Despite the fact that he has yet to log a single minute in a Trail Blazers uniform, Georgios Papagiannis already feels like part of the Rip City family. The 20-year old, signed Sunday through the 2018-19 season was released by the Sacramento Kings last month after appearing in just 16 games this season. Papagiannis, the 13th overall pick in the 2016 draft out of Greece, is ready for a fresh start in Portland. He recently sat down with George Efkarpides of Eurohoops to describe the experience.
On signing with the Blazers:
“I’m really-really happy being with this team. This is the best thing that has happened to me these last two years. Every person here has been exceptional. From the coach to the GM and the management, the staff. All the players are terrific characters. I’m just happy being here.”
On what he did after being released:
“I had an offer to return to Panathinaikos. I want to thank club owner Dimitris Giannakopoulos for giving that offer, believing in me and trusting me to potentially get back. But I chose to stay in the USA and examine my options. After I was waived by the Kings. I immediately moved to L.A. and started training there. Going to the gym, even doing some boxing in order to preserve my physical shape.”
On the possibility of playing for the Greek National Team this summer at the World Cup Qualifiers:
“Of course. It’s the biggest honor for every player to play for his country. I will talk with the coaches as well since this is a new team. I’ll see how to make in order to be there.”
Papagiannis averaged 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds over 38 games in two seasons with the Kings, registering 16 minutes a night as a rookie but only seven this season.
You can catch the whole interview with Papagiannis here.