Georgios Papagiannis

Eastern Notes: Cavs, Rubio, Tsai, Bucks, Papagiannis, Bridges

The Cavaliersagreement with Ricky Rubio remains flexible and could eventually become a sign-and-trade with the Pacers, sources tell Chris Fedor of Rubio, who suffered a torn left ACL last December, isn’t expected to be able to play for the first two or three months of the season, so the Cavs want to explore other point guard options.

If they do a sign-and-trade with Rubio, they’d be able to use their $10.4MM mid-level exception to address that area, and Fedor suggests that another signing could be reported sometime this weekend.

Bringing back Rubio was “Plan A” for the team, Fedor adds, after he helped fuel a surprising rise to contention last season. Serving as a veteran component in a young backcourt, Rubio averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 34 games before the injury. Cleveland was 20-14 with Rubio last season, but only 24-24 when he didn’t play.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Nets owner Joe Tsai is fed up with the drama surrounding the organization and won’t mind parting with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Vardon notes that Tsai has been willing to pay the luxury tax in the three seasons since Durant and Irving arrived, but he hasn’t gotten much in return, with just one playoff series win in that time. Other distractions, such as the coaching change involving Kenny Atkinson, the trades to acquire and then unload James Harden, the addition of Ben Simmons when he wasn’t ready to play, and Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated have all tested Tsai’s patience, Vardon adds.
  • The Bucks have some interest in former first-round pick Georgios Papagiannis, tweets Dionysis Aravantinos of HoopsHype. The Greek center fizzled out quickly after being selected at No. 13 in the 2016 draft — playing 38 games for the Kings and one for the Trail Blazers — but he has been a star in Europe, earning a spot on the All-EuroLeague Second Team this year. Papagiannis is still under contract to Panathinaikos, so Milwaukee would have to arrange a buyout, but Aravantinos doesn’t see that as an obstacle.
  • The wife of Hornets forward Miles Bridges has posted several photographs showing injuries that she says were caused when he attacked her this week, as Amy Woodyatt and Jacob Lev of CNN write. Bridges was arrested on Wednesday and charged with felony domestic violence. His next court date is scheduled for July 20, per CNN’s report.

Canada, Greece, Turkey Set World Cup Rosters

While USA Basketball had its share of withdrawals this summer leading up to the 2019 World Cup, there’s a strong case for Team Canada being the national team hit hardest by a lack of participation from NBA players.

Team Canada formally announced its 12-man World Cup roster today. As expected, the group features just two NBA players: Kings point guard Cory Joseph and Magic center Khem Birch. As we outlined earlier this month, the list of Canadians not participating in the World Cup includes Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tristan Thompson, Trey Lyles, Dillon Brooks, Dwight Powell, RJ Barrett, and several other NBA players.

The national teams for Greece and Turkey also announced their final 12-man rosters for the World Cup, and both squads feature multiple current NBA players.

Bucks teammates – and brothers – Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo headline the Greek squad, with former NBA players like Kostas Papanikolaou, Nick Calathes, and Georgios Papagiannis helping to fill out the roster.

On the Turkish national team, Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova, Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman, and Sixers guard Furkan Korkmaz are the headliners. Former Celtics and Cavaliers center Semih Erden is also part of Turkey’s 12-man roster.

The World Cup will officially get underway in China on Saturday with an eight-game schedule, though Canada, Greece, and Turkey won’t take the court until Sunday.

Georgios Papagiannis Signs Long-Term Deal With Panathinaikos

Georgios Papagiannis‘ time in the NBA is over, at least for now. After spending two seasons with the Kings and Trail Blazers, Papagiannis is heading back to Greece, having signed a five-year contract with Panathinaikos, the team announced today (Twitter link).

Papagiannis, 21, was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2016 draft by the Kings, who had traded down from No. 8. It was a surprising pick at the time, and the 7’1″ center was unable to prove skeptics wrong during his brief NBA stint. He appeared in just 38 games for Sacramento before being waived in February as part of a series of trade-deadline moves.

Although Papagiannis caught on the with the Trail Blazers to end the 2017/18 campaign, the club waived him earlier this week, clearing a path for him to return to his old team in Greece. Papagiannis played for Panathinaikos from 2014 to 2016 before he made the leap to the NBA.

Northwest Notes: Noel, Thomas, Favors, Blazers

Five years removed from being drafted No. 6 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, newly-acquired Thunder big man Nerlens Noel is looking to rehabilitate both his game and reputation in Oklahoma City, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman.

A one-and-done talent at college powerhouse Kentucky, Noel is aware of the rumors surrounding his game – that he’s a talented but unwilling to work – but he’s ready to come out this season and turn things around.

