Panathinaikos, the Greek powerhouse that won 6 Euroleague titles between 1996 and 2011, is one of the most successful teams in the history of European professional basketball.
After being led by legendary head coach Zeljko Obradovic for 13 years, (1999-2012), "The Greens" through a multitude of coaches, actually won titles in Greece (7 cups & 7 championships), but could never reclaim the European Crown.
However, this summer, something has changed.
Team owner, Dimitris Giannakopoulos injected the club with more capital, and following an 11-23 record in the Euroleague last season, the team is signing the missing talent to help restore them to the glory days, starting with 2x Euroleague winner, head coach, Ergin Ataman.
Panathinaikos decided to keep just one of their import players from last season, Lithuanian, Marius Grigonis, but has overhauled the rest of their roster.
Ioannis Papapetrou - 6´8 - SF - Papapetrou spent 4 seasons with Panathinaikos from 2018-2022 and now returns after 1 season with Partizan Belgrade. Ioannis averaged 5.4 PTs & 2.3 REBs
Kostas Sloukas - 6´3 - PG - The 3x Euroleague Champion defected from cross-town rival Olympiakos where he averaged 11 PTs and 5.6 ASts last season
Luca Vildoza - 6´3 - PG - The Argentinian arrives from Red Star Belgrade where he averaged 12.6 PTs & 3.9 ASTs, 1.4 STL per game and can play both PG and SG as a creative scorer and facilitator
Jerian Grant - 6´5 - G - The former 19th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft who spent last season with Turk Telekom Ankara, leading them all the way to the Eurocup Final, winning the MVP can flat out play and will be an immediate contributor for Pao - last season he put up 14.9 PTs and tied for 2nd most assists/ game in the Eurocup with 6.1
Kyle Guy - 6´2 - SG - The 55th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft made his European debut last season with Joventut Badalona in the ACB and averaged 11.8 PTs & 2.6 ASTs in the EuroCup
Juancho Hernangomez - 6´9 - F - Drafted 15th in the 2015 Draft, and spent the last 7 seasons in the NBA, playing last season with the Toronto Raptors where he averaged 2.9 PTs & 2.9 REBs
Mathias Lessort - 6´9 - C - The French Center was one of the best bigs in Euroleague last season with Partizan as the club's Focal Point and led them to the playoffs, averaging 12 PTs, leading the league in rebounding with 7.1, finishing 2nd PIR to MVP Sasha Vezenkov (link Vezenkov NBA piece here)
Kostas Antetokounmpo - 6´10 - PF/C - Kostas spent last season between the G-League (11.7 PTs & 6.3 REBs) and Fenerbahce (7.7 Pts & 5 Reb in Turkish BSL) and will power the front court with his athletic ability and high-flying style of play
Aleksander Balcerowski - 7´2 - C - The Polish Center arrives from Gran Canaria, where he averaged 8.6 PTs, 3.8 REBs & 1 BLK in 17 minutes per game during Eurocup play before a quality showing this summer for the Boston Celtics in the NBA Summer League; 8.8 PTs & 5.8 REBs
Kostas Mitoglou - 6´11 - PF/C - Another returnee as he spent 4 seasons with Panathinaikos from 2017-2021. Kostas didn´t play last season and was last in action in 21-22 with Armani Milano where he averaged 7.6 PTs & 4.2 REBs
For the legendary club, alot will rest on Coach Ataman to make things work quickly.
With the impressive off-season signings, Panathinaikos has built a talented, balanced, deep team while improving their "local" roster spots by adding Sloukas, Papapetrou, Mitoglou and Antetokounmpo. However, from top-down, the team is completely new, and early chemistry between the players will be essential.
If they can gel, Pao seems to be built for a long, successful season, has the ability to cover injuries, and can utilize multiple roster combinations without a drop-off in productivity.
Also, their star-signing of Juancho Hernangomez can potentially be a game-changer, as he will likely be one of the best forwards in the Euroleague.
For Panathinaikos, getting back to the playoffs is a must, and on paper it is hard to find 5 rosters that are better than theirs. If they can earn a top 6 spot in the new Euroleague playoff format, they have a great chance to reach their first final four since 2012.