September 18, 2017, 5:00 pm
Hoop Ball Kings’ brand new series that we are rolling out in the lead up to the 2017-18 NBA season continues. Over the next two months we will be doing a roundtable series which involves all three of our writers here at Hoop Ball Kings. We’ll be discussing various topics including season projections for each player on the Kings roster, record predictions and more.
First and foremost, we will run through every player currently on the Kings roster and provide our personal predictions for their output this season.
Georgios Papagiannis was a curious selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. He went 13th overall, and was a player that virtually no one had heard of. ESPN’s draft analysts’ were caught completely off guard, and so was the rest of the NBA world. Papagiannis spent most of last season in the G-League (formerly the D-League) with Reno, and he only played 18 minutes with the Kings prior to the All-Star break.
He was undeniably raw, as raw as a player can be but following the departure of DeMarcus Cousins more playing time was available for the rookie and he surprised everyone. He was far from perfect but he displayed some impressive touch around the rim and was a reliable source of rebounds. In 18 games following the All-Star break, Papagiannis posted averages of 6.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.8 blocks in 18.7 minutes per game. He shot a respectable 54.1 percent from the field too.
He still has many holes to fill in his game, but at just 20 years old he still has lots of time to grow. Will Papagiannis continue his upward trend from last season, or will he struggle to get his feet underneath him during his sophomore campaign?
Stat-line Prediction: 6.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.2 steals and 1.2 blocks. 55% FG, 12% 3PT, 68% FT.
Papagiannis could struggle for minutes early on, and may even take a backseat to Kosta Koufos. But as the season progresses forward, he should work his way into a solid rotational role. Don’t be surprised if he spends more time in Reno too. Spending time in Reno isn’t at all a bad thing either, as it proved highly beneficial for the youngster.
He’s eventually going to show some improvement across the board. Papagiannis needs to work hard on his defense for him to really make the leap into a reliable option. I still like he has upside and he could be a solid backup center for the Kings but it will take time and patience.
Stat-line Prediction: 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.2 steals and 0.9 blocks. 50% FG, 20% 3PT, 85% FT.
At 20 years old, Papagiannis is one of the most interesting players on the Kings’ roster. He’s not exactly a stretch big man, but he also doesn’t have the best game around the rim. He is still getting adjusted to the NBA speed and that’ll be something to watch during the upcoming season.
If Georgios is able to wrap his head around the game, he could have a significant impact with the Kings. He’s shown during practice and on short video clips that he can shoot to an extent, but didn’t utilize it as part of his repertoire last season.
He’s a liability on defense, but the same could be said about the rest of Sacramento’s big men. His minutes will more than likely range between 10 and 20 on any given night and depending on how he performs, he could see himself squeeze into the same role on the roster that Kosta Koufos has occupied.
Stat-line Prediction: 6.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.0 blocks. 53% FG, 0% 3PT, 78% FT.
Georgios Papagiannis was known to be a project when the Kings used the 13th overall pick on him in the 2016 NBA draft, and there have been definite signs of progress since that selection was made. Papagiannis has lost quite a bit of weight during the offseason, and he showed some confidence in his game at times towards the end of his rookie season.
While the progress that he’s made has been great, Papagiannis is still quite a ways away from a regular spot in an NBA rotation. He’ll still get some opportunities to show that he’s ready for a larger role, and showed some decent ability as both a rebounder and shot blocker at times last season, but with Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos both firmly ahead of him in the depth chart, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Papagiannis spend plenty of time with the Kings’ G-League affiliate in Reno.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.