After 2 hours and 51 minutes of less than exciting 2012 NBA draft, the Knicks decided to use their 48th pick to select Kostas Papanikolaou. They lost their first round draft pick due to a trade with Houston 2 years ago where they received Tracy McGrady (don’t even get me started on him) to free up cap space for two max players.
Papanikolaou, a 21 yr. old, 6’8″, 230 pound forward, is a draft and stash player who has lots of energy and plays hard. He’s not the greatest shooter but he loves to defend and play scrappy, willing to get on the floor. He was a productive role player for the Greek National Team and the Euro powerhouse Olympiakos averaging around 7 points and 5 rebounds in his two seasons. Although his stats don’t jump out at you, his maturity, size and defensive prowess make him very appealing. He had a solid performance in the Euroleague Final Four in Istanbul connecting on all five of his 3 pointers and scoring a career high 18 points in the Euroleague final.
We definitely won’t see Papanikolaou for a couple of years since his contract with Olympiakos has two seasons left on it, but it does look like he has the talent to help the Knicks in the near future. It would be nice to have another player that can defend and drive to the hoop in an offense that passes around the perimeter too much.