Greek international small forward Kostas Papanikolaou will be making one of the most important decisions of his life in the upcoming hours after Olympiacos accepted Barcelona’s offer for their player.
Barcelona’s interest for the young star is not new. However for the past few days it was the first time that Olympiacos actually considered the move after Barcelona made an official offer, worth 1.500.000 euros.
Not wanting to lose the player, to Barcelona or to NBA, next summer for nothing, the Euroleague champions called his agent to make an extension offer. However after hearing his demands, a total of 4.800.000 euros over the next three season (1.600.000 during the first season, 1.800.000 for the second and 2.000.000 in the third), which would cost the club over 7.500.000 as they would also have to pay taxes and agent’s fees, Olympiacos management decided to accept Barcelona’s offer and throw the ball in Papanikolaou’s court.
The decision was taking on strictly business basis, as the player’s demands were deemed unrealistic, especially for the Greek market at the moment.
Of course this doesn’t mean the player will join Barcelona for sure. Their offer is less than 3.000.000 euros for four years (approximately 700.000 per year) while their NBA buyout reaches 1.500.000 euros, three times more than the player asked from Olympiacos.
Something which means that if the player ever wants to make the journey across the Atlantic, he will have to chip in a considerable amount himself, considering that NBA clubs are not allowed to pay more than 500.000 for a buyout.
On top of that, an Olympiacos affiliated newspaper claims that the player has an offer from Atlanta Hawks on the table, to join NBA immediately. That offer is worth $4.500.000 over the next three seasons and if accepted Olympiacos will get 500.000 euros as buyout.
UPDATE: Barcelona improved their offer to Papanikolaou. The new proposed deal is worth 3.075.000 euros for three seasons plus bonuses and a reduced NBA buyout worth 1.100.000 euros for summer 2014 and 750.000 euros for summer 2015.