Friday, September 10, 2010

Rumors about Chrysikopoulos and Olympiakos

It was only a matter of time I guess...

Linos Chrysikopoulos(2.03) is the biggest talent of his crop and he belongs to Aris Thessaloniki. He is probably the biggest talent Greek basketball has seen in a very long time. It's true there have been Nick Calathes and Kostas Koufos, but they didn't come out of a Greek team. They learned how to play basketball in America. There is a big difference and the word that makes all the difference is Infrastructure.

Greece has no serious infrastructure when it comes to producing and developing talented basketball players. Hell, Greece might not even have a Pro(A1) league next season but that's another story.. Obviously one will say that talented players will do great anyway if they work hard. That is very true. What is also true is that there are many players who don't get the attention they deserve and get missed out. Linos Chrysikopoulos is the type of player that can do anything for his team. He could play pretty much all positions in the court. Obviously he still has a long way to go but he has the body(7'1'' wingspan) and the talent to become the next big thing of Greek and European basketball.

According to our brother blog, Olympiakos want in on the action. There was a rumor back in the days that Panathinaikos are interested in the player and that they would try to cut Aris out of the loop. Let's explain what this means. If a player turns 18 his team can autonomously sign a 3 season(maximum) contract with the player without the player's consent. With the player's consent this can be extended to 5 seasons. Linos Chrysikopoulos will be 18 this December and the rumor said that Panathinaikos would try to cancel the validity of the one-sided contract that Aris would want to sign. Obviously in December we'll find out if they can pull it off.

Rumors from Thessaloniki suggest that the player will sign a 5 season contract with Aris and the buy-out clause would resemble that of Rubio's contract. Olympiakos want to get their foot on the door and rumors from Athens suggest that they're willing to offer Yotam Halperin and Zoran Erceg on loan for a season and after they signed Chrysikopoulos they would also lend him to Aris for a season.

One thing is for sure. Aris cannot compete with Olympiakos financially. Aris could never hope to offer the kind of contract that Olympiakos could. So it's only a matter of a time before the player is sold. What is curious though, is that there hasn't been any obvious interest from other European powerhouses.

There are teams out there with big wallets and Chrysikopoulos could benefit from a team program outside Greece.. let's say Spain. Perhaps the player wants to stay in Greece. Perhaps the player's value is not high enough to warrant a sale. Perhaps just like the case of Kostas Papanikolaou it could be a matter of good timing when the player will excel with the Greece U-19 or U-20 team and his price will skyrocket. This summer he averaged  17 points 8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 9 games during the 2010 U-18 Eurobasket in Lithuania and he was the only player from the Greek squad that stood out.

In Thessaloniki they're saying that Chrysikopoulos will get some much deserved playing time with Aris, let's hope this is true. It would be a waste for Greek basketball to see a player like that shafted to the bench of a wealthy team getting only "rubbish time".

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