Scouting Giannis Antetokounmpo

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson


As we get approach the 2013 NBA Draft, we are reaching out to local experts to help us scout some of the players the Hawks may take in the first round.  We had Christophe Ney from help us scout Greece guard/forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

What are his strengths? Weaknesses?

From the little I saw of him, you can recognize that Giannis Antetokounmpo is certainly a physically highly-interesting prospect. He has excellent size and displays good athletic and fluid moves on the court. Mainly used as a ball handler despite being 2m08 tall (6’10”), Antetokounmpo remains somehow a mystery man, as he has only played in the Greek Youth and 2nd leagues without being ever selected for the National Team. This makes him a very inexperienced player who is being hyped up only recently after growing about three inches in recent months. There are major question marks on him as he did not even dominate in the 2nd Greek League where the level is not really high, but he is thought of having a major upside because of his overall physical potential and skill set.

What did he add to his team in Europe? What do you think he’ll bring to an NBA team?

Together with his brother, he was one of the main drivers of the rise of his current team to the heights of the Greek 2nd league. He did a bit of everything on the court, from rebounding to scoring to playing defense. However, he was not great in any of these categories so that he would clearly develop into a versatile profile. Right now, his impact on the NBA level would probably be zero as he has never played against any kind of serious competition compared to the NBA level.

What kind of style is he best suited for?

This is hard to say as he needs to play already against any kind of high-level competition. Before that, it is difficult to say which style suits him the best. With his potential, he should be able to play for up-tempo teams, but in a specific role. I would see him in a defensive stopper role in the future.

What sets him apart from other draft prospects at his position?

First of all, Antetokounmpo is certainly the most inexperienced player in the whole draft. He never played for the Greek National Team because of his now-solved passport issues, so he did not faced the best players in his generation. On the other, there are only very few players with his physical profile, especially in Europe.

What NBA player would you compare him to?

Once again, this is quite hard to say as it is very difficult to judge his current level compared to his potential. I would say that if he reaches a similar level than Thabo Sefolosha, he would have developed quite well.

What’s your favorite memory of him in Europe?

Nothing in particular, but I always like to mention to people who ask me my opinion on him that in a country where it seems that every talented basketball player can get the passport he needs for his advantage, a player who is considered a NBA prospect struggles to get a passport from the country he is living for more than 10 years. This is something you always have in your mind when evaluating him.

Here’s what some of the national mock drafts are saying about Antetokounmpo: Analysis:  Antetokounmpo is a legitimate 6’9” athlete with an incredibly comfortable handle. But don’t mistake ball-handler for point guard.

ESPN Analysis: …He’s playing against very poor competition in the second division of the Greek League, but the physical and basketball skills are undeniable…

NBA Analysis:  One of the late climbers on the draft board has the disadvantage of playing against pretty weak competition, hurting his development. If he does well in individual workouts, his stock will soar.

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