Did anyone really expect Giannis Antetonkounmpo to be this good? I mean he has always has awesome size and footwork, but did anyone expect him to become one of the best player in the League?
Since being drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013, Giannis has emerged to change the face of the Bucks' organization. In just 4 years the Bucks went from a hapless team needing direction to a promising young squad on the rise.
But according to Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban, his team almost had him.
Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson actually wanted to take Giannis with the number 13 pick. But Cuban himself admitted on Sirius XM Radio that he was the one who turned down the chance to draft Giannis.
“Our guys were like, we should take the Greek Freak. All we had was two tapes,” Cuban said about the young kid from Greece at the time.
This was also the summer of Dwight Howard where Dallas had set their sights on acquiring the big fella in free agency and took that plan into draft night a week before free agency began.
“That was the Dwight year too,” Cuban said when talking about the draft. “We thought we had a good shot.”
Then Haywood mentioned Antetokounmpo, Cuban informed Haywood they could have picked him. When Haywood asked Cuban who’s decision it was to not pick the Greek Freak, Cuban admitted it was him and that Donnie Nelson was all in on selecting him.
“It was me…Donnie was like ‘I’m putting my you-know-whats on the table’…it was all in,” Cuban said.
Of course, the Mavs would wind up trading their pick to Boston for the number 16th and two-second rounders. Boston selected Kelly Olynyk at 13, the Mavericks selected Lucas Nogueira at 16, and the Bucks selected Giannis at 15.
So instead of getting their hands on The Greek Freak, the Mavs ended up with Lucas Nogueira. No doubt, this has to be one of the worst mistakes a usually very wise Marc Cuban has ever made.
The Mavs finished with a 33-49 record last season and obviously failed to make the playoffs. With no clear solution in sight, the team seems to be stuck in an impossible situation.
Antetokounmpo could have changed everything. But because of Cuban's critical mistake, they'll never get the chance to find out.