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The last stage of Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s development is finding a three-point shot.
He’s nowhere close to being there yet. The Milwaukee Bucks star has made just two of his 26 attempts on the season, good for a paltry 7.7 percent. When he does develop it, though, the Bucks know the rest of the league won’t be able to handle him.
“Whether it’s some point this year or early next year, you’re going to see him with a 3-point shot,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, “and I think the rest of the league is pretty scared of that.”
Antetokounmpo, 23, began showing signs of life from distance last season. He shot 30.7 percent on 1.9 attempts per game, still well below league average numbers but edging closer to serviceable. The feel has not been there whatsoever this season, though, with even his free-throw numbers taking a significant dip.
It’s a testament to Antetokounmpo’s sheer brilliance elsewhere that we aren’t giving him the Ben Simmons treatment. Giannis is averaging 25.4 points, 13.0 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 55.0 percent from the floor and is an early-season MVP candidate with the Bucks sitting at 10-3.
“You know me, I’m not going to say I’m not and I’m not going to say I am better than LeBron or K.D.,” Antetokounmpo told Haynes. “Because I want to feel like I always have somebody to chase. I want to feel like I can always get better. LeBron is one of the greatest guys to ever play. K.D. is one of the greatest scorers to ever play the game. They’ve been doing it for a long time. That’s what I want to do. I want to be in my 14th, 15th year in the league and still be doing what I’m doing today, and even better.”
If Antetokounmpo ever finds even a league-average jumper, he could unseat LeBron and Durant as the league’s best player. He’s one of the most impressive athletes the game has ever seen, a 6’11” point forward with elite vision, shot creation and length who terrorizes opposing teams on both ends of the floor.
The jumper just isn’t there…yet.