16 - Kostas Papanikolaou

6-9, 230 Small Forward
Greece International
07/31/90 (33.2 yrs)
Trikala, Greece
International Team
Euroleague Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Bostjan Nachbar

Strengths:  Competitive lefty small forward with nice three point shot … What he lacks in agility/fluidity, he makes up for in determination …  Aggressive defender that will block shots … Has really long arms, which helps him in rebounding and defending/deflecting … Very good mechanics on his shot and can shoot with range and consistency … Strong basketball IQ/feel for the game … Player with a high level of intensity/motor … Hard working kid. Confident. Very strong mentally, a true competitor … Shows leadership ability, encouraging teammates and pushing them … Will surprise with highlight reel dunks. A deceptive athlete that can explode on the rim if defenders get caught napping … Despite lacking great foot speed, utilizes the dribble drive well with excellent handles and finishing ability …

Weaknesses: Average athlete for the NBA. Lacks fluidity, start/stop… Slow footed, particularly laterally will make defending athletic NBA wings a challenge for him … First step is average making it easier for defenders to crowd him … Greek players have historically had a very difficult time adjusting to playing and living in the US, and for that matter the rest of Europe, so that is another factor that could diminish Papanikolaou’s stock some …

Overall: Thanks to his two years of experience playing at a high level in the Euroleague with Olympiacos, Papanikolaou has improved his intangibles a lot. Two years ago he was only known as a formidable shooter needing huge improvement, and now, even if it is not his main ability, he can defend against the best small forwards in Europe, can grab key rebounds and help his team in many ways … A legitimate factor for a Final Four team (Olympiacos) at just 21 years of age … Thanks to his shooting ability, he reminds some of Greek player Antonis Fotsis, who played for Memphis Grizzlies in 2001-2002 NBA season … Greek players often get stereotyped for being too laid back, but that’s not the case with Papanikolaou … He may never be the star who scores lots of points as he was in junior competitions, but has become a good supporting player who can have a nice impact in the NBA.

Lorenzo Moretti 5/12/12

Strengths: Lefty Forward who has good form on his jumper…has a strong wide body in the post and is not afraid to fight for position…his greatest strength is his jump shot as he is a good shooter both at the free throw line and behind the arc…when defenses crowd his shots he has the ability to drive and go to the hole…2009 Greek Best Young Player…MVP of the 2009 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championships where he led Greece to the Gold Medal…2010 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championships Silver Medalist and All-Tournament team member…In August of 2009 made his first appearance with the Greek National Team.

Weaknesses: He is a classic European 3/4 not quick enough to guard 3’s and not tall or athletic enough to guard 4’s…He is a pure spot up shooter needs to demonstrate he can create and hit is own shot…while he has been able to get to the hole at the Junior and European level he has not yet demonstrated he would be able to pick up the quicker pace of the NBA gamae…lacks a reliable right hand dribble.

YouTube Clip – 2/9/2012