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Frank Slade
06-07-2007, 05:10 PM
For those Euro experts, curious to hear your take or insight.
I only have seen him play a few times.

This story sounds oddly familiar. Wonder if Bird has been following this guy as well, note the story indicates he has received some offers from the NBA. :eyebrow:


European star Papaloukas weighs up NBA options

06/06/2007 -
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.

SBRFORUM (http://www.sbrforum.com/Headlines/NBA/44589.aspx)

bread
06-07-2007, 05:32 PM
I had read that Atlanta was really trying hard to get this guy. I think it may depend now on what happens with the rumored deal for JJack.

Tony Valente
06-07-2007, 05:32 PM
Even though Theo is probably better than any other PG in NBA (yes, including Nash and Billups), La Bomba Navarro is the best player in Europe right now. And that's from a guy who hates both Barcelona and Spain's national team.

But how could we possibly sign the guy? Should the MLE be involved? Bird said we won't use it at all.

Anyway, I have a feeling you'll all laugh your asses off ... :rolleyes:

Y2J
06-07-2007, 06:06 PM
Theo better than any point guard in the NBA? Wow.... I don't know much about him, but the Euroleague's last hyped point guard to come to the NBA, Saras, is a complete dud.

Tony Valente
06-07-2007, 06:35 PM
Theo better than any point guard in the NBA? Wow.... I don't know much about him, but the Euroleague's last hyped point guard to come to the NBA, Saras, is a complete dud.

Who kicked your asses out of last World Champs? Exactly, Greece. Unfortunately Theo is a bit old, to be a rookie at 30.

Saras at Maccabi was a pass first player, like a PG should be, who also had the range. Theo also has range but doesn't abuse of it. He can pass blindly as Saras could. BUT, most important, he is a player who can also score taking the play on himself.

I'd love to see him in NBA, in Atlanta maybe. But, leaving Saras aside, I remember Rigodeaux was quite a hell of a player in Europe when he joined Dallas, but couldn't do much in NBA. And he was old too.

Hicks
06-07-2007, 06:38 PM
There's a reason he's never been in the NBA. I was burned with Sarunas, I'm not making that mistake again.

DeS
06-07-2007, 07:14 PM
Hey, I admit, Saras didn't live up to the expectations and maybe he was a disaster to pacers. But there are succesful examples, too. There's a reason NBA teams are interessted in Theo (of course they know about Saras, too). Now that i'm not Theo fan, I just relax and watch the story. But i suggest not to rule out good options because of one unsuccesful experiment.

#31
06-07-2007, 07:53 PM
Theo is a freak, he was like a 511" point guard at the age of 18 and already was a pro, 1-2 years later he is like 67"!! He didnt change anything because of sudden height increase. Still a starting point guard, a true a point guard, he is not old, he is fast/quick/athletic, excellent playmaker and plays very good defense!

This is really not a Sarunas scenario, Sarunas had IT some years ago, he is now washed up. I think if Theo would join a team in the NBA and get some minutes fast, he would definitely show you what REAL basketball is about...

Yea, NBA rookie at 30... not good, but Theo will prove himself when he gets a good chance, prove himself better than Sarunas atleast. Sarunas had nothing to prove anyways, he is just washed up, just like he was before joining the NBA, all was bad timing for him. All i am saying is that Theo will do much better than Sarunas if he joins the NBA.

Shade
06-07-2007, 07:58 PM
Even though Theo is probably better than any other PG in NBA (yes, including Nash and Billups), La Bomba Navarro is the best player in Europe right now. And that's from a guy who hates both Barcelona and Spain's national team.

But how could we possibly sign the guy? Should the MLE be involved? Bird said we won't use it at all.

Anyway, I have a feeling you'll all laugh your asses off ... :rolleyes:

And you would be right. :laugh:

Seriously, have we not yet learned that NBA ball is vastly different from Euroball? Just ask the "Michael Jordan of the Euroleague," who currently resides on the bench in California...

SparkyPacer
06-07-2007, 08:42 PM
How comes whenever a European point guard kills the US in a game they've automatically passed Nash, Billups, and Kidd?

Kstat
06-07-2007, 09:48 PM
I really wish Joe D would get in on this kid. I know our european scout loves his game.

wintermute
06-07-2007, 11:03 PM
more info on papaloukas here

http://www.draftexpress.com/viewarticle.php?a=2047

like saras, he's relatively old (30), not very quick, has an erratic shot, but is an outstanding playmaker. unlike saras, he is big enough to play wing effectively so he might make the transition more easily.

his opposing number in the euroleague final (diamantidis) sounds more intriguing to me. another tall pg, but he's younger (27), a good defender (dpoy in europe), and a good shot (46% 3pt fg)

Roaming Gnome
06-07-2007, 11:20 PM
Honestly, the Saras experiment doesn't really scare me from ever considering a euro-league point guard. I will just be leary of the 30 year olds with questionable athletiscism.

pwee31
06-07-2007, 11:37 PM
The only Euro's I would want that aren't already in the NBA, are the two SG's who will go mid 1st in the draft this year.

Rudy Fernandez http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXAucLSrYv8

and Marco Belinelli http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyPYO0L6_6U

Eindar
06-08-2007, 01:34 AM
The only Euro's I would want that aren't already in the NBA, are the two SG's who will go mid 1st in the draft this year.

Rudy Fernandez http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXAucLSrYv8

and Marco Belinelli http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyPYO0L6_6U

Seconded.

I'm not opposed to picking up a Euro via FA, but the parallels here to Sarunas are startling. Besides, even if he did pan out, he'd really only have about 3 good years, and so he'd be on the decline before we would be ready to contend.

