Knicks Poised To Sign Thanasis Antetokounmpo?

4:53pm: The Knicks appear unsure of whether to sign Antetokounmpo this season, as his European agent, Tim Lotsis, tells Berman for a full story. Knicks team president Phil Jackson told Antetokounmpo before he agreed to join New York’s D-League club that there was an outside chance he’d be on the NBA roster before this season was through, Berman writes.

“We had a discussion with [GM] Steve Mills [within] the past week,” Lotsis said. There was no clear indication about whether he’ll be there for the remainder of the season or if they are thinking next season. He said he’s thinking seriously about Thanasis for the team’s future. I don’t think it’s clear how the season finishes.’’

2:40pm: The Knicks are sticking to their plan to sign Antetokounmpo next season, as Shams Charania of RealGM hears (Twitter links), which seemingly conflicts with the report that the Knicks are prepared to sign him sooner.

1:28pm: Antetokounmpo’s European agent told Marc Berman of the New York Post that the Knicks are “thinking seriously” about his client for the team’s future, but the agent added that he hadn’t heard from the Knicks today (Twitter link).

9:03am: The Knicks are “ready” to sign second-round pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo, a source tells Keith Schlosser of New York’s buyout agreement with Amar’e Stoudemire will open a spot on the roster, and it appears the Knicks intend to fill it with Antetokounmpo, the older brother of Bucks phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo and the 51st overall pick this past summer.

The Antetokounmpo set to join the Knicks has spent the season with New York’s D-League affiliate. His numbers haven’t been eye-popping, with 13.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in 31.7 minutes per game, with the exception of his 1.5 blocks per contest, which he’s achieved despite standing only 6’7″. It’s the second straight season in the D-League for Antetokounmpo, who spent last season with the Sixers affiliate but was ineligible to sign an NBA contract because he had not yet gone through the NBA draft.

It’s not clear whether New York plans to sign him to a 10-day contract or a longer arrangement. New York would risk losing his rights if the team only signed him for 10 days, since he’d be a free agent at the end of the deal, so I’d expect a contract that carries through next season, though that’s just my speculation. The Knicks are limited to paying him no more than the minimum salary and giving him a deal that stretches no longer than the end of next season.

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