliate for $25,500 (or less). Thanasis turned down a more lucrative European offer and the Knicks’ required tender (the deal K.J. McDaniels took with the 76ers) to help the Knicks.
Who knows what promises Thanasis made New York in the pre-draft process, but the Knicks are doing him no favors now. After clearing roster space by trading Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith and waiving Samuel Dalembert, New York has signed Langston Galloway, Lou Amundson and Lance Thomas – rather than Thanasis – to 10-day contracts.
Giannis, whose Bucks play the Knicks at 3 p.m. ET in London today, had a message for the Knicks about his brother.
Giannis, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:
“He’s ready,’’ Antetokounmpo said at the Bucks’ practice Wednesday at O2 Arena. “I don’t think the Knicks have to lose anything. They lose 15 [straight] now. Tomorrow is going to be 16. They don’t have anything to lose. My brother could bring energy to the team and [is] hard-working, and guys from the team can see that and take something from him.’’
Thanasis would make $29,843 – more than his D-League salary for the entire season – on a 10-day contract. He’d also get a year of service, which positions him to earn more in future seasons.
But that’s part of the reason the Knicks have yet to sign him. They have Thanasis’ rights, and if they sign him this season, that would allow him to become a free agent sooner.
If Thanasis promised the Knicks he’d play in the D-League this year, that’s on him. He probably should have made that conditional on the Knicks not tanking the season and clearing three roster spots in January, but if he didn’t, it’s too late now.
This should be a lesson to any second rounders who agree not to take the required tender. They limit their salary and options for a team that isn’t necessarily rushing to pay them back.
Also, I love Giannis’ swagger.