Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Bucks Sign Thanasis Antetokounmpo

JULY 16: The Bucks have officially signed Antetokounmpo, the team announced today in a press release.

“Thanasis is a young player with great experience at the top level overseas,” Bucks GM Jon Horst said in a statement. “He brings toughness, athleticism, character and a high IQ. We are thrilled to have him join the Bucks.”

JULY 7: Thanasis Antetokounmpo has agreed to a two-year contract to join his brother in Milwaukee, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Greek outlet reported earlier in the week that Antetokounmpo and the Bucks were finalizing a two-year guaranteed deal.

Charania confirms (via Twitter) that Antetokounmpo will get a guaranteed two-year minimum-salary deal. I’ll be worth about $3.15MM over two years, including $1.45MM in 2019/20.

An older sibling of reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thanasis has brief NBA experience, playing two games for the Knicks on a 10-day contract during the 2015/16 season.

The 26-year-old spent this season with Panathinaikos, leading the team to a second straight Greek Basket League title. He was also MVP of the Greek All-Star Game in 2018. Before returning to Greece Thanasis spent three years in the G League, playing for both Delaware and Westchester.

2017 NBA G League Expansion Draft Results

The NBA G League conducted its expansion draft today, allowing the league’s four new franchises to add the returning rights to 11 players apiece. The league’s previously-existing 22 teams had been permitted to retain the rights to nine players each, leaving the rest of their players unprotected and free to be drafted, though no team can lose more than two players. Adam Johnson recently outlined the full details of the expansion draft process in a piece for 2 Ways & 10 Days.

The G League’s four new teams this year are affiliates for the Hawks (Erie BayHawks), Grizzlies (Memphis Hustle), Bucks (Wisconsin Herd), and Clippers (Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario). The Erie BayHawks have been in the G League for years but are technically an expansion team since the old iteration of the BayHawks was purchased by the Magic and moved to Lakeland, Florida — the Lakeland Magic will retain returning rights for former BayHawks players.

The players added today by the G League’s four expansion teams won’t necessarily play for them this season — in fact, it’s not all that common for expansion draftees to suit up for their new clubs. Many of those players will try to catch on with an NBA team or will end up playing overseas, if they’re not already on an NBA or international roster. Still, the expansion draft gives the G League’s new teams some assets as they start to build their rosters for the coming season.

Listed below are the results of today’s expansion draft, per the G League’s official announcement. The player’s former G League team is noted in parentheses, and picks are ordered by round. The teams will hold their players’ rights for the next two seasons:

Erie BayHawks (Hawks)

  1. DeAndre Daniels (Raptors 905)
  2. Sean Kilpatrick (Delaware 87ers)*
  3. Ronald Roberts (Reno Bighorns)
  4. Terran Petteway (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Casey Prather (Windy City Bulls)
  6. Jordan Crawford (Grand Rapids Drive)*
  7. Jordan Sibert (Iowa Energy)
  8. Beau Beech (Long Island Nets)
  9. Raphiael Putney (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  10. Luke Harangody (Lakeland Magic)
  11. Will Bynum (Windy City Bulls)

Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies)

  1. Marquis Teague (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  2. Okaro White (Sioux Falls Skyforce)*
  3. D.J. Stephens (Iowa Energy)
  4. Omari Johnson (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)
  5. Jamaal Franklin (Long Island Nets)
  6. Adonis Thomas (Grand Rapids Drive)
  7. Manny Harris (Texas Legends)
  8. Mark Tyndale (Reno Bighorns)
  9. Jordon Crawford (Canton Charge)
  10. Jimmer Fredette (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Terrence Drisdom (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Wisconsin Herd (Bucks)

  1. Vince Hunter (Sioux Falls Skyforce)
  2. Gracin Bakumanya (Northern Arizona Suns)
  3. Perry Ellis (Greensboro Swarm)
  4. Corey Walden (Maine Red Claws)
  5. Josh Davis (Greensboro Swarm)
  6. Michael Dunigan (Canton Charge)
  7. Jarvis Summers (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)
  8. James Siakam (Raptors 905)
  9. Kyle Casey (Northern Arizona Suns)
  10. Cady Lalanne (Austin Spurs)
  11. Tyler Harvey (Lakeland Magic)

Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (Clippers)

  1. Andre Dawkins (Texas Legends)
  2. Bryce Cotton (Oklahoma City Blue)
  3. Corey Hawkins (Delaware 87ers)
  4. Will Cummings (Delaware 87ers)
  5. J.J. O’Brien (Salt Lake City Stars)
  6. Jamil Wilson (South Bay Lakers)
  7. Keith Steffeck (Santa Cruz Warriors)
  8. Julian Jacobs (South Bay Lakers)
  9. Aaron Craft (Salt Lake City Stars)
  10. Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Westchester Knicks)
  11. Youssou Ndoye (Austin Spurs)

Players marked with an asterisk (*) are currently on an NBA roster. If they remain under contract and are assigned to the G League, they would join their current NBA team’s affiliate.

And-Ones: Ginobili, Beaubois, Arcidiacono

The Spurs‘ initial offer to unrestricted free agent Manu Ginobili was in the range of one-year, $3MM, but the team was forced to significantly increase its offer because of the Sixers, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (video link). Philadelphia offered Ginobili a two-year, fully guaranteed deal worth $16-$17MM in the first season, Wojnarowski notes. Sixers coach Brett Brown has an excellent relationship with the shooting guard dating back to his days as a Spurs assistant, the scribe adds.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Mavericks and unrestricted free agent point guard Rodrigue Beaubois continue to discuss a potential deal that would bring the former No. 25 overall pick back to Dallas, Marc Stein of relays (on Twitter). The 28-year-old last appeared in the NBA during the 2012/13 season when he played in 45 games for Dallas and averaged 4.0 points and 1.9 assists.
  • Ryan Arcidiacono‘s multiyear deal with the Spurs includes a partial guarantee for $75K this season, plus includes a number of trigger dates for further guarantees, Michael Scotto of Sheridan Hoops relays (Twitter link).
  • The Bulls and Mavericks have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders relays (on Twitter). The forward appeared in two games for the Knicks this past season.

Western Notes: Conley, Bogdanovic, Jazz Arena

There is growing concern in the Grizzlies‘ front office that point guard Mike Conley might leave the team in free agency this summer, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. The 28-year-old will be the top point guard on the market after spending nine years in Memphis. Begley says Grizzlies part-owner Justin Timberlake will appear in a video presentation trying to convince Conley to remain with the team. Begley presents the item as possible good news for the Knicks, but it’s equally positive for all the teams planning to pursue Conley, and very negative for Memphis, which is hoping to keep the core of its perennial playoff team together. The Grizzlies still have the advantage of being able to offer Conley a five-year contract worth about $124MM, while other teams are limited to four years in the neighborhood of $92MM.

There’s more news from the Western Conference:

  • The Suns will negotiate with 2014 first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic now that his Turkish League season is over, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. This is the last season that Bogdanovic would be required to sign a rookie contract that would give him a salary of about $5.7MM over four years. If he waits until next offseason, Bogdanovic is free to negotiate any amount, starting with his draft year’s rookie salary scale.
  •  A request for $22.7MM in public funding for renovations to Utah’s Vivant Arena was approved today by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City, writes Jasen Lee of The Deseret News. The money, which will be awarded though tax increment financing over the next 25 years, makes up 18% of the total cost of the proposed $125MM project. It will include safety and security improvements, heating and air conditioning upgrades, a new solar panel system and plaza, concession, seating and premium suite improvements.
  • The Mavericks are planning a free agent camp June 22nd with Arnett Moultrie, Bobby Brown, Dominic McGuire and Nick Minnerath among the players invited, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Thanasis Antetokounmpo, who played two games for the Knicks this season, also received an invitation but has not confirmed that he will attend the camp (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs will hold a free agent camp Wednesday, Kennedy tweets, with Chris Copeland, Adonis Thomas, Victor Rudd, Scott Suggs, J.J. O’Brien and Darius Adams among those expected to attend.
  • The Timberwolves have had workouts for several veteran free agents, including Jimmer Fredette, Phil Pressey, Marquis Teague, Ryan Boatright, Mike James, Ra’shad James, Mark Lyons and Aaron Craft, tweets international journalist David Pick.

