The 26-year-old brother of Milwaukee’s superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who comes as a Greek champion with Panathinaikos, will sign a guaranteed two-year, minimum contract, a source confirmed to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“Thanasis, a 6-foot-7 wing, will make for an interesting fit on the Milwaukee Bucks‘ roster. He has the size, athleticism and defensive toughness to fill a hole on the wing, but he lacks the three-point shooting that was critical to the Bucks’ offensive attack last season. With only limited NBA experience, Thanasis could potentially split time between the Bucks and the Wisconsin Herd to further develop his game,” wrote Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Thanasis Antetokounmpo was drafted by the New York Knicks with the 51st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The Greek forward only appeared in two games and six total minutes for the Knicks during the 2014-15 NBA season before phasing out of the league, with his last appearance in the G League in 2016.
The player returned to Europe where he played professionally in Spain and in 2017 he went back to Greece to play for champions Panathinaikos.
His two seasons with Panathinaikos were very successful as the Athens team won two championships back to back. During the 2017-18 season, he was named the league’s Most Spectacular Player for his highlight-reel dunks and finishes. Over the past three seasons in Europe, Thanasis has averaged 5.7 points and 2.9 rebounds while playing 14.3 minutes per game in 135 contests.
According to a Velazquez analysis, the Thanasis signing is geared towards keeping Giannis happy in Milwaukee. “The chance to play in the NBA with his brother, Thanasis — his closest confidant — is undoubtedly a dream come true for the both of them. Making that happen is a noteworthy gesture from the Bucks as it pertains to their biggest star,” he wrote.
Keeping in mind that Giannis could become a free agent in 2021, if he turns down the five-year, $253 million supermax extension, they are bringing his brother in to keep him happy and in Milwaukee.
“The Bucks have long recognized they must do whatever it takes to retain their superstar,” Velazquez wrote.