The draft has come and gone. Despite our disproportionate excitement and obsession over the 48th pick, Glen Grunwald and company didn't bring us a new Knick to call our very own and nickname and pet and dress up. Instead, he claimed Kostas Papanikolaou, a young Greek fellow who won't be a Knick this year and might never be. I was annoyed at the decision last night, and am still a bit grumpy that they passed on Darius Johnson-Odom (who might very well suck, but he just seems so fun), but I get the logic. New York didn't see a guy left at 48 who impressed them to the point that they felt compelled to secure him with the 48th, and instead invested that pick in the future and waited to see who'd fall to free agency, which plenty of interesting guys did. I did what I could to explain all that here.
More notes and links after the jump.
- To reiterate: Papanikolaou plays for Olympiacos (with a C! Thanks Ming! <3!) and for the Greek national team. Olympiacos won the Greek and Euroleague championships last season. Another (older) Knicks asset, Georgios Printezis, is Papanikolaou's teammate on both squads. Papanikolaou has the option to negotiate a $1 million buyout next year, then becomes a free agent the following year.
- Via Jared Zwerling, here's how Glen Grunwald explained the selection:
"Given where we are with our team, it was unlikely anyone at 48 could step in and contribute," Grunwald said. "We felt this player can grow overseas. … He plays hard. He's a good athlete. He needs to improve his shooting. We've watched him over the course of the year and he's improved dramatically over this year. We see him as a guy who's going to work and improve.''
Grunwald said he and the front office staff will evaluate Papanikolaou again next season and decide if and when to bring him over.
"We think he’s a good player and think he’s going to get better. It’s an investment in our future," he said. "He got better over the season and wound up being the MVP of the Euroleague Final Four. We ranked him pretty high.
- Marc Berman is trying very hard to make this pick sound important in sinister and cannot find a photo of the right person.
- Zwerling says we'll know more about New York's Summer League roster (again, Scott Machado, Hollis Thompson, Dee Bost, and many more are available-- pretty much everyone the Knicks reportedly fancied besides Kim English and Meanface) next week.
- Jay Kang found and analyzed the best video of Papanikolaou before the draft.
- This pre-draft post on Papanikolaou at Piston Powered covers most of the useful scouting reports.
- Bomani Jones and Amy K. Nelson spent the evening analyzing draft fashion with our friend and patron saint, Clyde.
- BayHawks coach Jay Larranaga was involved in the pre-draft process, which I like.
- I've seen folks calling him "Big Papa", which works for me. Like I said in a few places last night, I suspect that Clyde will call him "Carson Pumpernickel" or something of the sort. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. "Kostas" is short for Konstantinos, by the way.
Mmhmm. Papanikolaou it is. He seems like a fine player, and we can keep an eye on him this summer and check on his progress throughout the next year or two. Hopefully, New York's small investment in the guy will pay off in the future. In the meantime, they can now bring in some of the other guys they coveted via free agency. That's what's up next, really. Free agency-- which should actually be a thing for the Knicks, though that rumored settlement between the league and union hasn't been officially announced just yet-- begins on Sunday. Summer League starts on the 13th. July is gonna be wiiiiiiiiild! Woo! Everybody get naked! Naked July!!!!