By Rigas Dardalis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year in Istanbul, NBA executives were left in awe with his performances. Something that this year in London didn’t happen, but there was no need for something similar. Kostas Papanikolaou of Olympiacos, winner of this year’s “rising star award” as his team defended their title in London, has already proved that he is one of the best European players and this why many NBA teams are thinking of approaching Portland to acquire his rights.
Blazers followed him closely throughout the season, but at this point it seems that “Pap” in not on the immediate plans of Neil Olshey. Portland (besides starter Nicolas Batum) also has another talented European forward with Spaniard Victor Claver and is no need to “overload” the small forward position.
In fact Olshey didn’t travel in London, where only Blazers’ scout Jason Filipi was present. So there is a strong chance that the Blazers will trade his rights and many teams has shown interest. Spurs and Mavericks are among them, as well as the Knicks who drafted Papanikolaou on No48 of last year’s draft. Knicks GM Glen Grunwald visited London for a day, just to watch him on the semifinal against CSKA!