Berman: Blazers International F Kostas Papanikolaou Generates Trade Interest

Christof Koepsel

The New York Knicks are reportedly one of a number of teams interested in trading for Greek forward Kostas Papanikolaou, whose rights are held by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports that the New York Knicks are one of a number of teams interested in trading for Greek forward Kostas Papanikolaou, whose rights are held by the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Knicks have offered future second-round picks and future considerations (cash) to Portland in an attempt to regain the rights to small forward Kostas Papanikolaou, according to sources. The Trail Blazers have rebuffed the Knicks and were asking for their 24th pick in a swap with Portland's 39th pick Thursday night to pony up the 6-foot-9 Greek.

...

According to sources, Papanikolaou, who won his second straight Euroleague championship for Olympiakos last month, is being shopped by the Blazers - at the request of his agent, Marc Cornstein.

...

According to sources, Portland has received offers for Papanikolaou from others teams with picks in the late 20s. It appears Portland GM Neil Oshey wants to wait until draft night to determine who is available. The Blazers believe if Papanikolaou were in this year's draft, he'd easily be a first-rounder.

"His strong desire is to play in the NBA next season,'' Cornstein told The Post yesterday. "He's won two straight Euroleague titles. If that can't happen in Portland, maybe it can happen somewhere else.''

The Blazers acquired Papanikolaou's rights from the Knicks in a July 2012 sign-and-trade involving Raymond Felton. Papanikolaou said in a March interview that he dreams of playing in the NBA and there was some chatter last fall that he might be brought over by the Blazers for the 2013-14 season. That talk subsided though, as noted back on May 1.

Papanikolaou's international agent suggested back in May that he expected his client to be traded.

Papanikolaou, the No. 48 pick in last year's draft, won the Euroleague's 2012-13 Rising Stars Trophy this year.

Thanks to Norsktroll in the FanShots.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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