Knicks Notes: Porzingis, Antetokounmpo, Fisher

The presence of Kristaps Porzingis offers whomever is named the permanent coach of the Knicks hope, a luxury not enjoyed by the team’s last few hires, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post writes. Kurt Rambis, who was named interim coach after Derek Fisher was fired, believes the rookie will develop into the type of player others will want to play alongside, Bontemps adds. “Well, clearly he’s a player that is going to be around this franchise for a long time,” Rambis said. “He’s a rookie, and I think a lot of us forget that he’s 20 years old and he’s still growing and filling out as a human being. He’s going to be learning today, tomorrow, for the rest of the year, the next five or six years, until he figures out where he is and how he can play in this league. But at some point in time he’s going to be a dominant force in this league.

As for who may be coaching Porzingis next season, Jeff Hornacek, Tom Thibodeau, Brian Shaw and Luke Walton are all reportedly in the running. Here’s more from New York:

  • Longtime Phil Jackson confidant Charley Rosen suggests that the alleged physical encounter between Fisher and Matt Barnes this past fall indeed played a role in Jackson’s decision to terminate Fisher’s employment as coach Monday, as Rosen writes for Today’s Fastbreak. Jackson called the situation embarrassing but said it was no factor in the coach’s dismissal. Rosen also writes that he foresees Rambis funneling more plays on offense to Porzingis.
  • The decision to fire Fisher was an admission of failure by Jackson in his choice of Fisher as coach, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News writes. The team has faced a disconnect between coaches and Jackson over the executive’s insistence upon running the triangle offense, Isola adds. “That’s their problem,” said one NBA head coach of the Knicks. “They have a coach in Phil who doesn’t want to get on the bench and coach but is coaching the team anyway. That will always be the problem.
  • Jackson discounted Rajon Rondo‘s assertion that he wouldn’t be a good fit in the triangle offense, as the executive believes it is a system every player can thrive in, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “I know there was a bit about Rondo the other day that kind of came up and it was laughable because all players can fit in a sound offense,’’ Jackson said.
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo has returned to the Westchester Knicks, New York’s D-League affiliate, now that his 10-day contract has expired, the team announced. New York can still opt to sign Antetokounmpo to one more 10-day pact this season.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Eastern Notes: Bulls, Knicks, Magic, Pacers

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg has drawn criticism from his players at times, but his job is safe, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, adding that GM Gar Forman has been acting as though his own job might not be as secure. Forman has been working to distance himself from the team’s shortcomings lately in an effort to polish his resume for his next job, knowing that he wouldn’t win a power struggle with executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson if it came to it, Cowley wrote in an earlier piece. Former coach Tom Thibodeau, who notoriously feuded with management, had more respect for Paxson than Forman, feeling as though Paxson was more up front with him, Cowley hears. Still, both Forman and Paxson appear safe for the time being, Cowley adds. See more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Thibodeau has long had his heart set on the Knicks head coaching job, a source close to him tells Ian O’Connor of (Twitter link), as we passed along amid much more news in the wake of the team’s decision to fire coach Derek Fisher.
  • Carmelo Anthony has had not one but two MRIs in the past three weeks as his surgically repaired left knee continues to bother him, a team source tells Isola, but Anthony said Sunday that doctors have assured him the lingering soreness is simply part of the recovery process, notes Ian Begley of
  • Thanasis Antetokounmpo‘s 10-day contract with the Knicks and Keith Appling second 10-day deal with the Magic expired overnight, making them free agents. New York can re-sign Antetokounmpo to another 10-day pact, but that’s not the case with Appling. Orlando can’t ink him to any more contracts this season without signing him for the balance of 2015/16.
  • Pacers coach Frank Vogel has been impressed with lottery pick Myles Turner, who’s tamped down fears over his running style and come a long way from a disappointing season at the University of Texas last year, as Mike Mazzeo of examines.

