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Papanikolaou is currently signed with the Greek team Olympiacos, but has a $1 million buyout that would allow him to play for the Knicks starting in 2013.
"He definitely wants to play in the NBA, it's a lifelong dream of his,'' Cornstein told The New York Post. "He's playing at the highest level in the Greek League and it's the next step. He's anxious to play sooner than later. He wanted the right fit with the right team and the Knicks we would've handpicked.''
Papanikolaou, a 6-foot-8 21-year old, was named the 48th selection in the 2012 NBA Draft after succeeding at the highest levels of European play last season. Olympiacos won the Euroleague championship, and he scored 18 points in the finals while guarding Andrei Kirilenko on the other end of the court.
For more on the Knicks, visit Posting and Toasting.
With the 48th pick in Thursday night's 2012 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks selected Kostas Papanikolaou of Greece.
The Knicks are expected to let him develop in Greece before luring him to the NBA a year or two (or three?) down the road. That technique has worked at the back end of the second round before (think Manu Ginobili), but Seth Rosenthal of Posting and Toasting isn't thrilled by the Knicks' decision.
The kid sounds pretty great, actually, and all the draft experts like him, but he won't have a buyout for a couple of years, so this qualifies as a "draft and stash" pick. Considering that the Knicks really need some actual human beings to flesh out the backcourt in particular, such a selection surprises and disappoints me. Guys like Darius Johnson-Odom, Scott Machado, and Hollis Thompson were all still on the board and could have helped more immediately. Then again, there are always undrafted guys to be signed and tested in Summer League, so perhaps the Knicks felt they'd be able to build the roster that way.
For more on the Knicks, visit Posting and Toasting.
The Knicks' selection of Kostas Papanikolaou in Thursday's NBA Draft is the team's most recent foray into international basketball on draft night. Here's a history.
The New York Knicks had to wait more than four hours and watch 47 players come off the board in Thursday's 2012 NBA draft before they got to make a selection. With that selection, a second-rounder that was 48th overall, the Knicks selected Kostas Papanikolaou, a forward from Olympiacos (Greece).
Papanikolaou is a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward.
"If he wants to find a place for himself in the NBA will need to work on his outside shot (find consistency and some off dribble ability) and figure out the defensive concerns around him. Some athletic improvement is possible. With some strides and the proper development, we can see Papanikolaou in the rotation of a NBA franchise in the future."
Here is more on Papanikolaou from NBA.com:
- Solid athleticism with good explosiveness and quickness
- Strong leaper and a solid rebounder
- Great hustle and aggressiveness
- Lefty, can score inside and outside
- Can play both the 2 and the 3
- Works very well off the ball
- Lateral quickness needs improvement
- Needs more consistency from long range
- Hasn't shown much ability to create shot off the dribble
The 2012 NBA Draft is Thursday night, and while the national conversation is centered around how the lottery will shake out and what big-time draft day deals may take place, here in New York there are plenty of Knicks fans who are actually excited about the 48th pick, the Knicks' lone choice in this year's draft.
Some people (like myself) look at mock NBA Drafts all year. Others might start paying attention now. The picture becomes a bit clearer as we approach the actual draft, but the second round is always unpredictable. Throw in the fact that most people can't figure out this year's lottery, and we may be on the cusp of one of the zaniest drafts in a long time. Either way, most believe the 2012 draft to be one of the deepest in years.
DraftExpress, one of the top NBA mock draft sites, projects the Knicks taking Texas A&M small forward Khris Middleton, a 6-foot-8 junior. Middleton actually saw his draft stock plummet over the course of this college season, as a knee injury hampered him. He's an athletic guy and a decent offensive player, but his lack of catch-and-shoot ability raises a red flag, one that the Knicks should notice quite a bit since spot-up shooting is something the team desperately lacks.
The other top mock draft site, NBADraft.net, has the Knicks selecting LSU's 7-foot junior center Justin Hamilton. The site ranked him the No. 8 center in the draft, describing him as so:
He's not dominant in one particular area, although he sports a soft touch in the post and can get up and down the floor. Teams looking for size and some front court presence could give Hamilton a look in that 45-60 range.
I've never seen Hamilton play, but I'll say that you can never have enough size. If Hamilton is gritty and plays big, it could be a solid choice. The Knicks have Jerome Jordan as a project big man, but he's someone who needs to seriously bulk up and round into his enormous frame before he can be considered as a possible minutes guy. Maybe Hamilton is closer along that Jordan, and if so it wouldn't be a horrible pick.
The Knicks Blog made a Top-5 list of realistic picks for the Knicks, and I tend to agree with Tommy on Darius Johnson-Odom, who could be a steal at 48 if he gets there. The Marquette guard is a tough cookie who can score in a variety of ways. Personally, I just feel that the Knicks could do way worse than Johnson-Odom given where their pick is.
T'would certainly be nice if the Knicks had a clue as to whether or not they'll actually be able to bring back Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak, but the pair's Bird Rights case is being appealed by the NBA. Lin helps solidify the Knicks' point guard situation - even with him they need another good point guard but without him they are a disaster at the position - and Novak gives them a catch-and-shoot presence, and even if Novak is back the Knicks need more in that department.
With the New York Knicks owning only the 48th overall selection in the upcoming 2012 NBA Draft, pickings are slim. On Tuesday, the Knicks are scheduled to hold workouts for six players as they try to find another diamond in the rough, a la recent successful second round picks like Landry Fields and Josh Harrellson. The six players the Knicks will officially work out tomorrow are:
-Larry Anderson, G, Long Beach State
-Casper Ware, PG, Long Beach State
-Mike Glover, PF, Iona
-Drew Gordon, PF, New Mexico
-Adam Sollazzo, G, East Tennessee State
-Jordan Taylor, G, Wisconsin
Most intriguing out of the group are probably Wisconson’s Jordan Taylor and Long Beach State’s Casper Ware. Both are seniors (as are all six the Knicks will work out), and are coming off solid seasons. Ware helped Long Beach State to a 25-9 record including a 15-1 mark in the Big West. Despite being just 5-foot-10, Ware led the team with 17.4 points per game, though did need a lot of shots to do so.
Taylor is coming off a four-year career at Wisconsin playing for Bo Ryan. Ryan’s players have generally not translated well to the NBA, especially on the offensive end. Wisconsin runs a very rigid offensive system under Ryan, but all of his players are good defenders, Taylor included. He led the Badgers in scoring (14.1) and dishing (4.1 assists).
Additionally, Glover is a local kid who became a star in the Metro Atlantic Athletic conference for Tim Cluess’ Iona Gaels in 2011-12. Glover nearly averaged a 20-10 and shot 64 percent from the field, and plays well above his 6-foot-5 frame (similar to DeJuan Blair in that right). It took him a while to get eligible, as he had a failed stint at Seton Hall after being recruited by Bobby Gonzalez. He’ll be 25 by the time the NBA season kicks off.
Shumpert Hoping For January Return
Iman Shumpert spoke to the media this past weekend, noting that he’s targeting January for a full return from the torn ACl and meniscus in his left knee suffered in the Knicks’ first round loss to the Miami Heat (remember when the Knicks were in the playoffs?). The Knicks are incredibly thin at guard and need Shumpert back healthy as soon as possible. A January return seems a bit early for an injury of this magnitude, so it’s more realistic to hope the second year guard is back by March or so.