By Lefteris Moutis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Panathinaikos was more than near to turn the tables and set the market on fire. However, the proposed “trade” of the Greens and the offer to one of the best shooters in the world didn’t transform to deals, which could have boost the roster of the Greeks significantly.
Three years ago Panathinaikos made a move that changed the fate of the team for the better. It was the Christmas of 2012 when for the first time in Europe a “trade” was made with James Gist signing in Athens and Andy Panko going to Unicaja Malaga to take his place, as the two players changed teams midseason.
Panathinaikos tried to repeat this kind of deal recently by offering Ognen Kuzmic to Maccabi Tel Aviv in exchange for Trevor Mbakew. Kuzmic would end up in Israel and Panathinaikos would get an athletic big, which could complement Miroslav Raduljica the way James Gist does. Initially, Panathinaikos tried to get Mbakew without offering a player in exchange, but Maccabi Tel Aviv didn’t want to release him and that’s why Kuzmic was offered.
Panathinaikos would cover the money difference in the contract of Mbakwe, which is slightly more lucrative than the one Kuzmic has, but Maccabi once more denied. The Israelis have a three year deal with their player and they are considering him a long term investment.
The offer to Fredette and his denial
The Greens are also in the market for one more backcourt player and they tried once more to lure in Europe a player who is more than well known in the States. Panathinaikos made a great offer to Jimmer Fredette, but he denied the chance to play for the Greeks who had approached him also in the recent past.
Fredette remains a member of the Westchester Knicks and he didn’t want to leave the States due to family reasons. He is also still trying to get an NBA deal and he wanted to play in the NBDL All Star Game, hoping that he will get one more chance in the NBA.
Panathinaikos, however, has still 2,5 weeks in order to sign players who will be eligible for the second round of Top16 and they are still searching the market.