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Rockets to Pick Up Kostas Papanikolaou’s Option, per Report

Houston Rockets forward Kostas Papanikolaou has a $4.8 million team option for next season, and the Rockets are expected to pick up that option, per Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia.

What’s interesting about Papanikolaou’s contract is that it’s non-guaranteed until Oct. 4, so he could be a really nice trade chip in the offseason if they ultimately don’t want to keep him.

Papanikolaou saw consistent minutes at the beginning of the season, playing 26.1 minutes per game in November. However, once Josh Smith was brought on board, his playing time decreased and he also dealt with a nagging injury that kept him out of the lineup.

The 24-year-old averaged 4.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists while shooting just 35.0 percent overall and 29.2 percent from three in 43 games. He appeared in eight postseason games, but it was basically all garbage time.

Perhaps the Rockets decide to keep Papanikolaou around because he’s still so young, but don’t be surprised at all if he’s shopped this summer.

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