Kostas Papanikolaou was the 48th pick in the 2012 draft by the New York Knicks. A couple weeks later, he was a part of the trade that sent Raymond Felton back to the New York Knicks. A year later, Papanikolaou was traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Houston Rockets so Houston could shed the contract of Thomas Robinson in their pursuit of cap space for Dwight Howard. Two years and two trades after being drafted in the second round, Papanikolaou will finally be joining the NBA.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports is reporting Papanikolaou has signed a two-year deal with the Rockets that will guarantee him at least $4.8 million. The second season will be a team option for $4.6 million.
Houston is signing Kostas Papanikolaou to a two-year deal, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 8, 2014
Papanikolaou gets $4.8m guarantee for '14-15 season and team option for 2nd year at $4.6m. He's been in Europe since 2012 draft. 48th pick.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 8, 2014
The 24-year old Greek small forward has been playing professionally since 2008-09 in the Greek League with Aris. He then spent the next four seasons with Greek powerhouse Olympiakos. He spent last season in the Spanish League with Barcelona, averaging a career high in minutes for league play (23.7 minutes) and EuroLeague play (25.0 minutes). Over the last three seasons, he's had a roller coaster of shooting accuracy from 3-point range. He went from the mid-30's up over 40.0 percent from downtown to back in the mid-30's this past season.
Papanikolaou averaged 6.6 points and 4.0 rebounds in the Spanish league and 6.9 points and 3.4 rebounds in EuroLeague play. He's been a very good shot-maker during the last four seasons of play, often making at least 49.0 percent of his field goal attempts.