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Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s agent says Knicks expressed intention to sign his client

Oklahoma City Blues vs Westchester Knicks

SANTA CRUZ, CA - JANUARY 19: Thanasis Antetokounmpo #43 of the Westchester Knicks smiles during a game against the Oklahoma City Blues during the NBA D-League Showcase game on January 19, 2015 at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Tim Cattera/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Giannis Antetokounmpo should be happy with this news.

After drafting the Greek Freak’s brother and stashing him in the D-League (for a low salary) last year, the Knicks might actually sign Thanasis Antetokounmpo.

Ian Begley of ESPN:
Antetokounmpo’s agent, Tim Lotsos, told in a phone interview last week that Antetokounmpo’s “first goal” is to come back to the Knicks. But he’s also looking for an NBA contract.

Lotsos said the Knicks have indicated that they want to sign Antetokounmpo to an NBA contract and give him a spot on the roster.

“There is nothing on paper yet, but those are the intentions,” the agent said, adding that Antetokounmpo plans to play on the Knicks’ summer league team.

To keep Antetokounmpo’s rights, the Knicks must offer him a one-year contract (surely an unguaranteed minimum deal of $525,093).

At that point, the ball is in Antetokounmpo’s hands. He can accept the required tender, negotiate a different deal with the Knicks or sign outside the NBA. If he accepts the tender, the Knicks can either keep him for a year or waive him. Antetokounmpo might end up with nothing through that route, but he can at least force the Knicks’ hand to keep him on their team or give him the freedom to seek an NBA contract elsewhere.

The Knicks should probably just sign him. They’re short on young talent, and though Thanasis is probably overhyped due to New York’s media presence and his brother’s standout play, he’s still young talent.

Best of all, if Antetokounmpo signs a minimum contract, he wouldn’t eat at all into New York’s cap space. (He’d just be swapping in for a roster charge.)