VILNIUS, LITHUANIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Konstantinos Papanikolaou of Greece celebrates during the EuroBasket 2011 second round match between Slovenia and Greece at Siemens Arena on September 8, 2011 in Vilnius, Lithuania. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
First, here's the word from Marc Berman:
Marc Cornstein, the New York-based agent for Greek small forward Kostas Papanikolaou, said he expects his client will play for the Knicks in 2013-14, despite a two-year contract with Olympiacos.
"He definitely wants to play in the NBA, it's a lifelong dream of his,'' Cornstein told The Post. "He's playing at the highest level in the Greek League and it's the next step. He's anxious to play sooner than later. He wanted the right fit with the right team and the Knicks we would've handpicked.'
1. A "New York-based agent" isn't going to speak to a New York-based reporter days after his client's draft selection and be like "Ehhhh, he might play for the Knicks. Probably not. Y'all are kinda dumb". It'd be silly of him not to suggest that the interest is mutual. It's still nice to hear, I think.
2. Papanikolaou's buyout in 2013 will cost about $1 million, of which the Knicks could contribute about $650,000, according to Berman. Papa would have to take care of the rest himself, so New York best offer him well over the minimum if they want to make an ocean-crossing worth it for him.
3. The Greek journalist that Berman spoke to suggests that it might be more about the promise of a role on the team and the beginning of a genuine career than it is about money, which is sensible for both parties. I imagine that the Knicks wouldn't bother figuring out the buyout and all that if they didn't have room for Papa in the rotation.
4. I have a new theme song that I perform while I wrote posts about Papanikolaou. It's just a hip-hop dance rap that goes "Papanikolaou, Papanikolaouuuu [repeat 850x]". Summer jam 2012/2013/2014!
5. When Kostas Papanikolaou's name is available to be tagged in the SB Nation auto-tagger, that's when I'll know he made it.
6. This is an important video about Papa getting his hair did:
Papa's down with the kids, too. Papa's the best.
Again, you can take the words of an American agent for a Greek player with a grain of salt, but this is mildly encouraging and something to keep in mind. It's a project to revisit around this time next year, and then again the following year if he's not down with the buyout. Cool.