Kostas Antetokounmpo was drafted with 60th – and final – pick of the 2018 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks via a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Antetokounmpo becomes the third brother to be drafted into the league since the Milwaukee Bucks took Giannis with the 15th pick in 2013, and older brother Thanasis was drafted with the 51st pick by the New York Knicks the following year.
There wasn’t much hype around the younger Antetokounmpo leading into the draft this year with many experts thinking he would withdraw his name altogether after only averaging 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15 minutes of playing time while in college at Dayton in Florida.
Still only 20 years old, Kostas is already 6’11 (by comparison, Giannis is 6’10) with a 7’2 wingspan and has tremendous upside. He’s athletic, runs the floor well, and defensively poses matchup problems.
The Mavericks will be hoping there’s something about the Antetokounmpo bloodline that will ensure they’ve struck gold with their drafting of Kostas.
In the past, Giannis has been very complimentary of his younger brother, telling media for years that Kostas has the potential to be even better than he is — tough shoes to fill given that Giannis is one the best players in the NBA, and scarily enough, has not even hit his peak yet.
Thanasis played a few years in the G-League, and had a short stint with the New York Knicks, before signing a lucrative contract with Panathinaikos last year.
Kostas Antetokounmpo was not at the draft in Brooklyn to hear his name selected, but earlier that day he was given some advice on social media from two-time NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas, who was also selected with the 60th pick in the draft in 2011. Thomas tweeted that whoever was drafted 60th should call him as he has “the formula to get right.”
After being selected, Antetokounmpo replied back to Thomas on Twitter exclaiming: “Yo @isaiahthomas what’s up I heard you got the formula what’s up #60th.”
Three of the six No. 60 picks since Thomas have played in the NBA.
Kostas Antetokounmpo’s road to making an NBA roster will be anything but easy, despite his heralded last name, and it’s likely the Dallas Mavericks will either stash him away in Europe, or send him to the NBA’s development league – the G-League – to further develop his game before adding him their roster.
The pick was a low-risk high reward situation for Dallas. If he lives up to the expectations Giannis has for him, the Mavericks got extremely lucky, if he doesn’t pan out, then Dallas didn’t sacrifice much to get him.
Antetokounmpo will likely suit up for the Mavericks’ Summer League team in Las Vegas this July before the team decides what it will do with him moving forward.