Nick Calathes Battles a 20 Game Suspension With Interest Overseas

From a rookie season to a 20-game suspension to an offer to play overseas for millions of Euros. That’s the story of 25-year-old Nick Calathes, who appeared in 71 games as a back-up point guard for the Memphis Grizzles.

Nick Calathes was originally drafted by Minnesota in the 2009 NBA Draft, but never appeared in a single game for the Timberwolves. The American born is of Greek descent and reportedly received a contract offer from Panathinakios of Greek. Calathes would make 7.5 million over the span of three seasons if he were to accept the contract.

Calathes spent two seasons with the University of Florida before heading overseas to play for Panathinakios from 2009 to 2012. He then signed a one-year deal with the Grizzles for the 2013-2014 season. In the 71 games with Memphis Calathes averaged 16 minutes a game, 4.9 points, 2.9 assists, and close to 1 steal a game. Calathes quietly put together a solid rookie season as back-up to Michael Conley.

In late April the NBA dropped a 20-game suspension on Calathes for testing positive on a drug test. However, Nick Calathes did not accept his suspension quietly and is reportedly putting together a defense against the 20 games. Calathes attorney had this to say, “Our tests identified tamoxifen in a supplement Nick [used] for a legitimate medical condition and our tests confirmed that Nick did not have testosterone or any other PED in his body. Despite this irrefutable, objective scientific evidence, the NBA’s response was, ‘Oh well.’ This is indefensible because no legitimate purpose is served by suspending a man who the NBA knows was not cheating.”

After a strong season with the Grizzles, Calathes was set to receive a contract extension with Memphis or find home somewhere else in the NBA. However, the 20-game suspension, which has gone unresolved is not appealing to any team in the NBA. The 7.5 millionCalathes would make over the three years in Greece is the equivalent of just over $10 million American. With a chance to make more than he would in the NBA and a suspension looming, Calathes dream of the NBA may again be held off as a move back to Greece could be the better decision.

It’s unclear if Nick Calathes will wait to hear offers from NBA teams after July 1st when the free agency period begins. It is also unclear if Panathinakios has set a deadline on their offer. Though for now it seems Calathes will battle his suspension before making a decision on his future.


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