Knicks Rumors: Antetokounmpo, Anthony, Grant

After getting the 10-day contract with the Knicks that he had been hoping for, the next goal for Thanasis Antetokounmpo is to extend his stay in the NBA, writes Frank Isola of The New York Daily News. The 6’7″ small forward caught the attention of team president Phil Jackson and coach Derek Fisher with his ability to guard multiple positions, according to Isola. The former second-round pick has twice been named to one of the All-Defensive teams in the D-League. “Patience comes with confidence and hard work, so you just believe in yourself and you say, I’m going to work hard and hopefully — it’s not just hopefully — it’s going to come one way or another,” Antetokounmpo said. “For me it’s been every year getting better. The first, came to the States, got drafted. The second year got an invite and a contract with the New York Knicks. This year getting a 10-day. For me the fourth year is about being established on an NBA team.”

There’s more news tonight out of New York:

  • Carmelo Anthony has become too valuable for the Knicks to trade, contends Ian Begley of New York is being outscored by 7.8 points per 100 possessions without Anthony, and Begley believes dealing him away would crush the team’s playoff hopes. That would increase the value of the draft pick that is owed to Toronto in the 2013 Andrea Bargnani trade.
  • Jerian Grant hopes to follow the path that he watched several NBA players travel when he served as a ballboy for the Washington Bullets, writes Al Iannazzone of Newsday. The Knicks acquired Grant, the son of Harvey Grant and the nephew of Horace Grant, in a draft-night deal with the hope that he could be a long-term answer at point guard. “I’ve seen a lot of players in Washington grow and grow and get better and better,” Jerian Grant said. “It came from a lot of hard work. Being around my dad and my uncle and basketball so long, you see how long it takes some guys to develop. You see how some guys get a lot better each year.”
  • The Knicks will be among several teams pursuing Kevin Durant in free agency this summer, as Iannazzone examines in a separate piece. Durant is close with Anthony and Fisher, he has expressed admiration for rookie Kristaps Porzingis and he likes playing in New York.

Knicks Signing Thanasis Antetokounmpo To 10-Day

FRIDAY, 2:45pm: Antetokounmpo signed today, the team announced (on Twitter). New York plays six games, against the Suns, Warriors, Celtics, Pistons, Grizzlies and Nuggets, in the next 10 days.

2:25pm: The signing won’t happen until Friday, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post (Twitter link). That means he won’t be available for tonight’s game against the Raptors but would still be under contract for a February 7th game against the Nuggets.

THURSDAY, 1:22pm: The Knicks have added Thanasis Antetokounmpo on a 10-day contract, league sources told Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Charania indicates the signing has already taken place, though the team has yet to make announcement. The older brother of Bucks phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo was a somewhat surprising cut at the end of the preseason, when the Knicks elected to keep an open roster spot, and it appears he’ll go right back into that spot, which New York has left vacant all season.

Thanasis has been playing for New York’s D-League affiliate in the meantime, though his offensive production has lagged. The 23-year-old is averaging just 10.3 points in 27.8 minutes per game for the D-League Westchester Knicks. However, the D-League has twice named him to one of its yearly All-Defensive teams, and he’s quietly shown plenty of improvement this season, according to Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (Twitter link).

New York drafted the small forward 51st overall in 2014 after he’d spent the previous season as a draft-eligible player with the Sixers D-League affiliate. He spent 2014/15 as a draft-and-stash player with the Westchester Knicks, and the Knicks added him to the NBA roster this past summer with a deal that included a partial guarantee of $75K. The Knicks gave up his draft rights when they waived him in October, but he opted to return to their D-League team even though it seemed he would have preferred to go overseas instead. He’s in line to receive $30,888 on his 10-day deal.

