Tag: Kostas Papanikolaou

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What NBA stars will suit up for EuroBasket? Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker among others


EuroBasket matters — it offers both the bragging rights of a European championship and is the 2016 Olympic qualifier for Europe. The top two finishers get their tickets punched for Rio for the 2016 games (the USA and Brazil have already qualified). Finishers three through seven get invited to the 2016 pre-Olympics qualifying tournament, where they can try to play their way into the final field of 12 (likely a couple of them succeed).

Because it matters, some of the NBA’s big names will suit up when play tips off Sept. 5 —  Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker among others. There are 29 players under NBA contract in total expected to participate. Mark Cuban and many NBA GMs will watch clutching their lucky blanket and hoping against injury, but this is the kind of tournament that draws stars.

If you’ve wondered who is going, here’s a list of every NBA player suiting up in EuroBasket, hat tip to Hoopshype.

Bojan Bogdanovic (Brooklyn Nets)
Mario Hezonja (Orlando Magic)
Damjan Rudez (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans Pelicans)
Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets)
Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs)
Evan Fournier (Orlando Magic)
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
Joffrey Lauvergne (Denver Nuggets)
Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)

Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)
Tibor Pleiss (Utah Jazz)
Dennis Schroeder (Atlanta Hawks)

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Kosta Koufos (Sacramento Kings)
Kostas Papanikolaou (Denver Nuggets)

Andrea Bargnani (Brooklyn Nets)
Marco Belinelli (Sacramento Kings)
Danilo Gallinari (Denver Nuggets)

Omri Casspi (Sacramento Kings)

Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto Raptors)

Marcin Gortat (Washington Wizards)

Zaza Pachulia (Dallas Mavericks)

Nemanja Bjelica (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls)
Nikola Mirotic (Chicago Bulls)

Furkan Aldemir (Philadelphia 76ers)
Ersan Ilyasova (Detroit Pistons)

Alex Len (Phoenix Suns)

Report: Nuggets sign Darrell Arthur to two-year contract

Zaza Pachulia, Jameer Nelson, Darrell Arthur
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The Nuggets expected to re-sign Darrell Arthur.

Now, they’ve done it.

Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post:

The Nuggets had the $2,814,000 room exception available, and I’d guess Arthur got that. If he settled for a minimum salary, that’s a coup for Denver.

Even at the full room exception, this is a nice signing.

Arthur is a versatile defender, strong enough to handle bigs inside and quick-footed enough to stay with wings on the perimeter. The Nuggets allowed 98.7 points per 100 possessions when he played and 107.8 when he sat last season. The prior year presented a similar story – 99.1/108.0.

If Arthur continues to develop his jumper, this signing could be a major steal. I wouldn’t count on that, but there’s a little upside with the 27-year-old.

Given the player option for year two, we can safely assume Arthur’s 2015-16 salary is guaranteed. That would give Denver 15 players with guaranteed salaries plus two without (Kostas Papanikolaou and Erick Green). Papanikolaou has not yet been waived, but it’s likely only a matter of time. Arthur’s return probably squeezes out Green.

Contrary to prior reports, Nuggets not waiving Kostas Papanikolaou. Yet.

Blake Griffin, Kostas Papanikolaou

When Denver acquired Kostas Papanikolaou from Houston, reports came almost immediately that Denver would waive the small forward out of Greece. Denver already has 14 fully guaranteed contracts, most teams only carry that many players, and if the Nuggets keep a 15th it could be Erick Green (who is set to make nearly $4 million less).

Maybe the Nuggets ultimately will waive Papanikolaou, but not yet.

From Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post.

For more detail, there is this from eurohoops.net, transcribed by Hoopshype.

On Saturday night, there were rumors about Denver releasing him. However at this point there are just rumors. Until now, the player’s side has no knowledge for this matter and the Nuggets hasn’t informed them about those kinds of intentions. According to Eurohoops sources, the Nuggets’ plan when they acquired Papanikolaou was to keep him in their roster and take their decision about him during Eurobasket, probably at the end of the tournament. That was their intention and that’s why they didn’t try to use his contract as a trade asset.

The Nuggets have until Oct. 4 to make a decision on Papanikolaou, that is when his $4.8 million contract for the next season becomes fully guaranteed.

What Denver wants to see is what kind of growth he has made. Papanikolaou was the best Houston player off the bench the first month of the season — he could play the three or the four and was a fantastic passer. As the season wore on the league seemed to catch up with him, and once the team traded for Corey Brewer and Josh Smith Papanikolaou dropped far down the rotation. Then he suffered a pretty severe ankle sprain and barely saw the court after the All-Star break. For the season he got in 43 games, shot 35 percent overall and 29.2 percent from three. To use a good snapshot, he had a PER of 7.8, which usually means a guy should be in the D-League or overseas.

The Nuggets can afford to watch Papanikolaou through the upcoming Eurobasket then even at workouts at their facilities at the start of training camp. They can see if the guy from the first part of the season is still there.

But the smart money — because Denver would save so much of it — is that he still eventually is cut. He’s going to have to prove

Report: Nuggets to waive Kostas Papanikolaou, acquired in Ty Lawson trade

Blake Griffin, Kostas Papanikolaou

Probably the most noteworthy piece the Nuggets got back from the Rockets for embattled point guard Ty Lawson in last month’s trade was second-year Greek forward Kostas Papanikolaou. He didn’t play much in his rookie season in Houston, but the former second-round pick showed flashes of versatility and seemed like a candidate to stay on the Nuggets’ roster despite his $4.7 million salary being unguaranteed.

Apparently not. Eurobasket.com’s David Pick says the Nuggets are cutting him loose:

As former Nets executive and salary-cap guru Bobby Marks points out, letting Papanikolaou go puts Denver about $7 million below the salary cap, leaving them well-positioned to take back salary in a trade, either trading for an impact player or taking back a contract to get a pick from another team. If they didn’t view Papanikolaou as a long-term piece in their rebuild, the cap space is probably more valuable to them going forward.

There’s a good chance Papanikolaou gets picked up by another team between now and training camp, as he’s still a highly regarded prospect around the league.

Report: Rockets to pursue Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge, looking to trade Terrence Jones

Cleveland Cavaliers v Portland Trail Blazers

Kevin Love opted out. LaMarcus Aldridge seems increasingly likely to leave Portland.

So, of course, the Rockets are interested.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Let’s say the Rockets:

  • Trade Terrence Jones without taking any salary in return
  • Renounce all their free agents, including Patrick Beverley and K.J. McDaniels
  • Waive Kostas Papanikolaou (unguaranteed) and Pablo Prigioni (partially guaranteed)

They’d still project to have just $12 million in cap space – well below the $19 million max for Love and Aldridge.

Signing one of those star power forwards would almost certainly mean dealing Trevor Ariza, and it would probably require sacrificing significant depth, too.

And that might be worth it. Either Love or Aldridge would complement James Harden and Dwight Howard well. Then, Houston could recoup depth when the salary cap spikes in 2016, providing more flexibility.

It’s an easy plan to get behind. It’s just much harder to execute, though bank on Daryl Morey trying.