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Bucks and Pelicans for Pap

By Lefteris Moutis/

Two veterans from Europe, Andrei Kirilenko with the Nets and Ronny Turiaf with the Timberwolves are about to sign their new contracts, but you have to add Greek Kostas Papanikolaou to the players that may leave this summer the old continent for the NBA.

According to Eurohoops sources, the Milwaukee Bucks, the team that drafted an other Greek, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the New Orleans Pelicans are negotiating with Euroleague’s rising star award winner and Houston in order to sign him. Rockets currently own the NBA rights of the player, who was drafted last summer by the Knicks and then was traded to Portland.

Bucks and Pelicans are more than interested on him, they are trying to get his rights and they are also aware of the fact that they have until Monday to pay Olympiacos in order to buy out Pap’s contract. The buy out of his contract is 1 million USD. According to the latest CBA, NBA teams can pay up to 545.000 dollars and the rest will be paid by the player. However, the clock is ticking, there are just three days left before the buy out deadline expires in Papanikolaou’s contract with the Euroleague champions and if an NBA team wants to get him this summer, they have to move really quickly.


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  • remon

    Michalis/Mike/Greg/Dimitris/Stavros/Makris are probably that same troll that’s been the bane of any forum that even mentions a greek player. ClutchFans, SpursTalk, RealGM, Interbasket. That guy just doesn’t stop making accounts to stupidly promote Spanoulis, or Bourousis, or Papanikolaou, or whoever greek player is up at the moment.

  • Makris

    Look here guys,

    They claim the Rockets brass does not even know any details of Pap’s contract and that they don’t even know about opt outs, buyouts, dates, etc. This Rockets organization is a total JOKE in how they treat and talk about Greek players in the media and make such aloof and arrogant comments about them to the fans. I hope that for his sake Kosta comes to his senses and demands a trade from there. They obviously view Greek players like pieces of discarded trash there.

    • admin

      Despite what happened with Spanoulis, don’t you think your comments based on the link you provide are a little bit exaggerated?

      • Troo

        He’s still upset about V-Span, which had nothing to do with fans, organization, etc. It was Van Gundy’s decision. “Any and every chance they get they put down Spanoulis, Greek basketball, Greek players, Greek League, Greek people, Greece culture, society, etc.”– <<THAT is just ridiculous. You have just lost all your credibility by outright LYING because of your personal contempt.

  • Grigoris K

    I wrote about work ethic combined to patience.Spanoulis certainly has an extraordinary work ethic but evidently he lacks patience (we can see this in how ingloriously he finalized his nba career even if he had a very good offer from the spurs and coaxh g.popovic and in how he manages “clutch” situations, meaning not succesfully a lot of times.)The Americans had not given him the surname “mistake machine” without any reason.Still, he is the best player in the Euroleague nowdays preferring to be ” first in the village than last in the city…”(this is a greek saying translated but obviously it is not literal because if he was given a fair chance he would have become among the best 10 point guards in the NBA, even if he commits a lot of turnovers…Coming bck to Pap I hope he will be become the first greek born (or iAdetocumbo but he is immature for now) whom we can admire for years in the NBiA.It is a big dissapointment the fact that we can see NBA players from countries with not even the 1/10 of the basketball tradition or success of Greece building succesful NBA careers and no Greek players doing so.I hope Pap to be the first this year or the next..

