Draft Wraps Up Quasi-Eventful Week for Knicks

The draft marked the symbolic end of a week so blah that Indiana and Golden State saw more drama. In truth though, it has been an important week for New York if a boring one. Nothing really happened, but the stage is set for some potentially good outcomes.

Amid a chorus of boos, face palms and Scooby-Doo faces, the Knicks selected Kostas Papanikolaou, a forward in Greece’s top pro league. I suspect that fan reaction was just animosity toward an unfamiliar name. Odds are that Papanikolaou will take his place in the annals of European would-be 2nd round steals, right alongside Maciej Lampe, Slavko Vranes, and Milos Vujanic, assuming he ever makes it to New York. I cannot speak intelligently about young Mr. Papanikolaou’s upside, but this seemed like the perfect draft-and-stash opportunity so Grunwald didn’t overthink it. Good for him. Little point in adding more specialists or limited upside/undersized guys to this roster.

In what is perhaps an under-reported story, Amare Stoudamire (evidently when he’s not tweeting) will be enlisting in Camp Olajuwon this summer. My initial impression is to say that this sort of thing only matters at the margins, if at all. But Stoudemire’s decision to consult Olajuwon is encouraging on its face. For many aging/injured stars, an unwillingness to make concessions new limitations is a bigger problem than the actual limitations. Stoudemire may no longer be a cloud-piercing athlete, but he’s plenty athletic enough to be a hugely important piece of a top four seed in the East. I just hope that 75% of his time with Olajuwon is spent on defensive footwork.

Of course, the big story is the settlement between the league and NBA Player’s Association on “Bird Rights” for waived players. The settlement likely allows NY to return last season’s roster in tact and add some much-needed backcourt depth without exceeding the tax threshold. NY is likely to concentrate on re-signing its own players, and perhaps bring in a backup guard in trade/free agency. OJ Mayo hitting the unrestricted market may benefit NY by pushing another guy down into the mini-MLE/veteran minimum range.

Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Jun 30 2012)

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks point to Nash in free agency (Sat, 30 Jun 2012 02:56:03 GMT)

    Steve Nash’s agent should expect a call from the Knicks just after midnight Saturday night, when the free agency madness officially begins.

  • [New York Times] Knicks Get Boost in Effort to Retain Lin With Bird Rights (Sat, 30 Jun 2012 05:19:37 GMT)

    A settlement involving so-called Bird rights will allow the Knicks to exceed the N.B.A. salary cap to re-sign Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Basketball: Lamar Odom Traded to Clippers (Sat, 30 Jun 2012 05:30:08 GMT)

    Mo Williams will leave the Clippers and be reunited with the Utah Jazz as part of a four-team deal that will send Lamar Odom from Dallas back to Los Angeles.

  • [New York Times] Williams Returning to Jazz; Odom Heads to LA (Sat, 30 Jun 2012 01:54:32 GMT)

    Mo Williams will be reunited with the Utah Jazz as part of a four-team deal that will send Lamar Odom back to Los Angeles for a second chance with the Clippers.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: A Homecoming, of Sorts, for a Kansas Star (Sat, 30 Jun 2012 02:59:10 GMT)

    Kansas point guard Tyshawn Taylor, a Hoboken, N.J., native, was picked up by the Nets in the final N.B.A. draft before their move to Brooklyn.

  • [New York Post] Free-agent market calls for Linsanity (Sat, 30 Jun 2012 04:48:19 -0500)

    What is the market value for point guard Jeremy Lin? Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald can’t wait to find out now that Lin officially has his early Bird rights after the NBA dropped its appeal last night.
    According to people familiar with the Knicks’ strategy, Grunwald will be patient…

  • [New York Post] Agent: Papanikolaou will play for Knicks in a couple of years (Sat, 30 Jun 2012 04:29:27 -0500)

    Marc Cornstein, the New York-based agent for Greek small forward Kostas Papanikolaou, said he expects his client will play for the Knicks in 2013-14, despite a two-year contract with Olympiacos.
    “He definitely wants to play in the NBA, it’s a lifelong dream of his,” Cornstein told The Post. “He…

  • NBA Settles “Bird” Rights Issue for Waived Players

    The NBA has settled its dispute with the Players Association over the rights of waived players. The compromise is that players waived under traditional methods can gain “Early Bird” rights (their team being allowed to resign them for up to the average NBA salary) but not “Bird” rights (being able to resign them for more than the average salary). However, players waived under the amnesty provision will be able to obtain Bird rights. So Chauncey Billups and JJ Hickson will have full Bird rights with their current teams (which is great news for the Blazers, who were likely going to lose Hickson otherwise) while Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak will have Early Bird rights with the Knicks, which is fine, as neither player could get any more than Early Bird rights anyways (as both are on two year deals).

