Olympiacos Piraeus is working hard to retain the core of its team for another title run. Accordingly, the the Reds and forward Kostas Papanikolaou signed a three-year deal that will keep him with the club through the summer of 2021. Papanikolaou (2.04 meters, 27 years old) averaged 8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 28 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague appearances for Olympiacos. An all-around contributor, Papanikolaou may be best known for his outstanding defense.
Papanikolaou is a product of the youth system at Aris Thessaloniki and debuted with that club's senior squad in 2008-09 before joining Olympiacos the next season. Papanikolaou spent the next four seasons with the Reds and helped the team win back-to-back Turkish Airlines EuroLeague crowns in 2012 and 2013. He was named EuroLeague Rising Star after the 2012-13 EuroLeague season, during which he led the league in three-point shooting percentage (52.08 %). Papanikolaou spent a season each with FC Barcelona in Spain and Houston in the NBA and a half season with Denver in the NBA before returning to Olympiacos in January 2016 and he has been there ever since.
Over the course of his career, Papanikolaou has won two EuroLeague titles, two Greek championships and the Spanish League once. He has also lifted the Greek Cup twice. Papanikolaou has played in five major tournaments with the Greek national team and helped Greece win gold medals at the 2008 U18 European Championships and the 2009 U20 European Championships and silver medals at the 2009 U19 World Championships and the 2010 U20 European Championships.