One of the more interesting prospects in the 2018 NBA Draft is Kostas Antetokounmpo, the younger brother of Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.
The fact that Kostas is this far into the draft process to begin with is a surprise. Not only is he coming off of a freshman season at Dayton in which he posted 5.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 0.4 assists in 15.1 minutes per contest, the 6-foot-10 forward started in only six games for a team that had its first losing season in over a decade. Kostas shot an efficient 57.4 percent from the field, but he missed 13 of his 15 3-point attempts and 31 of his 64 free throw attempts in a Flyers uniform while committing three times more turnovers (39) than assists (13 assists).
Those numbers don't come close to making him the same prospect Giannis was in 2013, and yet Kostas declared for the 2018 NBA Draft as a way of "testing the waters." He then chose to keep his name in the draft (taking the option of returning to Dayton for his sophomore season off the table) before canceling his remaining scheduled workouts.
"I feel like I can be an NBA player," Kostas recently told the Wisconsin State Journal. "I think a lot of teams see me and they see a kid that works hard, a kid that can become a NBA player."
Where that puts him in the lead-up to Thursday's NBA Draft varies depending on who you ask, though a team is expected to take a chance on Kostas based on his physical tools alone, beit as a late second round flyer or as an undrafted free agent. In addition to his huge frame, he has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and a 35-inch max vertical. He proved at Dayton that he can block shots in volume with those long arms and he's flashed his potential as an outside shooter in pre-draft workouts despite averaging a dismal 0.36 points per jump shot attempt in college.
The former gives him a clear role as a defensive stopper in the NBA and the latter gives him the skills to develop into a valuable stretch big. Being related to a two-time All-Star certainly helps his case, but, as ESPN's Jonathan Givony tweeted on Monday, Kostas is "showing NBA teams he's more than just Giannis' little brother."
All the signs point towards Kostas being years away from scratching the surface of his potential. He's incredibly raw even compared to other players in this class and he's already 20-years-old. Whichever team gives him a chance will be doing so knowing they're taking on a long-term project, but you can't blame them from falling in love with what The Greek Freak's brother could be.