The Thunder are ready for that too, which is why head coach Billy Donovan and All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George all made recruiting pitches to Noel on the first night of free agency.

“I’m excited about having him,” Donovan said. “He’s early in his career, and I know his career probably hasn’t evolved into what he’d hoped when he was a rookie. But he’s still very young, and he’s still got a lot of time to continue to get better.”

Noel has yet to have much of any success at the NBA level so far. He sat out his first season in Philadelphia recovering from injury and then saw his playing time dwindle after the Sixers drafted up-and-coming star Joel Embiid. But now that Noel feels he has a new home where winning is a priority, he is ready to prove his worth.

“You want to be in a situation where you’re wanted on a team that really wants to win,” Noel said. “That means the utmost to me, and that’s what my game is. I don’t think playing on teams that are really headed in the other direction complements me as well or makes me look as good as I might want to.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Armed with deep motivation after having his career curtailed by injury, Nuggets point guard Isaiah Thomas is eager to play for a team who wanted him, reports Christopher Dempsey of Thomas, who played for head coach Mike Malone in Sacramento during his breakout season in 2013-14, credits Malone’s trust in him as a key to his continued success.
  • Per Aaron Falk of UtahJazz.comJazz forward Derrick Favors is looking for an increased role on offense next season. During his free agent meeting with Utah’s front office, the two parties spoke about getting Favors more cuts to the basket and playing out of pick-and-roll or dribble-handoffs more often.
  • The Trail Blazers have made a couple of minor roster moves in the past day or so, deciding to retain guard Wade Baldwin and part ways with center Georgios Papagiannis.

Trail Blazers Waive Georgios Papagiannis

The Trail Blazers have waived former lottery pick Georgios Papagiannis, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). It’s the second time this year that Papagiannis will hit the waiver wire.

Papagiannis, the 13th overall pick in the 2016 draft, spent a season and a half in Sacramento but played sparingly for the Kings, averaging 4.2 PPG and 3.2 RPG in 38 games (12.4 MPG). The Kings cut their losses in February, releasing Papagiannis as part of a series of moves at the trade deadline.

The Greek center caught on with the Trail Blazers in March, but never carved out a role in Portland either. While his contract with the team covered the 2018/19 season, his $1,544,951 salary was non-guaranteed, and he always seemed likely to be waived, particularly once the Blazers decided to retain Wade Baldwin as their 15th player.

Papagiannis will become an unrestricted free agent later this week when he clears waivers, but he won’t remain on the open market for long. Wojnarowski indicates that the 21-year-old intends to sign a deal with a Greek team, and that club is expected to be Panathinaikos, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relayed earlier this week.

Blazers To Retain Guard Wade Baldwin

The Trail Blazers will retain guard Wade Baldwin and guarantee his contract for next season, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian reports.

Baldwin’s $1,544,951 salary will be guaranteed once he remains on the roster through Thursday. Baldwin will claim the 15th spot on the roster and center Georgios Papagiannis is expected to be waived, Freeman adds. The team also had a Thursday deadline to guarantee Papagiannis’ salary.

Baldwin solidified his roster spot with a strong showing in the summer league. The former first-round pick by the Grizzlies joined Portland last season on a two-way contract after Memphis waived him, then received a standard contract in March. He played seven regular-season games with the Trail Blazers last season after playing in 33 games with the Grizzlies.

He then appeared in three of Portland’s four postseason games against the Pelicans. Baldwin earned spot duty in the rotation with his tenacious on-ball defense, Freeman notes.

Papagiannis appeared in just one game with Portland last season after seeing action in 38 games over two seasons with the Kings.

Georgios Papagiannis May Return To Europe

After two unproductive NBA seasons, Georgios Papagiannis is considering a return to the EuroLeague, according to Aharale Weisberg of Walla, an Israeli news site.

Papagiannis is still under contract with the Trail Blazers, but his $1,544,951 salary for next season doesn’t become guaranteed until July 19. He appeared in just one game for Portland after signing with the team in March.

The 21-year-old center was the 13th pick by the Kings in the 2016 draft, but was never able to establish himself in Sacramento. Papagiannis spent most of his time in the G League before being released in February. He appeared in 38 total games for the Kings, averaging 4.2 PPG and 3.2 RPG per night.

If Papagiannis does return to Europe, his former team, Panathinaikos is among the front-runners to sign him, along with Olympiacos.

Northwest Notes: Udoh, Thunder, Tolliver, Blazers

The Jazz have been relatively generous during free agency so far this summer compared to most teams, handing out a two-year, $36MM contract to forward Derrick Favors, agreeing to a three-year, $33MM deal with backup guard Dante Exum, and reaching terms on a two-year, $4MM pact with seldom-used guard Raul Neto.

