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 Papaloukas weighs up NBA options 
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Post Papaloukas weighs up NBA options
I thought this was pretty interesting...could be a nice backup to Chauncy and Rip...

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European star Papaloukas weighs up NBA options
European star Papaloukas weighs up NBA options

June 6, 2007
Special for PA SportsTicker

MOSCOW, Russia (Ticker) - CSKA Moscow's Euroleague MVP Theo Papaloukas is seriously considering a switch to the NBA.

Papaloukas, who spearheaded Greece's upset of Team USA's star-laden team in last year's FIBA World Championship semifinals, spoke to the Sport-Express newspaper in Moscow about his dilemma.

"I have some offers from the NBA but I must decide whether I should go or whether it's better to stay," he said. "I will decide in about a week. I won't consider any other European clubs except CSKA."

Papaloukas has been one of the continent's biggest stars since helping Greece reach the quarterfinals of the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

A 6-7 point guard, he was voted to the EuroBasket 2005 All-Tournament team after guiding Greece to the gold medal, and the next season, he earned MVP honors of the Euroleague Final Four after CSKA's triumph over two-time defending champions Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final.

Papaloukas was named FIBA Europe's Player of the Year in 2006 and, this year, he led CSKA to a successful defense of their Russian Cup and Superleague titles. He also provided much of the inspiration on the Russian team's march to the Euroleague final in his home city of Athens, Greece, where it finished runner-up to host Panathinaikos.

After receiving the honor as the Euroleague's best player, Papaloukas was voted as the MVP of the Superleague by players in a poll conducted Sport-Express this week.

"It's important to obtain the recognition of my colleagues," he said. "If players you play with or against name you the best player, it's a very pleasing thing. It means that you've really done something that deserved their respect and recognition. For me, it's an additional source of motivation and motivation is the most important thing in sport."

Papaloukas and Greece will try to defend their gold medal at EuroBasket 2007 in Spain later this year.





Quote:
Curtis (Lansing): I hear that Theo Papaloukas is interested in coming to the NBA, that guy from Greece who torched the USA in the World Championships. One of the teams he’s interested in is Detroit. Any interest there?
Langlois: The Pistons have a strong presence in Europe and they’ve been one of the NBA’s elite teams for the past five years, so it’s not surprising Papaloukas – generally considered the best player in the world not in the NBA – would have interest in them. At 6-foot-7, Papaloukas can play both guard spots and is regarded as a terrifically heady player who isn’t great at anything in particular. If the Pistons’ re-sign Chauncey Billups, as expected, Papaloukas might have greater value – and be able to win a bigger contract – out of somebody else. But, sure, he’s a name to keep in mind for the Pistons – again, after the draft.




Quote:
Teo admitted the rumours that he is searching for a team in NBA, adding that this team should give him the playing time, the money and the victories that he [is] used to enjoy[ing] in Europe.

"I want to go to the NBA but only for playing in the highest level. I am not a teenager anymore; I am almost 30 years old, thus I have to be very careful. I will go to a team that is a winner. I don't want to play for a club that counts 50 losses every season.... I am speaking with 12 teams but I cannot reveal them right now."

Papaloukas said that he would like to go to "a team where the coach would respect me and believe in what I can offer. I don't want to be like Vasilis Spanoulis that has the quality and the potential to play in the league but he belongs to a team that hasn't given him the opportunity to play."

"Personally, I am interested mostly for teams such as San Antonio, Dallas, Detroit, Cleveland and Miami. I am waiting for some changes on those teams. If an important player leaves, maybe there would be an empty place for me. However, it still is a very difficult and an important decision, as well."
Painted Area readers should know Theo Papaloukas well, as we have extolled his virtues extensively over the past year. He has been the greatest winner in European basketball over the last couple years - here is his recent resume:

2005 European Championships: Led Greece to Gold Medal
2006 Euroleague: Led CSKA Moscow to title while winning Euro Final 4 MVP
2006 World Championships: Led Greece to Silver Medal, including upset of USA
2007 Euroleague: Led CSKA Moscow to championship game while winning MVP for Euroleague season

The 29-year-old is quite simply the finest international player in the world outside of the NBA. You can go to Draft Express for a thorough scouting report on his game.