Atlantic Notes: Jackson, Fredette, McConnell

The Knicks will have to struggle to make it into the playoffs this season, but the league has come to view the franchise as one in the midst of a sturdy rebuild rather than one undergoing a messy collapse, writes Harvey Araton of The New York Times in his look at the current state of the team under executive Phil Jackson. The Times scribe points to the selection of Kristaps Porzingis in the 2015 NBA Draft as a watershed moment for the team, with the fanbase now viewing the rookie as the team’s potential savior rather than the aging Carmelo Anthony. Also counting as successes for Jackson are the offseason additions of Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams and Robin Lopez, who is a better fit for the team than original target Greg Monroe would have been, Araton adds.

Here’s more from out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Knicks‘ reported signing of Thanasis Antetokounmpo to a 10-day deal instead of Jimmer Fredette, who plays for New York’s D-League affiliate, surprised some since the team had been evaluating the shooting guard for a potential roster spot, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. New York wasn’t enamored with Fredette’s defense, something that Antetokounmpo excels at, Berman adds. The Knicks also considered signing Tony Wroten, but preferred Antetokounmpo’s familiarity with the triangle offense instead, the Post scribe notes.
  • This season’s version of the Raptors are superior to last season’s thanks to the improved bench, tougher team defense and the improved chemistry and roster cohesion, Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun writes. “I think it’s guys playing more years with each other, understanding what we want to do and more people buying into their roles,” is how James Johnson described the difference in this season’s team.
  • Point guard T.J. McConnell has carved out a role for himself on the Sixers thanks to his toughness and unselfish play, Jessica Camerato of writes. “I think he’s been pretty good from the get-go,” coach Brett Brown said of McConnell. “I feel like he’s starting to understand the rhythm of the game, the tempo of the game, who needs the ball, what plays should be called, defensive rotations, on-ball pick-and roll-defense. … He’s constantly in pick-and-rolls. He’s developed in a big way there.

NBA Teams Designate Affiliate Players

NBA teams cut as much as 25% of their rosters at the end of the preseason, but franchises that have D-League affiliates have a way to maintain ties to many of the players they release from the NBA roster. An NBA team can claim the D-League rights to up to four of the players it waives, as long as the players clear waivers, consent to join the D-League, and don’t already have their D-League rights owned by another team. These are known as affiliate players, as our Hoops Rumors Glossary entry details.

NBA teams allocated 46 affiliate players to the D-League at the beginning of the season last year, and this year, that number has risen to 56, according to the list the D-League announced today. These players are going directly to the D-League affiliate of the NBA team that cut them and weren’t eligible for the D-League draft that took place Saturday. Teams that designated fewer than the maximum four affiliate players retain the ability to snag the D-League rights of players they waive during the regular season, but for now, this is the complete list:

Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws)

Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge)

Dallas Mavericks (Texas Legends)

Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids Drive)

Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors)

Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers)

Indiana Pacers (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)

Los Angeles Lakers (Los Angeles D-Fenders)

Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy)

Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce)

New York Knicks (Westchester Knicks)

Oklahoma City Thunder (Oklahoma City Blue)

Orlando Magic (Erie BayHawks)

Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers)

Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam)

Sacramento Kings (Reno Bighorns)

San Antonio Spurs (Austin Spurs)

Toronto Raptors (Raptors 905)

Utah Jazz (Idaho Stampede)

Also, several players who were on NBA preseason rosters are on D-League rosters through means other than the affiliate player rule. Most of them played under D-League contracts at some point within the last two years, meaning their D-League teams have returning player rights to them. Others entered through last weekend’s D-League draft, while others saw their D-League rights conveyed via trade. Most of these players aren’t with the D-League affiliate of the NBA team they were with last month, with a few exceptions.

Roster information from Adam Johnson of D-League Digest, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor and freelancer and Hoops Rumors contributor Mark Porcaro was used in the creation of this post.