    So this is great news! The longshot paid off! And now the Knicks can resign Lin, resign Novak, resign Fields, resign JR Smith (if he will come back for the $2.8 million salary), resign Jeffries for the vet minimum and still go out and spend $3 million on a good back-up point guard for Lin.

    Congrats to the Knicks!

    Kostas Papanikolaou Nicknames!

    Pick a Nickname for Kostas Papanikolaou

    • Big Papa (26%, 62 Votes)
    • Papanikolaounsanity (13%, 30 Votes)
    • Special K (13%, 30 Votes)
    • Air Plato (10%, 24 Votes)
    • The Balla from Trikala (10%, 23 Votes)
    • The Souvlaki Slasher (10%, 23 Votes)
    • The Greek Gallinari (6%, 15 Votes)
    • Gyrocopter (6%, 15 Votes)
    • The Not-As-Big-But-Still-Bigger-Than-Average Aristotle (5%, 11 Votes)
    • The Hellenic Hoopster (3%, 6 Votes)

    Total Voters: 239

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    Knicks Morning News (Friday, Jun 29 2012)

  • [New York Post] Knicks fans may never see 2nd-rounder in N.Y. (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 04:33:18 -0500)

    It’s all Greek to Knicks fans who thought the club would take a step forward last night in the NBA Draft in trying to win now and build up their bench.
    It wasn’t worth the wait. With the witching hour approaching, the Knicks selected late last night unheralded…

  • [New York Post] Bird-rights appeal could settle soon (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 04:23:25 -0500)

    The union and the NBA are closing in on a settlement to end the league’s Bird-rights appeal. The two sides made substantial progress during its weeklong talks on the case involving Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak, according to a league source.As one league official said, “I’d be…

  • [New York Post] Kentucky teammates Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist top NBA Draft (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 04:23:25 -0500)

    The No. 1 pick in the NBA draft came from Kentucky. The No. 2 pick came from Kentucky. Plus No. 18. And No. 29. No wonder Kentucky won it all.
    The NCAA champion Wildcats became the first team in history to land the top two picks in the collegiate draft…

  • [New York Daily News] Knicks draft Kostas Papanikolaou 48th overall (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 07:09:20 GMT)

    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.

  • [New York Newsday] Knicks pick Kostas Papanikolaou; sources: They're likely to win Lin, Novak cases (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 00:40:57 EDT)

    The Knicks appear to be headed to their second offseason victory in a week, and just in time for free agency.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Take Anthony Davis With Top Pick in Draft (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 06:33:44 GMT)

    The first two selections in the N.B.A. draft were Kentucky Wildcats, with Anthony Davis going to New Orleans and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist going to Charlotte.

  • [New York Times] Knicks’ Draft Pick Is Likely to Remain Overseas (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 05:47:21 GMT)

    The Knicks drafted Kostas Papanikolaou, a Greek forward, but he remains under contract with Olympiacos.

  • [New York Times] Pat Cummings, Rugged N.B.A. Forward, Dies at 55 (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 03:00:49 GMT)

    Cummings, a 12-season N.B.A. veteran, spent four seasons with the Knicks, averaging double-digit scoring in two of them.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Draft — Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas Obtained by Nets (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 05:22:02 GMT)

    The Nets, who are headed for Brooklyn from New Jersey, obtained the draft rights to Tyshawn Taylor, who was born in Hoboken and played point guard for Kansas.

  • [New York Times] Wade Needs Knee Surgery, Out of London Olympics (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 00:36:56 GMT)

    Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade needs surgery on his ailing left knee and will not play in next month’s London Olympics.

  • [New York Times] Davis to Bring ‘Fear the Brow’ Craze to NBA’s Hornets (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 02:18:06 GMT)

    Apart from his dynamic defensive skills, the NBA’s top draft pick Anthony Davis will bring a new look to the New Orleans Hornets, where “Fear the brow” will likely become a battle-cry for the NBA team.