Naptown_Seth
06-08-2007, 02:50 AM
I thought Greece played a good TEAM GAME, but I didn't think Theo looked better than a standard NBA PG. He certainly ran that pick and roll well and repeatedly as TEAM USA floundered to stop the most fundamental play ever invented, but once they did that stopped Greece fairly well. It was just too late by then.

Theo did NOT take that game over like Saras did in his games vs Team USA and he didn't even come close to matching the speed and handles of a guy like Wade, let alone Nash.

Theo can't be better than Nash because Nash is better than Calderon and JC matched Theo in the WC title game, you know the one, where Gasol (Pau) was out and Spain still destroyed Greece by 23 (unlike the rather close win by 6 over the US by Greece, hardly a butt kicking).

Theo had 12 assists vs the US (basically all off that PnR in the 2nd half). His 2nd best outing? 6 vs China. He had 4 or less for the rest of the WC games. His moment vs Team USA was a fluke, like Timmy Smith vs Denver. Not that he isn't a decent player, but he's not the stud that one game would have you believe.



Now Rudy and Bellini, they are interesting. I also think Yi Jianlian might work out fairly well. Not sure about #3-#4 pick well, but top 10? Yeah, I think he can play that well. Yi to me is like a bigger, faster version of Baston, and with perhaps better ball handling. That's not KG, but it's not too bad either.

Naptown_Seth
06-08-2007, 02:57 AM
BTW, if you watch that You Tube for Rudy (linked) you'll notice one Mr. LARRY BIRD watching him toward the end of the video. And guess where NBA Draft.net has Rudy going in the draft? #18 (GS, ugh)

Honestly Rudy reminds me quite a bit of Ginobili. He's a bit more lanky I think and more above the rim, but roughly his approach is similar. Wouldn't that be something if he was the pick that they got from a Laker deal?

Tony Valente
06-08-2007, 04:12 AM
Just ask the "Michael Jordan of the Euroleague," who currently resides on the bench in California...

It seems you're not listening. Jordan of Europe was (for the last 2 years) and currently is La Bomba Navarro.


JC matched Theo in the WC title game, you know the one, where Gasol (Pau) was out and Spain still destroyed Greece by 23

Yes. I remember. The initials are good. But it wasn't Jose Calderon who did it, but Juan Carlos (Navarro).


Anyway, I do agree it would be much more fun seing Theo playing for some other team and see what comes out of it. He's not such an impact player as his talent recommends, mostly because of his weaknesses.

able
06-08-2007, 05:57 AM
Aren't the rights to Navarro in the hands of the Wizzards?

Otherwise,
I must agree with TV, he's definitely THE player out there

Pingu
06-08-2007, 07:02 AM
Papaloukas is no NBA material. If Sarunas is too slow to play in the NBA, then Papaloukas is too slow to even play in the NBDL. The same thing goes for ball-handling skills.

Stay away from old european players.

wintermute
06-08-2007, 07:15 AM
how about dmitris diamantidis? is he nba material? just wondering

Naptown_Seth
06-08-2007, 12:53 PM
It seems you're not listening. Jordan of Europe was (for the last 2 years) and currently is La Bomba Navarro.



Yes. I remember. The initials are good. But it wasn't Jose Calderon who did it, but Juan Carlos (Navarro).


Anyway, I do agree it would be much more fun seing Theo playing for some other team and see what comes out of it. He's not such an impact player as his talent recommends, mostly because of his weaknesses.
I was using a PG who is with an NBA team for comparison which is why I didn't bring up Navarro. Theo did nothing more than Calderon in that game and his team got destroyed. This basically undermines the one argument for Theo's chances in the NBA (that he had a good game and led his team to the big victory).

If he came to a team and tried to run that PnR to death vs the Pistons or Spurs it would look a lot like that game vs Spain, except his TOs would be higher and he wouldn't shoot it as well as he did in that game.

My point was that Team USA failed to adjust for an entire quarter against that PnR, it got to be a joke practically as they just ran it over and over and over. And it compares well to how Timmy Smith ran up huge Super Bowl numbers running the same play vs Denver's defense. They found a hole and just exploited the hell out of it before the other coaches could figure out a solution. By then it was way too late, though in the case of the WC Team USA nearly did salvage the situation.


I mean what bothered me most about Team USA losing to Greece was that off all the teams they faced Greece was probably the least athletic in total. They didn't really have speed or size advantages at any spot and weren't really throwing anything special at them in terms of plays. It made the USA defensive effort look that much more pathetic.

Greece played a steady, smart game. They are well coached and worked their fundamentals well. They didn't win games by a fluke. But had USA been as fundamentally sound as Greece it would be no contest.

And honestly Theo couldn't count on any NBA team he went to to be as sound, or even if they were they might not be based around the same offensive schemes. Without that on his side he would be forced to rely a lot more on atheletic ability to compensate.

bulldog
06-08-2007, 01:10 PM
Old European PG's are tricky. It's gonna take a while for the team to buy into his style, for the coach the trust him with the ball in his hands, and by the time it happens he's 33 and can't shuffle his feet any more. I know he's a great player, but I don't think he'd transition to the NBA unless his team really gave him the reins from the start and let him make rookie mistakes for a while (doubtful, and I don't even know why they would).

With his size someone would probably stick him at SF and then wonder why he's not very effective.

pwee31
06-12-2007, 04:42 PM
BTW, if you watch that You Tube for Rudy (linked) you'll notice one Mr. LARRY BIRD watching him toward the end of the video. And guess where NBA Draft.net has Rudy going in the draft? #18 (GS, ugh)

Honestly Rudy reminds me quite a bit of Ginobili. He's a bit more lanky I think and more above the rim, but roughly his approach is similar. Wouldn't that be something if he was the pick that they got from a Laker deal?

If these Lakers rumors are true, and Rudy Fernandez is there at #19, I think the trade will be a done deal.