Thanasis Antetokounmpo chose to play in the D-League for just $25,000 while turning down significant financial offers in Europe.
Antetokounmpo wants to play in the NBA and believes playing for the New York Knicks' D-League affiliate will help accomplish that goal.
According to agent Tim Lotsos, 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 told The Post in a phone call 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.’’
Last season, before Thanasis was drafted, Antetokounmpo played in the D-League.
“He spoke with Steve Mills and Phil Jackson,’’ Lotsos said. “He felt he’s in their plans in the future. They don’t have room for him on the roster, but they supported the idea of keeping [him] within the system and working and improving. He felt they do have a plan for him but they didn’t guarantee anything for next year.’’