Bucks go with upside selecting Antetokounmpo

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Bucks have taken 18-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo, a 6-9 forward from Greece, with the 15th overall pick in the NBA draft.

After the selection, the Milwaukee Bucks media relations staff released his name pronunciation - YAHN-iss ahn-teh-toe-KUHN-poe.

The Bucks had been projected to select a guard Thursday night to replace shooting guard Monta Ellis, the team's leading scorer last season, who opted out of his contract to become a free agent.  In addition, starting point guard Brandon Jennings is a restricted free agent.

Instead, they went with Antetokounmpo, who averaged 9.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game for Filathlitikos in Greece's second division.

"We're getting someone with tremendous upside," said Bucks general manager John Hammond. "Hate to say things like the sky's the limit, but it could be."

ESPN.com has an analysis of every first round pick. For Antetokounmpo the website said, "He will either be a home run or a bust."

Antetokounmpo, who was the youngest player in the 2013 draft pool, admits he will be a project for a Bucks franchise that may now be in a rebuilding phase.

"I know I'm not ready, but I have a lot of work ahead of me," said Antetokounmpo. "But I'm not afraid.  I will give everything in the court, in the gym.  And I will prove to the Milwaukee Bucks that they made the right choice."

"It's a dream come true.  But this is not the end.  It's only the beginning, you know, to a very long road that maybe someday will give me the opportunity to make my NBA team successful."

The Bucks will introduce Antetokounmpo at a press conference Friday morning at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. He'll be joined by Hammond and head coach Larry Drew.

Top Sports Videos

Latest Sports Headlines

This Week's Circulars