As a child of the 2000s, I can admit that I have been spoiled by the way I was able to grow up with the game of basketball. Sure I was able to play the new fangled NBA video game or watch the league’s programming on a multitude of channels but the most important aspect was the internet. At a click of a button I was able to consume every statistic or highlight that a young Wisconsin boy could ever imagine. Absorbing highlights and statistics slowly morphed into reading the wide variety of great blogs and sites . There were so many ways to soak up information like a sponge. Because of that, the thought of a first-round pick being a huge mystery seemed to be a thing of the past, but Greek prospect Giannis Adetokunbo comes pretty close.
Greek star Giannis Adetokunbo is probably both the most intriguing and strange prospect in this year’s draft. He stands at 6’9″ but you wouldn’t dare compare him to power forwards in this draft class because he’s more of a point guard trapped in a large frame. In the limited amount of clips that I’ve seen of this kid (see the Draft Express video above), he moves with the fluidity of a gazelle which is a captivating trait on a player of his height. Add his mobility with a huge 7’3″ wingspan, enormous hands (picture below) and the fact that he’s only 18 and Adetokunbo ranks high among the most physically gifted prospects of the past few years.
Those god-given physical traits grant Giannis the potential to be similar to John Henson and Larry Sanders who are both long and slim power forwards. What separates Giannis from that duo would be his overall ability with the ball in his hands. Adetokunbo is similar to Kevin Durant in the way he combines his length and smooth ball-handling with the ability to penetrate and work his way to the basket. While in the process of penetrating, Giannis can use those long and slender arms to flush it into the basket or kick it out to an open teammate. That unselfishness is what I like about Giannis because he’s still a huge work in progress offensively, so he can help his teammates carry the load while he continues to develop.
Using the term “raw” would pretty much describe Adetokunbo’s scoring ability. Yes, he’s a capable shooter from behind the three point line (shot 34% while in Greece), but is still a question mark because nobody really knows much about his mid-range ability. Another aspect that he has to work on is his ability to finish around the basket and through contact — especially given that he’s so lean and thin.
Where Adetokunbo is the most intriguing would be on the defensive side of the ball because of his great mobility and wingspan. From what I’ve seen and read of Giannis, he has solid instincts when it comes to working in passing lanes and crashing the boards defensively, but in Milwaukee he would be helped out by Henson and Sanders who are both extremely solid rebounders. Giannis has some issues with the way he positions his body that allows the opposition to work their way past him. Despite that, the potential is just huge when it comes to how solid he can be as a defender when he’s paired up with a inside force like LARRY SANDERS!
Like I’ve said before, Adetokunbo is the player in this draft who probably has the highest potential of anybody who is not a projected top-5 pick but still has a good amount of room to develop as an overall player. The real issue that comes with Giannis and the Bucks is the overall mindset of Hammond and management because they’ve been so focused on grabbing a playoff seed that they mind not want to pick a project like Giannis. But perhaps things are going to change with the possibility of Ellis and Jennings departing and a solid first step to the future would be selecting Giannis Adetokunbo with the #15 pick.