The NBA world is fascinated by the potential of 20-year-old Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, also known as the “Greek Freak.”
The Bucks drafted Antetokounmpo 15th in the 2013 NBA draft, taking him straight from Greece where he was largely unknown.
At 7’0″ with a massive wingspan, Antetokounmpo has the height to be a center, but can handle the ball like a guard and moves and shoots more like a forward. The combination of skills creates endless possibilities of what he could develop into as he gets older.
Steven Lebron wrote about Antetokounmpo for Sports on Earth, and provided a quote from Bucks coach Jason Kidd on Antetokounmpo’s scary potential:
“Kevin Garnett was pretty good as a teenager. And so was Tim Duncan. Those are two future Hall of Famers who could do a lot of things at seven feet. If Giannis turns out to be like those guys, that’s pretty good company. I think he has that potential. You’re talking about a seven footer who can put it on the floor, can pass the ball, and is still learning how to play the NBA game.”
Giannis doesn’t have anywhere near the skill level Garnett and Duncan had when they entered the NBA, but his overall skill set may be more diverse.
Duncan, after a lengthy college career, entered the NBA with an elite post game and the ability to be a top rebounder and defender. Garnett took a little bit more time to develop than Duncan, but within a few years he was a walking triple-double threat every game.
Antetokounmpo is currently averaging 11 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block per game on 49% shooting, up almost eight percentage points from his rookie season. Though his three-point shooting has been below average, he shot 34% from three last year, so he has the range.
He has a steep climb to get to a superstar level, but he constantly flashes his potential, like going end-to-end in four dribbles for a dunk:
Everyone is rooting for Giannis to reach his ceiling as a player, and if he ever does, he could become an all-time great like Garnett or Duncan.
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