Houston Rockets: Three Options For Kostas Papanikolaou


We’re almost here.

Yes, other than the playoffs, the most fun time of the NBA season — or off season, that is — is the NBA draft as well as free agency.

Your Houston Rockets are expected to make a little noise this year, maybe not as much as last season but still considerable.

You know general manager Daryl Morey will consider all and any offers thrown at him.


Because he currently feels that this team always has room to improve and is never satisfied with the end product.

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He just settles with what he has.

And you know what?

That’s fine with me.

I sometimes criticize his tendency to not get too attached to players but that’s how you have to be when you’re running a business like he does.

Since his arrival in 2007, we’ve fielded some good teams, not as much so now but a watchable, quality product out on the court.

As with the many decisions the Rockets will make this off season, one still hasn’t been solidified as of yet and they have to do it by June 29.

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  • What to do with Kostas Papanikolaou?

    Although it had been reported that the Rockets were going to pick up the $4.8 million option, the club themselves have yet to confirm.

    Rockets vice president Gersson Rosas, one of the most powerful employees of the organization said that ” a decision has not been made.”


    I wouldn’t read much into that quote because the Rockets are being coy and it’s quite understandable they don’t want to spill the beans on their strategy.

    The franchise has said that they do want to bring him back though.

    Here’s what I think, the Rockets will pick up that option.

    It’s a no-brainer — it gives the ultimate flex in signing other players to the roster and his option is not guaranteed so the Rockets don’t have to pay him a dime until Oct. 4.

    That’s means he’ll have to work for it.

    If they do, the Rockets have three ways they can go since they have Papanikolaou’s non-Bird rights:

    1.)  Likely:  Guarantee his option before Oct. 4 if things go well.

    2.)  Possibly:  Decline the option now making him a restricted free agent and then re-sign him if things go well.  His price tag shoots up to about $6 million if they do this.

    3.) Scorched-Earth:  Renounce his rights, don’t make a offer and let him loose.  The Rockets would free up about $5.8 million of cap space.

    Here’s what I think they’ll do — they’ll pick up that option because it’s technically the most financially prudent one.

    Why would the other two even be considered?

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    It just doesn’t make good business sense but I’m not the guy running the show, but I’d definitely endorse option #1.

    Papanikolaou, 24, averaged 4.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG while shooting 35 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from behind-the-arc in 43 games in 2014-15.

    A lot of his playing time evaporated this past season because of a knee injury and the acquisition of Josh Smith.

    Dana Gauruder of Hoops Rumors said that Papanik had averaged 6.1 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 24.6 minutes pre-Smith and just 2.3 PPG, 1.5 RPG in 12.1 minutes post-Smith.

    But he still has value and I’d like to see the Rockets retain him.

    Things are about to get hectic this week so fasten your seat belts, this ride may get a bit bumpy!

    Go Rockets!

    Next: Who Should The Rockets Target? Lamarcus, Lawson Or Love?