( 4UMF NEWS ) Knicks Select Greek In Draft Pick:
The NBA Draft is all Greek to the Knicks.
Glen Grunwald, in his first draft as general manager, used the 48th overall pick to select Kostas Papanikolaou, a 6-foot-8 forward who plays for Olympiacos in his native Greece. Grunwald made the pick with the understanding that Papanikolaou may not come to the NBA for another two years.
It was a low-risk choice and one that was probably celebrated in the Greek community of Astoria, Queens but booed by Knicks fans attending the NBA Draft in Newark, New Jersey.
Of course, those booing are not exactly experts in European basketball, a place where Manu Ginobili and most recently former Knick Danilo Gallinari got their start. In fact, the San Antonio Spurs, who have a been light years ahead of most franchises when it comes to drafting international players, recently met with the 21-year-old Papanikolaou.
Some draft experts rated Papanikolaou, who won a Euro title with Olympiacos, as a first round talent. This issue is when and if he’ll be able to get out of his contract with his Greek club. He is under contract for two more years but could be bought out after next season.
Papanikolaou plays for the Greece national team and could end up facing Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and the United States at the London Olympics. Greece will play a qualifying tournament in 10 days.