  • [New York Times] First Round Draft Picks (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 00:41:58 GMT)

    First round selections in the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday at the Prudential Center

  • [New York Times] List of Top Draft Picks (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 00:12:21 GMT)

    Following is a list of number one picks in the NBA Draft. Anthony Davis was named the top overall pick by the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday.

  • [New York Times] New Orleans Swoop on Power Forward Davis (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 00:39:03 GMT)

    U.S. college player of the year Anthony Davis was taken with the number one pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday at the Prudential Center.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Former Knicks Big Man Cummings Dead at 55 (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 03:19:02 GMT)

    Former Knicks big man Pat Cummings is being remembered for his shooting touch and love for life. He died on Wednesday, at age 55.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Who Should the Knicks Pick? (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 03:16:08 GMT)

    Scott Machado, William Buford, and Jae Crowder are all potential picks for the New York Knicks in the N.B.A. draft.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Nash to the Knicks? Not So Fast (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 03:08:51 GMT)

    Knicks fans serenaded Steve Nash about joining their team as a free agent during his annual charity soccer match in Manhattan. Nash, for his part, said he’s keeping his options open.

  • [ESPN.com – New York Knicks] Grunwald: No potential rotation player at 48 (Fri, 29 Jun 2012 00:33:57 EDT)

    Ulf Duda/EB via Getty ImagesGlen Grunwald saw Kostas Papanikolaou as the Knicks’ best bet at 48.Kim English may have been the closest player to making some impact on the New York Knicks next season, based on his 45.9 percent 3-point shooting during his senior season at Missouri. But the Detroit Pistons selected him just four picks before the Knicks’ pick at 44.
    Once the Knicks were on the clock, GM Glen Grunwald didn’t believe any of the remaining draft prospects could cut next season’s rotation.

  • With the 407th pick, the Knicks select….. wait for it….. Kostas Papanikolaou

    I’m probably missing a vowel or twelve in there somewhere. Anyway, with a few wish-listers falling in the final moments before the Knicks’ sole pick — Darius Miller and Doron Lamb just to name a pair — talk of snagging local hero Scott Machado or Marquette product Darius Johnson-Odom appeared close to actual commencement. Either would’ve made sense. Either would’ve fit, at least theoretically. Either would’ve been people we’ve heard of.

    And then… VOWELS.

    Not much is known about the 6’9″ Greek Big who carried his team — Olympiakos — to the EuroBasket title. At least I think that’s what it’s called. Or is that the soccer thing? Whatever. The few highlights I’ve seen definitely point to potential, although, as with all things Continental, ceilings are pretty hard to decipher across the pond. This one had the most YouTube hits. Like, by a pretty wide margin. At 38,000. Still, pretty sick throw-down.

    OK look, it’s the 48th pick, so we probably shouldn’t get our boxers in a bind just yet. Hollinger seems to be a pretty big fan of the pick and — despite the fact that we’ll likely be stashing him away for another year or two — others seem to agree. Also, judging by his Wikipedia page, dude’s got enough precious metals to bail out the EuroZone. As for his stats? Well, I can’t understand them. Although 2.03 feet seems pretty short.

    Rest assured we’ll have more on Kostas as the days (dios?) unfold. But I think we can all agree that, at the very least, the Scott Layden Fairy has a real feel for the pillows.

    NYT Draft prospects / Draft chat

    So I wrote a thing over at the thing about three possible candidates for the Knicks’ pick tonight, which if I remember correctly is the 103rd:

    Having dealt away their first-round draft pick in the 2010 Tracy McGrady trade, the Knicks’ hopes for adding depth will now have to be realized in the second round. But while rotation-ready players are seldom found outside the top 30, the past two drafts have seen the Knicks walk away with a pair of finds – Landry Fields (2010) and Josh Harrellson (2011) – who both ended up making rookie year contributions.

    This year’s draft – which will be shown Thursday on ESPN – is one of the deepest in recent years. But it also marks one of the least dramatic, with many first-round mock boards showing similar selections. Where things get jumbled is in the second round, where “upside” becomes more difficult to pin down, and the line between contributor and roster flotsam can be thin.

    You can read about the actual candidates here. Once the show gets underway, feel free to use this as your dart board for Dion Waiters jokes. We’ll try and have something up about whomever the Knicks pick as soon as we can! In the mean time, if any y’all are hanging around Newark and wouldn’t mind pinning a sign that reads “I CLUB BABY PUFFINS” in blood red letters on Draymond Green’s suit, that’d be capital. Really need that guy to fall. To us.