New York Knicks Rumors: Thanasis Antetokounmpo To Be Called Up?


New York Knicks Rumors: Is Another Westchester Knick On The Way To Madison Square Garden?

With the New York Knicks seasons in the dumps, there is a good chance they begin giving younger players a chance with the NBA team. The only thing keeping that from happening is a full roster, which now has an open spot because of the buyout agreed to between the Knicks and Amar’e Stoudemire. There are a number of ways the Knicks can go about filling that open spot, as they can add a player through trade, scour free agency for other players bought our, or sign another youngster from the D-League. The D-League route could, and should, be the route the Knicks take, as there is an option down there that deserves a shot in Thanasis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounpmo, whom the Knicks selected 51st overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, and the older brother to Milwaukee Bucks’ “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo, has spent the entire seasons with the Knicks’ D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks. Through 30 games, Antetokounmpko is playing 31.7 minutes for Westchester, averaging 13.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.5 blocks per game.

Antetokounmpo is a stellar defender at this stage in his career, but his offensive game needs work. It is what has kept him out of the NBA thus far, and what will continue to hinder him. He needs to develop a go-to move offensively so that teams cannot afford to leave him while his team is playing offense. This season he is shooting only 25 percent from three-point line, and an woeful 59.6 percent from the foul line.

Those are numbers he will have to improve upon to find a niche in the NBA, but with the current state of the Knicks it shouldn’t hurt him too much. The energy and defense he should bring from the wing will be welcomed, as the Knicks have lacked heart and effort too often this season. Things have turned around in those departments more recently, and Antetokounmpo will continue that trend upwards.

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There were reports earlier in the week that the Knicks were ready to call up Antetokounmpko, according to sources to The Knicks Blog. He is hoping for that call-up as well, and there is little keeping it from happening. The Knicks have the roster spot available, and there could be even more depending on moves that are made leading up to the NBA Trade Deadline Thursday afternoon.

Add in the fact that Carmelo Anthony is presumably on the verge of shutting things down, the Knicks need able bodies to soak up all the minutes left behind by him and Stoudemire. What better person to give it to than a player hoping to crack the Knicks’ roster full-time for the 2015-2016 season. Who knows, maybe the Knicks can hit twice with D-League call-ups, as Langston Galloway has been everything they could have expected and more. Antetokounmpko might not have that type of impact, but he will nonetheless bring the type of effort and energy that will endear him to the New York faithful.

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