While Thanasis Antetokounmpo has been chilling with little bro Giannis in Athens, his agent is attempting to turn up the pressure on the Knicks' front office, per ESPN New York's Ian Begley:
Antetokounmpo’s agent, Tim Lotsos, told ESPN.com in a phone interview last week that Antetokounmpo’s "first goal" is to come back to the Knicks. But he’s also looking for an NBA contract. So the Knicks will have to decide if they want to give him a roster spot on next season’s team.
Lotsos said the Knicks have indicated that they want to sign Antetokounmpo to an NBA contract and give him a spot on the roster.
"There is nothing on paper yet, but those are the intentions," the agent said, adding that Antetokounmpo plans to play on the Knicks’ summer league team.
Soooo it would appear the Knicks told Thanasis' agent they would like to sign him to an NBA contract next year. Does that mean they will sign him? Of course not. But it's a development worth following, and as Thanasis' No. 1
stalker advocate on this website, I have an abundance of thoughts and takes on this matter:
- From a strictly moral standpoint, they should probably sign Thanasis. He gave up a European deal worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to play for the Knicks' shitty D-League club. The W-Knicks drew very well, and Thanasis was a big part of that. MSG used him on all their W-Knicks ads for a reason. The kid sacrificed money and helped out the big club. Time to return the favor.
- The big club can certainly use a player with Thanasis' skill set:
Athleticism and defensive tenacity are two traits that have been sorely missing from the roster for some time now. Thanasis gives you that. His jump shot isn't there yet, but he possesses a nascent post game and an improving knack for driving to the rim. He shot 68.8 percent from the restricted area in 2014-15. Even if that jumper never develops, there is offensive value to be found in a wing who can score on the interior and crash the offensive glass.
- Once on the 15-man roster, the Knicks can always do what they did with Cleanthony Early this past season and give Thanasis occasional playing time in Westchester.
- I'm not sure the Knicks should keep Thanasis, Early and Lance Thomas on the roster, at least pending the results of free agency and the draft. That's one-fifth of the roster tied up in offensively-limited forwards. Maybe it can work...but is it really worth it? Personally, I would ditch Thomas.
- Thanasis, Early, Langston Galloway, Karl-Anthony Towns: 2015 Knicks Summer League squad. Make it happen, basketball gods!