Ever wonder how Giannis Antetokounmpo fell to 15th in the 2013 draft and eluded the Celtics, two selections after Danny Ainge traded up to take Kelly Olynyk? Ainge can explain.
Speaking to the Herald’s Steve Bulpett, Ainge detailed the reasoning that went into Boston passing on the Greek Freak, who exploded from intriguing prospect to bonafide superstar in the span of about two years.
“Giannis was a really bright talent,” Ainge told Bulpett. “He was really young. He played on a pro B team in Greece, and I saw him practice. I met him. He was very skinny. I thought he was absolutely a worthwhile project.
“But never in a million years did I see him becoming a potential best-player-in-the-league type of player. And I saw his potential as a good player because he could handle the ball, and he was long. But he was really, really skinny, and I think he was about two or three inches shorter than he is now. But what an amazing player.”
Indeed, Antetokounmpo was 6-foot-9 when the Bucks drafted him, and within a year he stood 6-foot-11. His freakish athletic talents only became exponentially more dominant at that size. Ainge admitted that every missed pick causes him to look back at what he could’ve done differently.
“But no doubt, he’s a guy that potentially you could have had in a draft,” Ainge said. “We look back every year after the draft and after we see how guys develop. We try to figure it out. Sometimes when a guy evolves four or five years later, you know, those are really the guys you can’t tell are going to become that. But Giannis was pretty good in his second year. I mean, he was a talented kid right away, but it was on losing teams. But by his second year, you could tell that he was pretty dang special.”
The Celtics will get an up-close-and-personal look at Antetokounmpo when the Celtics visit the Bucks on Tuesday night. The Greek Freak is averaging over 27 points and 10 rebounds a game for the Bucks, who are tied with Miami for the seventh seed in the East.
Full article @ Danny Ainge explains why he didn’t draft Giannis Antetokounmpo, the NBA’s Greek Freak
Source: GreenStreet Blog