A "Big Fish" Update

PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 13: Casey Stoner of Australia and rider of the #27 Repsol Honda Team Honda poses with a trout prior to the Australian MotoGP, which is round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship, at the Rhyll Trout and Bush Tucker Farm on October 13, 2011 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

No matter what happens with this union arbitration stuff, the Knicks are going to have to fill out their roster with some minimum contracts. It's just a matter of whether it's several minimummies or like seven of 'em. This past season, Glen Grunwald did a pretty splendid job of acquiring useful players cheaply and creatively. That'll be the task again this summer, and Grun Daddy is bound to turn his gaze overseas at some point. You may recall that, along with Tyson Chandler, the Knicks acquired the rights to two bros playing in Europe. One, Georgios Printezis of Greece, hit a game-winner (over Andrei Kirilenko!) the other day to win Olympiakos the Euroleague championship. I hadn't really thought about "The Big Fish" (I assume people call him this because he brags about not crying during that movie) until Knicks Bricks mentioned him the other day. Those guys supposed that the Knicks wouldn't have the means to REEL him in, and that does seem to be the case. From Marc Berman of the Post:

Printezis is a free agent and likely has earned a significant contract from Olympiakos, one of Europe’s deepest-pocketed teams.

The Knicks believe he could make a good NBA reserve, but would only have the rookie minimum to offer Printezis — because they do not want to use risk a portion of their $5M mid-level exception.

The dilemma is they can’t even bring him in for July’s summer league in Las Vegas to work with him and get a good look. Printezis, a gritty forward who can rebound, penetrate and shoot, is on the Greek National Team vying for the London Olympics. Greece will play in the final Olympic qualifier in early July in Venezeula as heavy favorites to make it to the London Games.

"He’s playing the best ball of his life,’’ said an NBA executive who saw him play during the Euro-league. "The NBA has always been on his mind, but he would need a long-term commitment. He wouldn’t just come for one year.’’

Yeah, so that probably isn't happening. I just did a bit of research to see how the other Chandler trade throw-in, Ahmad Nivins, is doing, and this is all I found. Here's a translated sentence from that article:

It is true that the last great too successful operation ended after the serious injury of Ahmad Nivins not really adapted to the Spanish basketball.

So, maybe not that guy either. Oh well. I'd be totally in favor of another Timofey Mozgov-like signing where they just pluck some adorable European youngster we've never heard of out of the blue. Go get 'em, Rev Grun!

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