HoopsHype Kostas Papanikolaou rumors

February 23, 2014 Updates
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The Rockets might be watching the play of Spain’s Sergio Llull and Greece’s Kostas Papanikolaou, players not of the roster whose rights they hold, even more closely. Papanikolao, whose rights the Rockets acquired in the trade that sent Thomas Robinson to Portland, did not do much in the tournament opener, but had 10 points in 21 minutes against the strong Russian frontcourt. Llull has already established himself as a solid prospect and has played well in Fiba events, but has gotten off to a slow start this week. He made 1 of 4 shots in the blowout of Croatia and went just 1 of 3 in the upset loss to Goran Dragic and Slovenia. A 6-4 guard, Llull’s strong play for Real Madrid has earned the sort of contract that the Rockets were not ready to offer until he is ready for a significant role, but he should make the jump in a year or two making him someone worth watching. Houston Chronicle

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George Sfairopoulos, the agent who represents the 6-9 small forward, says the likely scenario is Portland opting to trade Papanikolaou's rights. “As of now, we don't have any sign that leads us to believe that Kostas will go to Portland,” Sfairopoulos told CSNNW.com. “Therefore, we believe that he will not be in the plans of the organization next season and probably will be traded.” CSNNW.com

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News out of Europe today that Kostas Papanikolaou, whose rights the Trail Blazers acquired in the deal that sent Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas to the Knicks, has been named the Euroleague's Rising Star Trophy winner for the 2012-13 season. The award goes every year to the best player under the age of 22 competing on a Euroleague team. Papanikolaou narrowly beat out Nikola Mirotic, the 23rd pick in the 2011 Draft, for the award. TrailBlazers.com

April 23, 2013 Updates

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