The person spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced by the team. The 6-foot-9 Papanikolaou was drafted by the New York Knicks in 2012. His rights were traded to Portland, then to Houston in July 2013.
Papanikolaou most recently played for FC Barcelona. He has been a standout for the Greek national team, earning Most Valuable Player honors at the Under-20 European championship in 2009. Before playing for FC Barcelona, Papanikolaou helped Olympiacos win Euroleague championships in 2012 and 2013.