Kostas Papanikolaou RumorsAll NBA Players
Calvin Watkins: Not only was Kostas Papanikolaou’s option picked up by the Rockets, he’ll play for Greece National Team this summer.
Eric Pincus: Widely reported now but Kostas Papanikolaou’s option taken by Houston Rockets @BBallInsiders – not guaranteed until 10/4/15 however: 1 more rumor
Marc Stein: Rockets have picked up their team option on Kosta Papanikolau. Papanikolau is due nearly $5 million for next season from the Rockets … but it is a non-guaranteed $5 mil: 1 more rumor
If the Rockets add two rookies to next season’s roster (they also have the second pick of the second round), they could have as many as six first- or second-year players. KJ McDaniels will be a free agent, but the Rockets hope to sign him. The Rockets do want to bring back Kostas Papanikolaou, but Rockets vice president Gersson Rosas said “a decision has not been made” about whether to exercise their option on the second year of his contract or to try to sign him again as a free agent. But Morey said he would not hesitate to add two more first-year players, even if the Rockets keep all of last season’s rookies. “We’re not worried about how many young players we have,” Morey said. “I think it’s good to have a mix of veterans and young players.”: 1 more rumor
Emiliano Carchia: Houston Rockets will pick up the $4.8M option on Kostas Papanikolaou’s contract, according to sources
Greek forward Kostas Papanikolaou spoke to the TV show “Pick and Roll” of “OTE TV” for his first NBA season and his NBA future, which for now includes only the NBA and the Rockets. As he said: “As you know there’s a team option. They said to me that they want me to stay, that I am a part of the team. However the future in the NBA is always changing. You never know how things may get. You can be out of the team in no time. There’s a deadline for the option until the 29th of June. Talks are going to be made, the draft will take place. I have to have patience. However from the moment I decided to come to the States… I don’t want to give up. I made a decision, I don’t want to prove something, but I want to accept this challenge and make it. I have proved that I can play on this level. I don’t care what people may say. I care about what I want. I could stay in Europe, but I decided to make this step. I didn’t want to try it just for one season and then come back. I want to fight for one, or two more seasons. If I don’t get any opportunity, then yes, I will return to Europe”.
The rookie NBA season of Kostas Papanikolaou is clearly divided in two parts. In the first part of the season everything seemed ideal for him, but in the second part, after the addition of Josh Smith in Houston, things were different. Still the Greek forward isn’t eager to return to Europe. On the contrary he is ready to fight for an other chance in the NBA either in Houston, or somewhere else. During his first season Papanikolaou appeared in 43 games, 37 of them until January. With Smith on the roster and after injuring his ankle “Pap” had very little chances to play. However he is just 25 years old, he believes that he can be a contributor on the NBA level and a return to Europe is not on his mind at this point. That’s why even if Houston doesn’t extend his contract using the team option – a more than possible scenario since “Pap” will be paid 4,8 m. $ for next season, if the team extends his current deal – he will be willing to hear every NBA offer.
Rockets forward Kostas Papanikolaou is close to returning from a sprained ankle he suffered in pregame drills on Feb. 23. Papanikolaou went through a couple of things in practice with the team on Saturday, but isn’t playing full contact yet. “He was out here, but the ankle isn’t ready for 5-on-5 yet,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said.
Yannis Koutroupis: Hearing Rockets rookie Kosta Papanikolaou (ankle) should be back in a week to 10 days. Hasn’t played since 2/21 vs. Toronto.
Alex Kennedy: Philadelphia’s Robert Covington, Cleveland’s Matthew Dellavedova and Houston’s Kostas Papanikolaou were added to the Rising Stars Challenge. Robert Covington replaces Michael Carter-Williams, Matthew Dellavedova replaces Kelly Olynyk and Kostas Papanikolaou replaces Jusuf Nurkic.
Shams Charania: Nuggets’ Jusuf Nurkic has pulled out of NBA Rising Stars game, with Rockets’ Kostas Papanikolaou replacing him, league sources tell RealGM.