    • Mike

      The reason Greece lacks NBA players is because there is a built in bias against Greeks in NBA circles. I think this is also why Van Gundy refused to give Spanoulis a chance and told him he would not get one the first day he got to Houston. The owner of admitted that NBA executives have told him that NBA does not want or like Greek players. They don’t have a negative view on players from anywhere else, just Greeks. This comes from that there is a belief and idea in the NBA that Greeks are “lazy” and they come from a “beach culture” and that all they want to do is party and lie around on the beach all day, rather than work on their game. For this reason, NBA teams purposely ignore Greek players, even though they admit Greece has many players that can play in NBA rotations. As for Spanoulis and patience, he waited a whole season to get playing time in Houston. I think that is VERY patient. 90% of players in his level of ability in that situation woudl have demanded to be traded by the trade deadline, or they would have quite the team during the season and demanded to be released during the season. Spanoulis actually showed incredibly patience and it was a huge mistake, as that over indulgence of patience he gave to Jeff Van Gundy is what cost him an NBA career. By being very overly patient and waiting, he blew his chance. I honestly cannot name another player as good as Spanoulis in NBA history that would have sat for a whole season on a bench. That’s more patience than probably any player in the NBA today. Every single good American player for example would have demanded a trade very early on in that situation and they would have refused to stay in the team, if they did not get traded. There is not a single good American NBA player that would have ever tolerated Van Gundy’s actions for a whole season like Spanoulis did. So actually, Spanoulis is really much too patient, and he made a really big mistake to be so kind as he was to Van Gundy. He even waited like 6 years before he said anything bad about Van Gundy, while Van Gundy was trashing Spanoulis in the media all the time when he played there. Most players would have been calling Van Gundy out immediately. Spanoulis is pretty much about the nicest pro athlete you will ever meet (along with his buddy Zisis) and that was his downfall in Houston. Those people in Houston like Van Gundy and More were the opposite of nice and Spanoulis being such a nice guy let them walk all over him. One of the biggest Houston reporters even said that Spanoulis was the nicest athlete he ever met and that he was too nice to the Rockets in how he dealt with how they treated him. I can say for sure Pap does not have this same personality like Spanoulis. He plays for the fans and for the adrenaline. He would have never tolerated a permanent benching by a coach just because he was European and the coach did not European players.

      • earthblues

        Do you seriously believe there is a built in bias against Greeks in the NBA? Really?

  • Greg

    Why are some I guess they are Rockets fans coming here and making fun of the comments about Spanoulis being wronged by Van Gundy? Are the Rockets fan really this delusional? Do they really think Spanouls is not good enough for NBA?

    Crazy, crazy, crazy. Same people so excited to get Kostas are saying Spanoulis was not good enough for NBA? Let me explain this for you people from Houston.

    Kostas is a very good payer and easily can play in NBA. He is also literally half as good as Spanoulis is and less fit for NBA than Spanoulis because he is not close to the athletic ability of Spanoulis (which it seems in NBA they have over obsession with athleticism). When Spanoulis came to Rockets he was twice the player Kostas is now, due to he could lead a team in offense and he was explosive off the dribble and lightning fast and quick.

    He dominated and destroyed Team USA before he came to NBA. He was lead scorer of Greece team in 2006 world cup and in τηε win against USA. He was lead scorer of Panathinaikos in Euroleague.

    Kostas is just a role player in Olympiakos and Greece national team. If Spanoulis was “not good enough” for your Rockets, then I guarantee Kostas could never play there in a million years.

    Spanoulis was wronged. Admit that and STOP BLAMING HIM and STOP attacking others who speak the TRUTH about what happened to him!

  • Grigoris K

    Papanikolaou is more NBA ready than Adetokumbo but his strong advantages in europe (athleticism, rebounding ability and blocking shots for his height and position, speed) are rather mediocre for an NBA player. However he has heart and passion without knowing if these attributes are going to render him in the starting five ever.The best scenario for Pap,based on his current abilities and potential, would be become a 7th-8th player in an average NBA team.To finalizw with a comparison Fotsis was a much better talent/player with greater potential for the NBA but he was unlucky and above all he did not have the patience and working ethic that the NBA requires.Pap posseses the las.It is interesting to see what Pap will do…

    • Eddie

      Yes, it surely will be interesting.
      I think his potential is bigger than 7th or 8th on an NBA team.
      With his shooting and fighting spirit he can be a starter with a possible future salary between 7-12 million dollars which would set him (and his children and grand children) up for life.
      In my opinion, he and Mirotic are the “cant miss” players in Europe at the moment. There is a reson why New York, Portland, Houston, New Orleans and Bucks all wants him

    • Greg

      Fotsis and Spanoulis were way more talented players than Kostas is, especially by far Spanoulis. Both were also much more athletic than Kostas is. If they were “not good enough” for NBA, then Kostas has non chance.

