Who? Yeah, you might be asking yourself who in the world Georgios Papagiannis is? Well, you wouldn’t be alone. The Kings selected Papagiannis with the 13th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft from Greece and has been a total bust. It was no surprise that the Greek big man would turn into a bust because most draft experts listed him as a 2nd round pick. The Kings were insistent on moving him in the three-team trade over the deadline to avoid embarrassment.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN explains how the deal that sent Rodney Hood and George Hill to Cleveland almost never happened:
“That’s why a 3 a.m. ET deal memo sent from Sacramento to Cleveland left Altman at first incredulous — and then angry. Suddenly, Kings center Georgios Papagiannis had been included as part of the three-way trade. Cleveland and Utah were adamant that Papagiannis’ name had never been discussed. Williams would later say that Papagiannis or Malachi Richardson were set to be included in the deals and insisted his notes confirmed that.
Because Sacramento had the makings for a trade with Toronto for Richardson, rival executives say that the Kings pushed to spare themselves the embarrassment of waiving the No. 13 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft — and let someone else do it. In the middle of the night, Altman and Williams vocally disagreed over the insertion of Papagiannis into the trade. Cleveland couldn’t take him into its roster because the NBA’s repeater tax would turn the balance of his $2.3 million contract this year and $2.4 million next year into three times that with the luxury-tax bill.”
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey was so livid that he was basically out on the trade. Koby Altman had to rope him back in and you know the rest, Papagiannis was never included. Jae Crowder found his way to Utah and Hood went to Cleveland in a wild three-team deal. The behind the scene details is what makes the NBA so fascinating. Papagiannis was released by the Kings to clear way to make the trade official. The 20-year-old has averaged 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 38 career games.