Furthermore, Utah has already guaranteed the 2018/19 salary of Thabo Sefolosha, who was limited to only 39 games last season. As such, it would appear that the Jazz are intent on sticking with their 2017/18 roster for now, which means that both Jonas Jerebko and Ekpe Udoh can be cautiously optimistic while waiting for their 2018/19 salary to become guaranteed.

Udoh in particular, who averaged 2.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 63 games for the Jazz last season, and whose $3.36MM salary becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on Utah’s roster past July 9, is trying to remain positive while awaiting Utah’s decision on his future, writes Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News.

“You know, we’ll see what happens,” Udoh told the Deseret News. “I’m grateful. I’m getting great workouts at the facility. I’ve been here pretty much since the season has been over outside of a couple trips, but I’ve just been getting in good work.”

Per Woodyard, Udoh is excited and prepared to return in a Jazz uniform next season, but also understands the business-like nature of the NBA.

“It’s gonna be a fun season,” Udoh said. “The West has gotten better but we’ve gotten better and we’re gonna be the same team next year. Starting last year, you didn’t know what you were going to get with so many new pieces, but now we’ll be ready from the beginning.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman writes that although Paul George did in fact want to be a Laker at this time last year, he is now happy in Oklahoma City after signing a four-year, $137MM max contract with the Thunder on the eve of free agency.
  • According to Jerry Zgoda of the Star TribuneTimberwolves’ free-agent signee forward Anthony Tolliver chose a return to Minnesota over four other pursuing teams because of the familiarity he has for the franchise – he played for the Wolves from 2010 to 2012 – and because “(he) want(s) to win.”
  • While it’s probably a bit bold to get too excited about the free agent signing of a backup, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes that the addition of 24 year-old center Nerlens Noel on a minimum-salary deal is a low-risk, high-reward move by the Thunder.
  • Per Joe Freeman of The Oregonian, a couple of key subplots have emerged for the Trail Blazers during the team’s summer league minicamp. First, it’s an opportunity for Portland to get a first-hand look at rookies Anfernee Simons and Gary Trent Jr. in an NBA practice. Moreover, both Wade Baldwin and Georgios Papagiannis are fighting for their NBA lives while Jake Layman looks to secure a more prominent role for next season.

Blazers Sign Papagiannis Through 2018/19 Season

MARCH 18, 12:54pm: The Blazers have reached an agreement with Papagiannis that will run through 2018/19, the team announced on its website.

MARCH 17, 7:00pm: The Trail Blazers will sign center Georgios Papagiannis for the remainder of the regular season, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The 20-year-old signed a 10-day contract with Portland last week that was set to expire. The Blazers could have made another 10-day offer to the seven-footer, but are choosing to keep him on the roster throughout the season.

Papagiannis was the 13th player taken in the 2016 draft, but he had a lackluster rookie season with the Kings, appearing in just 22 games and averaging 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per night. He played 16 more games for Sacramento this season before being waived at the trade deadline to open a roster space.

Papagiannis hasn’t seen any playing time since joining the Trail Blazers.

Trail Blazers Sign Georgios Papagiannis To 10-Day Deal

MARCH 8, 12:16pm: The signing is official, the Blazers announced on their website.

MARCH 6, 7:15pm: The Trail Blazers are signing center Georgios Papagiannis to a 10-day contract, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Kings waived Papagiannis on February 8 after completing a three-team trade with the Cavaliers and Jazz.

Papagiannis, 20, was one of the Kings’ first-round picks (13th overall) in the 2016 draft after the team traded down from the eighth overall pick. He struggled in 38 career games with Sacramento, averaging 4.2 PPG and 3.2 RPG; his field-goal percentage also took a hit this season, going from .549 to .415.

The 7’1″ center’s agent, Marios Olympios, criticized the Kings’ treatment of Papagiannis after he was waived. Olympios cited Papagiannis’ performance with the G League’s Reno Bighorns, where he averaged 13.5 PPG and 9.7 RPG in 10 contests, as a sign that can perform at a high level.

“He (Papagiannis) never got a chance by the Kings,” Olympios said on the Greek radio station Sport FM, Aris Barkas of Euro Hoops writes “He had a double-double every time he played in the G-League. He had to travel for two and a half hours everytime he was assigned to Reno and still he performed. There are many details that prove that he never got a real chance”.

Papagiannis figures to battle for playing time with the likes of Jusuf Nurkic, Ed Davis and Zach Collins present on the depth chart.