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Masai Ujiri Says He Wanted To Land Giannis Antetokounmpo On Draft Night In 2013: "We Don’t Think Many Kids In 2015 Will Be At His Level In 2 Years."

Masai Ujiri Says He Wanted To Land Giannis Antetokounmpo On Draft Night In 2013: "We Don’t Think Many Kids In 2015 Will Be At His Level In 2 Years."

The Milwaukee Bucks drafted one of the best players in the league right now during the 2013 NBA draft. They 'gambled' on an unknown player from Greece that has evolved to become one of the most famous basketball players around the world. They saw something in Giannis, drafted him and now the player has put them on the map again.

However, the Bucks were not the only team that was interested in Giannis that night. In fact, there was another team with high expectations over Giannis and his NBA career. The Toronto Raptors, who are rumored to be one of the squads interested in Antetokounmpo's services, had already set their sights on the Greek Freak, trying everything they could to get a pick to draft Giannis.

Entering the 2013 NBA draft, they didn't have any pick. Masai Ujiri was new in his position of executive vice president and general manager and he was ready to get Giannis Antetokounmpo at any cost. Old footage has surfaced of how things went down for the Raptors at that moment and how impressed Ujiri was with Giannis' potential.

"The kid we want to pick, we feel like -- we don't think there are many kids in 2015 that will be at his level after two years."

Ujiri was ready to pull the trigger on that move but nobody agreed to it. They tried with the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 12th overall pick but the deal never went through, then they tried with Minnesota with the 14th pick but they didn't accept any deal. That deal would have given them Giannis, who was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the next pick of the night.

Flash forward, we know what Giannis has done in his career and the great player he is right now. Ujiri has also had a terrific tenure with the Raptors, winning an NBA championship in 2019, becoming one of the best GMs in the league.

Their paths could cross next year if Giannis hits free agency, something that looks very likely right now.