      Of course, they were more than good enough for NBA in truth, especially Spanoulis who is much better than most starting point guards in NBA.

      The whole problem is not the work ethic of the player or their attitude. Fotsis I admit has a bad ethic and attitude, but that would not explain why Spanoulis “failed” the NBA.

      Spanoulis has the best work ethic of any Greek player along with Diamantidis, and he has the best attitude of any Greek player. Every coach he ever had said he was the hardest working guy they ever coached (Obradovic said along with Diamantidis) and every coach said he had the best attitude towards only doing exactly as coaches ask. Obradovic even said that before he had left.

      The coach in Olympiakos has said over and over Spanoulis works TWICE AS HARD as every other player on the team. Which means he works twice as hard as Kostas does. So Spanoulis has twice the work ethic of Kostas and he “failed NBA”.

      It’s not about work ethic, or attitude. It is about getting a fair chance from your coach. That is all. If it is about work ethic, then how can Kostas succeed when his own coach says Spanoulis works twice as hard as he does, and this is being claimed why Spanoulis failed in NBA, due to “not wanting to work hard enough”?

  • Georgek

    He should not go this year, maybe not next summer also.

    He needs to work on his game, especially on the right hand drive and on shooting after dribble.

    He also needs to be part of the historic 3-peat from Olympiakos.

  • Stavros

    wow………that Rockets fan base REALLY believes one of the best friends of Spanoulis would play for the Rockets.


    How can they be so clueless? BIZARRE

  • Dimitris

    Daryl Morey was the assistant GM in Houston when Spanoulis played there, and is now the main GM of the team, and the team also has the same owner, as when Spanoulis played there.

    Morey was every bit as involved and as much to blame for what happened to Spanoulis as Van Gundy was, and Spanoulis said more than once in interviews that he felt mislead and lied to by the Houston.

    Spanoulis and Papanikolaou are good friends, and Papanikoloau looks up to Spanoulis as a mentor.

    Spanoulis has spent years working with this guy, helping him, training him, grooming him, mentoring him, etc. These guys would often hang out with each other, even in summers during the off season, and Pap has given interviews where he talks about how much admiration and respect he has for Spanoulis as a player and a person.

    I am absolutely certain that Pap would never ever consider to play for the Houston Rockets. He knows every single thing that Morey said to Spanoulis that was a lie and he also knows how the Rockets organization twisted his words and said untrue things about him to the media in Houston, which then printed those untrue things. How they made fun of his mom, made fun of Spanoulis himself – “his mom calls us crying begging for her som to come home”, “he says he is T-Mac of Greece”, “great T-Mac is T-Mac here”

    These types of things all originating from Rockets club to Houston media and then getting printed, never once with an apology or retraction, and to this day take as true by Rockets fan base.

    Not to mention lies about guaranteed playing time and a role in the team’s rotation, which were never true. Lies told to Spanoulis’ agent when he came to talk with Morey and Dawson, that they assured his agent he would soon be in the rotation and not to demand a trade, even though other teams wanted him, and just be patient, etc.

    Pap is also aware of how the Rockets fan base talks about Spanoulis and how hated he is there and how the Rockets fans say to this day he was the worst player in NBA history, could never play in NBA, etc. I know Pap knows about this because he mentioned it when the Knicks drafted him that after their fans booed him, he was aware of this and how Rockets fans had treated Spanoulis very unfairly and said lies bout him when he went to NBA. He said he strongly considered this in his thoughts on what NBA teams he would consider to play for – how their fan bases talk about other Greek NBA players, especially Spanoulis.

    Papanikolao has said many times he considers Spanoulis the best player in Europe, the best Greek player, the best player he ever played with and that he is definitely hoping at one day to have a chance to be as good as Spanoulis is – just a chance at that would make him happy. And so he is reading on the Rockets fan site from the Rockets fans about what an awful scrub Spanoulis is, how he could never make it in NBA, how he’s “not athletic enough for NBA”, (Spanoulis of course is more athletic than Pap is) etc.

