Thanasis Antetokounmpo Drafted by Knicks: Latest News, Reaction and Analysis

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2014

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 26:  A shot of Giannis Antetokounmpo #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks and his brother and NBA Draft prospect Thanasis Antetokounmpo during the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 26, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

A year ago, the NBA world began its love affair with Greek forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. Twelve months later, his big brother his heading to the Big Apple.

The New York Knicks selected Giannis' older brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, with the No. 51 overall pick in Thursday night's NBA draft.

Antetokounmpo, 21, played for the Delaware 87ers of the NBA D-League last season. He came to the United States with his family when Giannis was drafted in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks. Because Thanasis had previously played in Greece, he was ineligible to play college basketball.

Biding his time with Delaware, Antetokounmpo impressed scouts with his athleticism and defensive acumen. He averaged 12.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while also picking up consistent blocks and steals on a nightly basis.

The Knicks, who did not initially have any selections in this draft, were able to acquire two second-round picks as part of their deal with the Dallas Mavericks. Wichita State forward Cleanthony Early came off the board No. 34 overall. If he and Antetokounmpo both pan out, Phil Jackson's first draft as Knicks boss may have come with two elite defensive stoppers on the wing.

Given the dilapidated state of the New York defense of late, Antetokounmpo and Early should be welcome sights at the Garden.

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