In the summer of 2020, the Toronto Raptors front office decided not to bring back Serge Ibaka or Marc Gasol, in favour of maintaining a cleanlier cap sheet for the following offseason. Sacrificing the quality of their frontcourt for one season in Tampa, they hoped to restructure in 2021 by bringing in Giannis Antetokounmpo, a two-time MVP, one-time Defensive Player of the Year, and perennial All-NBA First Team selection.
Unfortunately, Giannis had different plans, and after signing his supermax extension with the Milwaukee Bucks before the Raptors’ flights even touched down in Florida, he crumbled Masai Ujiri’s hopes of uniting him, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby in Toronto. But, Masai Ujiri is adaptable. One way or another, he was going to make the AnteToronto 2021 dream come true.
Giannis’ youngest brother, Alex, who went undrafted this July and played in Las Vegas Summer League for the Sacramento Kings, is apparently “set to sign” a deal to play for the Raptors, according to Ethnos, a Greek newspaper. With the Raptors roster already at its full capacity, Antetokounmpo is expected to be on an Exhibit 10 contract, and spend all of his time playing for the Raptors 905.
At just 20-years-old, it is possible that Alex can develop into a rotation piece for an NBA team. Much like Giannis at the time that he came into the league, Alex is a very raw prospect. He stands at 6’8 with a 7’2 wingspan, and possesses similar physical tools – from the length, to the leaping ability – of the reigning Finals MVP. What likely led to Alex going undrafted this year is his lack of coordination and polish. He does not have the same feel for the game as Giannis did, even at such an early age, and has shown few flashes of being able to develop that.
Appearing in only one game last year for UCAM Murcia of Liga ACB in Spain, Alex played a mere two minutes and did not tally a single stat. In Summer League, Alex played just over three minutes in three of the Kings’ five games, and again, did not score a point. Needless to say, his game is going to be a work-in-progress, but his physical tools, family genetics, and the Raptors development system surely make for a hopeful combination of factors heading into next season.
It’s unlikely that Alex will lead the Raptors to an NBA Championship within the next decade, but if there is one thing that you’re looking to hang your hat on, it might be that Giannis genuinely believes his little brother has the potential to be better than him. If you’re looking to place a bet on Alex making some waves on the court North of the border, check out our partners’ online casino at free bingo Canada.