    So what in the world is Pap going to think about those Rockets fans, when he personally considers Spanoulis the best player he has ever seen in Europe?

    I would say with complete confidence that Pap would never play for that Houston Rockets team or fan base. They absolutely destroyed Spanoulis’ NBA dream and career and they still laugh about it and still bash the guy and still make jokes about him, a guy that Pap respects and admires deeply.

    It really shows that there are some very strange ideas in that Rockets organization that they would think they could get a friend of a guy that they completely treated like a piece of trash to play for them.

    • Chuck

      Dimitris/Michalis/OHMSS still making excuses for VSpan’s failed NBA stint all these years later. What a sad troll lol.

    • Eddie

      “Morey was every bit as involved and as much to blame for what happened to Spanoulis as Van Gundy ” – Nah, don’t think so.

      The coach is responsible for the mins. The front office can have opinions (as in Denver, which costed G.Karl his job) but playing time is the coach’s business.
      And JVG is the only one responsible for his own comments like that Spanoulis was a rookie (technically he was but…wtf) and had to prove himself.
      Morey and Adelman wanted him back!

      Anyway, Papanikoloau has an NBA game and shouldn’t concern himself that one of his friends was treated badly by a prick 7 yrs ago that is now being a prick (although a very funny and insightful one) on TV

      • Mike

        The Rockets GM and fans are delusional I can see it. Because I look there at their website and see fans talking about Sergio Llull and their GM raving about him. “We can get him to come here”. This is proof of not being in touch with reality. Llull has said over and over Spanoulis is the best player in Europe and is better than him. That he is the guy he looks to as the standard that he works hard to try to reach to one day. Llull said it, he won’t come to a team that had the best player in Europe and refused to play him. But to see things the GM and fans of the Houston Rockets say, it’s like they are in a parallel universe. Evidently they actually do believe in Houston that Spanoulis was some kind of “scrub” as they call it. Well whatever. Spanoulis is the best player in Europe and the other players there like Llull have immense respect for him. So of course Llull is gonna say to himself, how can I go there to play point guard, when they had the best European point guard and refused to even give him a chance. Of course Llull would never trust anything Morey says and would never want to play for the fans of the team that every time he looks at their website they are still 6 years later bad mouthing the best player in Europe in Spanoulis. It’s amazing that this GM and that fan base is unable to grasp this.

  • Rupert

    lol at Michalis who is OHMSS from Good move by Morey to get him.

  • Haris_


    • BUC

      Three peat?? XAXAXAXAXAXAXAXA

  • Michalis

    Lol at the Houston Ropckets for having thought Papanikolaou would ever play for them.

    They were acquiring him because they thought he would sign with him. Already on the trading block.

    How in the world they would have EVER thought one of Spanoulis’ best friends would ever even consider playing there is beyond me.

    Did they actually think that Spanoulis would not tell him about how the Rockets treated him>

    • Eddie

      Yeah, Spanoulis was reated really bad but by JVG who is long gone – there are other people running the show for the Rockets.
      It’s more of a problem that they wants to play two bigs and have Parsons.
      New Orleans would be a better fit I think.

      • Mike

        Just look through these comments by Rockets fans here –

        and here –

        Any and every chance they get they put down Spanoulis, Greek basketball, Greek players, Greek League, Greek people, Greece culture, society, etc. This is the most hateful and despicable fan base I have ever seen in any sports team anywhere. They are more hateful towards one of their own players than even the worst fans of other teams are to their biggest rivals. Awful fans and still 6 years later trashing Spanoulis every chance they get.

    • Derrick

      Lol, OHMMS :-).

  • ANGe

    PAP needs to stay at Olympiakos and seek the three peat. History is at stake here. The NBA can wait. He’s still young. He’s got his whole life ahead of him. With all the players Olympiakos is adding they can stay on the throne of Europe.

  • Manoskol

    I dont think he will go this year….