Emiliano Carchia: Kostas Papanikolaou will play in the BBVA Comprass Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend, According to Greek Site SDNA,
Rockets rookie Kostas Papanikolaou said he was “happy” to learn that his knee injury was no more than a Grade-1 sprain, likely to keep him out for 10 days to two weeks. “Thank God it’s not something worse,” Papanikolaou said. “It’s a first-degree sprain on my MCL. Things could be even worse. I’m happy that it’s that way. It will take a couple of weeks, like 10 to 14 days, to get back. “I was really scared. Even when they told me the first time (it was just a sprain) I was scared because you never know with this kind of stuff. You actually get to know the next day. You see how much swelling there is and then what the doctors will say, so I was pretty scared. But thank God, you know. I’m glad it’s only that and not more.”
Kostas Papanikolaou suffered a knee injury during the Rockets’ overtime win Friday against the Timberwolves. The Rockets forward elaborated after Saturday’s win over the Suns. “It’s a first degree, sprained MCL,” he said. “Things could be even worse. I’m happy that it’s that way. It looks like it’ll be a couple of weeks, like 10-14 days to get back. We have a great staff in the back doing a great job and they will do their best in order for me to come back as soon as possible.”
Kostas Papanikolaou: “Dwight Howard likes to talk a lot as a way to bring the team together and so that nobody feels on the side. He jokes with everybody and tries to bring everybody closer. But as soon as we step on the court, this guy is like transforming into a different Dwight.”
Kostas Papanikolaou on signing with the Rockets: “All of a sudden Houston came out of nowhere and made an offer for me that was exceptional. It was crazy. It would have been stupid not to accept this offer and this opportunity.”
David Aladridge: You had a couple of years left on your Barcelona deal. What made you think this was the right time to come over? Kostas Papanikoulau: First of all, what I saw, was the team showed to me that they really wanted me to come here, and they really want to give me this chance, was a big factor. I talk with Daryl, I talk with Coach McHale. That kind of make a player feel like they really want me, you know? After this offer, I would say I will be like, pardon the expression, I will be like a fool if I don’t take this offer. And also, I don’t want to miss this opportunity, and five years [later] go back and say ‘why didn’t I go back then, when I could?’ Because you don’t know. You don’t get these chances every day…great players had the opportunity, and they never did it. It was a life dream for me, and I wanted to give it a shot, you know? I don’t know if I’m going to be good for this league or not, but at least when I go through my career, I will say, at least I gave it a chance. At least I fought for it. I didn’t make it, or I made it. I don’t know.
Rockets big men in foul trouble, coach Kevin McHale moved Kostas Papanikolaou to power forward for several possessions until Pelicans coach Monty Williams countered with John Salmons in a smaller lineup. That likely will not be the last time Papanikolaou, who started at shooting guard with James Harden out, works as a “stretch four.” “We’re going to probably have to do some of that,” McHale said. That would be fine with Papanikolaou. “I’m here to play and help my team,” Papanikolaou said. “If that means play like a stretch four, that means I’ll play like a stretch four. I want to do the best for my team, what my coaches ask me to do. And my team wants to get the wins every night out.”
Jenny Dial Creech: Pat Beverley and Kostas Papanikolaou played together in Greece – Pat said it was great to have him back on the same team. Beverley: “Me and Kostas were in Greece riding the bench together and now we are in the NBA battling together.”
Kostas Papanikolaou: A few hours later I watched my first NFL game, with the Texans hosting the Bills. There I met, Spero Dedes, another fellow Greek that is very successful on TV, as a play-by-play announcer on the CBS network. We met for few minutes, during halftime, and he is an exceptional guy. They even let me watch them while they were broadcasting the game live on TV. It was a great experience. I will meet with Spero again, when I will be in Los Angeles for the opening night game against the Lakers.
“Actually, what I was thinking was I didn’t want to be thinking like five years later that I had this opportunity and didn’t do it,” Papanikolaou said. “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I didn’t want to miss it. I thought, ‘This is the time.’ I spoke with the GM (Daryl Morey). The coach himself (Kevin McHale) called me. That means a lot to a player. But I just didn’t want to be stupid and lose this opportunity to be here, to live this dream to go to the NBA.”