Papagiannis waived by Portland
Georgios Papagiannis is rumoured to be on his way back to the Greek Basket League after being waived by the Portland Trail Blazers…
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Panathinaikos are favourites to acquire Georgios Papagiannis’ services for the upcoming season after the Greek international was waived by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Papagiannis, who was acquired by Portland towards the end of last season after being released by the Sacramento Kings, is expected to make a return to European basketball after a difficult time in the NBA.
Sacramento acquired Papagiannis’ rights on draft night of the 2016 NBA Draft after the Phoenix Suns selected the Athens native with the 13th pick in the draft – the record highest a Greek player has been drafted in NBA history.
A turbulent time with the Kings from the start of the 2016/2017 NBA season saw Papagiannis ultimately spend more time with the club’s NBA G League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns.
Sacramento waived Papagiannis on 8 February, 2018 before Portland signed the 21-year-old to an initial 10-day contract 8 March, 2018. Portland would go on to sign Papagiannis to a two-year contract on 18 March.
Despite showing a keenness to acquire Papagiannis’ services, Portland hardly used the Greek big man as he ended up playing just four minutes in a Trail Blazers uniform.
Free of his contractual obligations in the NBA, Papagiannis is expected to return to European basketball with former club Panathinaikos the betting favourites to re-acquire his services.
Having started his professional career with Peristeri in 2012, Papagiannis left the club in 2013 to attend high school in the United States. Upon his return to Greece at the start of the 2014 season, Panathinaikos signed Papagiannis to a two-year deal with an opt-out clause for the second year.
Despite flirting with the prospect of attending college in 2015, Papagiannis ultimately decided to remain with Panathinaikos for the second year of his contract and ultimately went on to win the second of back-to-back Greek Cup titles with the Trifylli.
Should Papagiannis return to Panathinaikos, he will be the fourth acquisition the club have made this offseason following the arrivals of Stephane Lasme, Ioannis Papapetrou, and Keith Langford.