According Thanasis Antetokounmpo’s agent, the New York Knicks’ draft pick turned down lucrative offers overseas to play in the D-League for a mere $25K next season.
The rep for Giannis Antetokounmpo’s older brother, says he’s “amazed” by this decision (translation: likely very upset.) Per the NY Post:
According to agent Tim Lotsos, the Italian club, Varese, offered Antetokounmpo a two-year deal worth $550,000 with an opt-out to join the NBA after one year. Olympiakos in Greece and Sevilla in Spain also offered him deals.
“Amazing isn’t it?,’’ Lotsos said from Greece. “To my surprise, he passed on it. He’s very ambitious and determined to make the NBA. It’s a big sacrifice. It could’ve really put him ahead of schedule in his career. I didn’t try to force him. I wanted him to make his own decision.’’
Knicks president Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills convinced their 2014 second-rounder that playing in their new D-League club in Westchester would be more beneficial to a future NBA career despite the massive pay cut. […] Antetokounmpo, a 6-foot-6 defensive specialist, won’t be on the Knicks’ 15-man roster and is barred from the club’s training camp because he isn’t signed to an NBA contract. The Knicks (reportedly) selected him at No. 51 Jackson didn’t intend to put him on their roster and chose him as a stash player.