2012 NBA Draft: Introducing the New York Knicks' No. 48 Pick Kostas Papanikolaou
With the pick, the team selected Kostas Papanikolaou—a 6'8", 230-pound Greek forward.
Papanikolaou played for Olympiacos in his native Greece last season, averaging 7.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 0.4 blocks per game.
He also shot 51 percent from the field, 35 percent from three-point land and 67 percent from the foul line.
More importantly, he helped lead Olympiacos to the 2012 Euroleague title as he scored a career-high 18 points in the championship game against Moscow. He was named MVP of the Euroleague Final Four.
He likely won’t be available to take his talents to the NBA until the 2013-14 season, since he's under contract with Olymiacos. So obviously, he’s a “draft-and-stash” player rather that a guy who can come in and provide immediate help off he bench.
Knicks fans—waiting close to four hours to see their team pick—didn’t seem very ecstatic when Papanikolaou’s name was called by NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver.
They were probably expecting the Knicks to take someone like Iona’s Scott Machado or West Virgina’s Kevin Jones—two players who surprisingly went undrafted.
However, Papanikolaou could win fans over eventually.
Sure, the No. 48 pick in the draft doesn’t often turn out to have a huge impact, but Marc Gasol was chosen at that spot back in 2007 and he’s currently one of the league’s better big men.
Papanikolaou has the potential to be a rotation player in New York as he can provide energy and has the ability play defense.
Unfortunately, the NBA world won't get to see what he can do for another few years or so.
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