Step #1 in luring The Greek Freak to north Texas may begin tonight as the Antetokounmpo brothers face off for the first time in their professional careers.
Say what you want about Dallas Mavericks second round rookie, Kostas Antetokounmpo, but his addition probably had more to do with who his brother is than who Kostas is himself. Kostas’ brother is, of course, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Better known to us all as “The Greek Freak”.
The Dallas Mavericks, who have a reputation for their affinity towards international players, have long lamented passing on Antetokounmpo in the 2013 NBA Draft. His pending free agency in 2021 provides them the opportunity to right a wrong.
An All-Star of the Greek Freak’s caliber will get his pick of teams in free agency. It’s reasonable to believe every team with funds available will make a push to sign this potential league MVP. It’s this enormous market demand that possibly makes employing his little brother a strategic move.
With the way NBA contract rules are structured, teams cannot simply outbid each other in order to lure free agents. Maximum limits prevent teams from separating themselves by traditional methods, forcing some to go the “nontraditional” route, just to gain the slightest of advantages.
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Now I’m not saying the Dallas Mavericks acquired Kostas Antetokounmpo for the sole purpose of one day signing Giannis.
Kostas has a pretty attractive skill set himself, and while he’s extremely raw, he has undeniable athletic ability that put him close to the NBA’s top one percent.
While there’s no guarantee Kostas, playing on a two-way contract, will play tonight against his brother, the timing of the situation makes one believe it’ll happen it the game allows it (in other words, as long as it’s not down to the wire).
Will any of this make a difference in two years when Giannis is testing free agency? Probably not. But with the drafting of his brother, the Greek Freak has shown a sudden interest in the Dallas Mavericks franchise and their affiliate G-League team, the Texas Legends. Giannis now follows the Mavs Instagram and has even shared some Legends highlights on social media.
"“I’m really excited,” Giannis told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He’s my little brother. He’s going to be in Milwaukee…and it’s going to be fun to have him around; he hasn’t seen my mom for a while now…I think this is a good opportunity to show what he’s capable of. Hopefully in the game on Monday I can have some minutes against him.”"
If the Dallas Mavericks were hoping to get Giannis’ attention at some point prior to his free agency, they did a pretty spectacular job over the past few months. Not only did they bring in his little brother, but they drafted a generational talent in Luka Doncic.
Giannis has gone out of his way to praise Doncic this season and it doesn’t exactly take an offensive mastermind like Rick Carlisle to figure out how a Doncic-Giannis pairing would look one day.
At the end of the day, this may all lead to a whole lotta nothing but if the Dallas Mavericks were looking for an edge to lure Giannis Antetokounmpo to Dallas, drafting and developing his little brother isn’t a bad way to go.
Admittedly, the best way to lure prized free agents to the Dallas Mavericks is with talent, not nepotism. Adding Luka was a start, but it’s going to take more than that for Dallas to be a free agent destination.
- Published on 01/21/2019 at 14:00 PM
- Last updated at 01/21/2019 at 12:14 PM