As far as a quick scouting report, Papaloukas is essentially a point guard, with great size (6-7) and an exceptional basketball IQ. He is a playmaker extraordinaire, who runs the pick-and-roll very well (see: Greece v USA, 2006). He's a subpar shooter overall, though he steps up in the clutch consistently (see: resume above). He's also a subpar athlete by NBA standards, but he can still make things happen on the defensive end with his smarts and anticipation. Even though he has been a star for both club and country, he always comes off the bench. His influence is somewhat like Ginobili's on the Spurs - he's a starter in reserve's clothing and he always seems to find a way to stir things up when he enters a ballgame.

Do I think he can succeed in the NBA? Like so many other Euroleague veterans who come over, it's all about the right fit. I believe guys like Jasikevicious and Baston could play on the right teams, and I believe guys like A. Parker and Garbajosa would ride the pine on the wrong teams.

Here's Jay Aych's take on which NBA teams might suit Theo best:

In general, think Papa would fit well next to
an undersized 2-guard or scoring PG (would work well
next to Arenas) where it allows Theo to guard
2-guards.

Miami--Don't think he's a good fit. Miami needs a PG
who can shoot next to Wade. Wasting Papalouk's talent
because the Heat offense revolves around isos for Wade
or dumping the ball into Shaq. First priority is to
have shooters around those two. Plus, Wade has the
ball in his hands so much where he either creates for
himself or others.

SA--Obviously this would be a coup & ultimately unfair if
he went here. The Spurs do need a back-up PG, and
Papa could play next to Parker very well. If the
Spurs are willing to give their whole MLE to Theo,
(that's what it will probably take), then you do the
deal. The only thing is the Spurs have to start
looking for some youth on the wings, & maybe another
big body.

Clev--The Cavs could use some help at PG. Though I
feel it's most important to have a PG next to Bron who
can stroke it, as a back-up Theo might bring some much
needed variation to the anemic offense of the Cavs.

Det--Think this makes some sense. The Pistons need a
back-up PG, and could use a back-up 2-guard as well, if
Flip Murray opts out. Theo can play minutes at the 2,
and can definitely play alongside Billups. One
concern is that gives the Pistons possibly 2 PGs who
are in their 30s. The Pistons might be more inclined
to go with a cheaper, younger back-up behind Billups.
The other concern with Det. is they will have to spend a
pretty penny to keep Chauncey, and they might have to
add another big if CWebb is done & McDyess opts out.

Dallas-- Could easily see him in a Mavs jersey. Would
work very well next to Terry, and could work well in
pick/rolls with Dirk. The Mavs' primary need is for
some low-post scoring, but having the chance to grab
Theo might be too enticing for Cuban to pass up.
Cubes took a chance on Frenchman Antoine Rigaudeau a few years ago, another Euro vet PG; difference is Theo is much better than him. Could see Cubes giving him the entire MLE.

other possible destinations:
Utah: like this fit, need a back-up PG, him
pick & rolling with Boozer would be a treat. Works
great in that offense, though the Jazz's 1st concern
is a 2-guard.
Suns: do need a back-up to Nash, but
the issue of money comes into play & will the Suns
even use their entire MLE this year with their lux tax
issues.
Lakers: Phil loves his big PGs, if Odom is
moved, Theo makes more sense 'cause he gives you
another ball-handler. LA, though, needs a shooter at
PG.
Rockets: do need a back-up PG, but first need to
fill major hole at the PF, then maybe get a 3rd scorer
before looking for another PG.

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June 15th, 2007, 3:45 pm
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He looks like Steve Nash on his highlight videos. I cannot quite tell how quick he is, but he is a great ball handler and disher. He is the type of guy that could make Maxiell or Johnson into major producers.

I like Chauncey's ability to make big shots, but his ability to attack the basket, defend off the dribble, and pass do not merit maximum contract in my book. Sure we will miss him for the next two years, but after that his earnings will far outstrip his production.


June 15th, 2007, 5:07 pm
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Guildenkrantz is dead wrote:
He looks like Steve Nash on his highlight videos. I cannot quite tell how quick he is, but he is a great ball handler and disher. He is the type of guy that could make Maxiell or Johnson into major producers.

I like Chauncey's ability to make big shots, but his ability to attack the basket, defend off the dribble, and pass do not merit maximum contract in my book. Sure we will miss him for the next two years, but after that his earnings will far outstrip his production.


I agree 100%...


June 15th, 2007, 5:31 pm
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He can attack the basket but he is not a true slasher and does it seldomly. I think Rip and Taytay should also attack the basket much more often :? That is what most 2's and 3's do on offense anyways.

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June 16th, 2007, 2:14 pm
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