2023-24 Bucks Player Profile: Can Thanasis Antetokounmpo make impact?

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 24 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 24 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

In his upcoming fifth season with the Milwaukee Bucks, Thanasis Antetokounmpo may not be the star player on the court, but his presence goes beyond the statistics.

Drafted by the New York Knicks, where he almost returned this off-season, in 2014 and joining the Bucks in the 2019-20 season after stints overseas, Thanasis has become a familiar face in the Bucks’ locker room.

Over the past four seasons, Thanasis has played in 162 games, with 11 starts, averaging 2.7 points and 1.8 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per game. While he didn’t find his way into Coach Budenholzer’s rotation last season, his impact was felt in other crucial aspects of the team dynamics.

Age: 31

Position: Small forward

2023-24 NBA salary: $2.3 million

NBA Experience: Five years

Last Season’s Stats: 1.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.1 steals, 0.1 blocks, 43.5 percent field goal shooting, zero percent 3-point shooting, 50 percent free throw shooting in 5.6 minutes per game.

2023-24 Bucks Player Profile: Can Thanasis Antetokounmpo make impact?

The older brother of two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thanasis serves as a significant presence in the locker room. His role extends beyond the court, often seen motivating and supporting Giannis during tough moments. As a family man, Giannis values the importance of having his brother by his side, providing not just encouragement but also a calming influence.

Despite limited playing time last season, Thanasis showcased his ability to step up when needed. In games like the one against the Memphis Grizzlies, where he scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and dished out four assists, he proved that he can be a contributor when called upon. His energy and athleticism make him a high-flying lane-filler, and his defensive skills, characterized by a fantastic wingspan, add depth to the team’s roster.

Thanasis’s on-court skills mirror the raw athleticism and tenacity seen in his younger brother Giannis when he was drafted. Gifted physically, he possesses remarkable leaping ability, quickness, and incredible length for his size. His defensive prowess includes shot-blocking and stealing, reflecting an active and energetic style of play. However, it’s acknowledged that Giannis has taken his game to another level since then.

As the 15th man on the roster, some fans may question his value, given the limited on-court minutes typically associated with this role. Nevertheless, Thanasis brings more than just basketball skills; he adds familiarity in the locker room and serves as a mentor for new players, especially the draft picks. In a team-oriented sport like basketball, the intangibles that Thanasis brings can be instrumental in maintaining team cohesion and morale.

Ultimately, the value of Thanasis Antetokounmpo goes beyond the box score. His influence as a supportive brother, a positive locker room presence, and an energetic player ready to contribute when called upon make him a vital asset for the Milwaukee Bucks. If his presence contributes to keeping Giannis motivated and happy, then it becomes an essential move for the team’s overall success.

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