The Dallas Mavericks traded for Kostas Antetokounmpo during the 2018 NBA draft. The Philadelphia 76ers had selected him with the No. 60 overall pick.
Antetokounmpo is not the second coming of his brother, but Giannis should be part of the discussion when imagining what Kostas could be. At this point, he's extremely raw. He averaged only 5.2 points in 15.1 minutes per game as a redshirt freshman at Dayton. He was recruited by current Indiana coach Archie Miller, who left after his redshirt year. That's worth noting when considering his minimal playing time, but either way, he played only 15.1 minutes per game for a team that went 14-17.
To steal a phrase from ESPN's Fran Fraschilla, Kostas is a year away from being a year away. However, his ability and potential made him a draftable prospect nevertheless. While he's extremely thin, his brother was as well when he entered the league, and we've seen how he's completely changed his body.
Kostas has a different game. He's never going to be a point forward like his brother, but his movements are not all that different. He has the same long, quick strides that enable him to cover a lot of ground with ease. Kostas sees himself as a Clint Capela type, and there's potential for him to fill that kind of role. Capela has turned into one of the best centers in the NBA, so it's a stretch to compare the two, but it's rare to find the combination of athleticism and length that Kostas possesses.
Weight: 194.8 pounds
Pro-player comparison: Cheick Diallo
Antetokounmpo's speed is what jumps off the page. He runs the floor hard, transitioning from defense to offense quickly, and it's difficult for opposing centers to keep up with him.
His ability to get from point A to point B quickly also comes in handy as a roller, which is where you see the desire to play like Capela. This is also the most developed aspect of his game. He looks comfortable as a roller, and he's quick off the floor to go grab and finish an alley-oop.
His low-post game is still raw, and it isn't hard to knock him off his spot, but there's potential for him to take advantage of switches and perhaps even be a threat against opposing big men. He flashed some decent footwork at Dayton, and he utilizes his quickness in small areas.
While Kostas is not nearly as gifted of a ball-handler as his brother, he can make plays in space.
He could eventually become a threat to be a grab-and-go rebounder. That's something Giannis does as well as anyone in the league.
The hope is that Antetokounmpo eventually is able to stretch floor with his jumper, but he isn't trustworthy yet to do that in a game. He made only two of 15 threes and shot a dismal 51.6 percent from the free-throw line at Dayton. But as he demonstrated during his agency's pro day, his shot is not completely broken, and he has the potential to become a three-point shooter.
Dayton head coach Anthony Grant did not give Antetokounmpo more minutes in part because he's mistake-prone. He had a 22.9 percent turnover rate, meaning he turned it over nearly one time for every four possessions he finished. Dayton's offense was also 13 points per 100 possessions better when he was on the bench, according to hooplens.com.
Antetokounmpo could make the biggest impact on this end of the floor, and he should take less time to develop here as well. He was not elite as a shot-blocker—his 8.3 block rate would have ranked just outside the top 50 if he played enough minutes to qualify, per KenPom.com—but he was a presence at the rim regardless. He's quick off the ground and has good timing as a help-side shot-blocker.
Eventually, Antetokounmpo should also be able to operate in a switch-heavy scheme. Even if he gets beat off the dribble, he can recover quickly.
While Antetokounmpo has the potential to be a valuable defender, Dayton was a crummy defensive team this past year. The Flyers were actually better when he was on the bench, giving up five fewer points per 100 possessions, per hooplens.com.
Projected role: Backup center
Antetokounmpo is usually listed as a forward, but he has a better shot making it in the NBA as a center. It'll take some time and development—likely in the G League—but his role will eventually be a center who thrives in the pick-and-roll as a roller and a shot-blocker. He'll need to rely on his effort, quickness and length to make an impact. It isn't a given that he'll evolve into an NBA-caliber player, but his bloodlines and athleticism make him worth the gamble.