Combo forward Kostas Papanikolaou was surprised by the Nuggets waiving him prior to Thursday’s leaguewide guarantee date, his agent George Sfairopoulos told Greek radio station Sport FM, according to Eurohoops.net. “Papanikolaou had many talks with people of the team, both from the front office and the coaching staff, and also I have spoken with assistant general manager Arturas Karnisovas. We have been told that the team will pick up his option for the rest of the season. However, that’s life and we are ready to respond to every situation,” Sfairopoulos said.
The agent also noted that if Papanikolaou decides to return to Europe to play, Barcelona of Spain would have the first opportunity to sign him. “Barcelona has his rights for Europe and the first word. If Kostas gets an offer from an other team, Barcelona can match it and sign him,” said Sfairopoulos. “At this point Kostas wants to get minutes on the court. That’s his number one priority.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- While he would prefer to be on an NBA roster, combo guard Jimmer Fredette is enjoying the opportunity to play he is receiving in the D-League, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports writes. “It wasn’t necessarily a letdown because I knew I had to do some things to get onto a team where I can thrive,” Fredette told Spears about being in the D-League. “That wasn’t going to be the case at the beginning of the year if you get to that 15th roster spot and then you sit there and don’t play much. It was kind of a breath of fresh air to go out and know you’re going to get some playing time, be able to play, do what you do, gain some confidence and get some reps. That was the biggest thing for me when I talked to my agent and my family, was to get reps, get confidence back and be able to show people what I can do again.”
- Fredette also told Spears that he considered overseas options in Italy, Greece, Serbia and Australia before deciding to join the D-League, and returning to the NBA is his primary goal. “I am playing basketball for the love of the game, but I also want to do what’s best for my career and my family. So whatever that is, we will take that path. We will see what happens in the future,” Fredette said.
- The Lakers have assigned Tarik Black and Ryan Kelly to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be the fourth stint with the D-Fenders on the season for both players.
- The Thunder recalled Josh Huestis from their D-League affiliate, the team announced via press release.