Last Sunday news broke that defending Euroleague champion Olympiacos B.C. was making a strong push to sign Texas forward Ioannis Papapetrou to a five year contract. Reports in the Greek media indicated that Papapetrou was at that time still set to return to Texas.
But now there have been two new developments.
1. A second Greek Euroleage team, Panathinaikos B.C., is also taking interest in Papapetrou.
2. Additionally, a new report by Newsnow.gr indicates that things might be getting more serious in the talks between Olympiakos and the Papapetrou camp. While the initial news reports are in Greek, I received this helpful bit of information via Twitter from Kostas Psimoulis (@Gus_bball):
@jeffchaley Actually, the article says that Papapetrou is considering Olympiakos' offer, and the coach himself made a phone call to him.— Kostas Psimoulis (@Gus_bball) August 1, 2013
Machine translations of the Newsgroup.gr report give further context. This translation gives us additional information on what Olympiakos coach Giorgos Bartzokas is selling and how it has been received. The following is an excerpt from the machine translation of the article, massaged a bit to make it more readable.
It is certain that the Greek player [Papapetrou] is now thinking differently about the Olympiakos proposal, and is more positive... Indeed, in a proposal there is a window for the NBA...
As I interpret that, and as was initially suggested to me by BON reader Ming, Olympiakos may be proposing a contract with some sort of mechanism to leave the team in a few years for the NBA.
Another report from E-Fimerida.gr also suggests that continuing his NBA dream is a big part of Olympiakos pitch, saying that Olympiakos is trying to "persuade the Papapetrou that won't close the road to the NBA" (machine translation) and how playing for the team could help his prospects for the NBA draft.
[Hat tip to BON reader Ming for bringing some of this to my attention.]