HoopsHype Kostas Papanikolaou rumors

December 8, 2014 Updates

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.” Houston Chronicle

December 7, 2014 Updates

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.” CBS Local

November 11, 2014 Updates
October 27, 2014 Updates

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. NBA.com

October 16, 2014 Updates

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." Houston Chronicle

October 1, 2014 Updates
September 30, 2014 Updates

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. NBA.com

September 29, 2014 Updates
September 23, 2014 Updates
September 19, 2014 Updates

Papanikolaou is expected to sign next week once his buyout makes its way through the FIBA approval process. Drafted by the Knicks in 2012, the Rockets acquired his rights in the space-clearing deal that sent Thomas Robinson to Portland in 2013. He is expected to compete for playing time off the bench, likely at small forward initially (though at 6-9, he could get time in the stretch four role Omri Casspi played last season). But the Rockets cite his room to grow as much as how far he has already come. Houston Chronicle

“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.” Houston Chronicle

September 17, 2014 Updates
August 11, 2014 Updates

Kostas Papanikolaou officially signed the two-year contract with the Houston Rockets. The Greek forward leaves FC Barcelona after a season and will earn $4.8 million the first year in the NBA and $4.6 million the second year (team option). Sportando

August 9, 2014 Updates

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.