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Prospect Profile

Kostas Papanikolaou

  • Full Name: Kostas Papanikolaou
  • Position: Forward
  • Height/Weight: 6-8 / 225
  • Birthdate: July 31, 1990
  • Club: Olympiacos (Greece)
New York Knicks Round 2: Pick 48
 

Strengths:
* Solid athleticism with good explosiveness and quickness
* Strong leaper and a solid rebounder
* Great hustle and aggressiveness
* Lefty, can score inside and outside
* Can play both the 2 and the 3
* Works very well off the ball

Weaknesses:
* Lateral quickness needs improvement
* Needs more consistency from long range
* Hasn’t shown much ability to create shot off the dribble

NBA Projection:
Papakikolaou could be a mid-late second round pick. If he wants to find a place for himself in the NBA will need to work on his outside shot (find consistency and some off dribble ability) and figure out the defensive concerns around him. Some athletic improvement is possible. With some strides and the proper development, we can see Papanikolaou in the rotation of a NBA franchise in the future.

2011-2012 season:
Papanikolaou’s season was a disappointment until his amazing performance in leading Olympiacos past CSKA Moscow in the Euroleague Championship game. He scored a season high 18 points on 3-for-3 three-point shooting in leading Olympiacos back from an 18-point deficit to the thrilling 62-61 victory. Other than that, his year was very similar to 2010-11 and did not show much development.

Key statistics:
7.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.6 apg, 1.0 spg, 19.4 mpg, .596 FG, .340 3PtFG, .687 FT (Greece)
6.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.6 apg, 0.5 spg, 19.4 mpg, .603 FG, .333 3PtFG, .688 FT (Euroleague)

Reminds me of:
A cross between Manu Ginobili and Luke Jackson, he’ll never be as good as Ginobili but he’ll be better than Jackson.

What Insiders say:
Nick Gibson, SLAM On-line
"I was instructed by both an NBA and a Euroleague official to take a peek at this kid that had impressed them in limited time vs. San Antonio. It didn’t take long for Kostas to make an impression; he dove for loose balls, grabbed boards, and what struck me most was the way he cut fearlessly across the middle, hands up and ready to receive. In a few minutes against LeBron and Co. the following day, same story. If he expands his already diversified offensive game and keeps the attitude on track, we could see him reach Carlos Delfino levels in just a few years."

Luka Bassin, International Scout and Coach
"He raised his stock a lot during Euroleague Final Four where he showed not only his technical and tactical attributes but the most important thing in sports – to have a heart and that he is not affraid of big games. Could be the steal of the draft."

Alejandro Gonzalez, International Scout, NetScouts Basketball
"Papanikolaou has the position size and ability to be successful in the NBA. His ability to work and produce off the ball may make him more suitable to the European style but the NBA potential is definitely there."

Rafael Uehara, The Basketball Post
"After the Euroleague final, Papanikolaou will possibly be a commodity in the second round. He’s shown the ability to perform in the grand stage against elite class competition. With his combination of terrific defensive hustle and instincts and an offensive skill set of intuitive cutting and quality shooting NBA teams have to take notice"

-- Chris Denker and Carl Berman are Managing Partners of NetScouts Basketball, "The International Basketball Connection."  You can follow NetScouts Basketball on twitter, or follow Chris and Carl on twitter or email them.

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