The best player in Europe, period. If we had the Bodiroga reign or the Jasikevicius reign in past years, were now right into the Papaloukas reign in Europe. Everything he touches becomes a success, either with his team CSKA or playing for his native country Greece.
A superb floor general, Papaloukas always comes off the bench to provide a huge offensive spark to his team from the point guard position. Its a repeated situation: as soon as he on the court his team builds a solid lead in the score. Theo is a very smart playmaker that tries to takes advantage of any situation to get easy points. Hes excellent in transition, but also very effective in the offensive set.
Papaloukas is an off-the-charts passer and distributor. Not only does he enjoy terrific court vision and decision making skills, but his 6-7 frame comes in very handy to easily see the floor. He particularly excels in pick-and-roll settings. In pure two-on-two plays, hes most likely going to get the job done. He enjoys very solid ball-handling skills, being aggressive attacking the basket and pretty difficult to stop around the rim due to his size, so somebody has to step into his way, and its right at that moment when he delivers the pass to the big man, usually over his rivals head. If any defensive help arrives, he finds the open man. His biggest weakness is his perimeter stroke, but hes not that bad of a shooter to grant him a lot of space. Theo also uses his size in the low post, either to score himself or to pass the ball. Hes also very good with the kickout pass, feeding the weak-side, cutters or just moving the ball within the offensive flow.
A curiosity: Theo Papaloukas was this season the single only player able to eventually make Ricky Rubio look like a teenager on defense.
Unspectacular, but solid on defense, this is the area that might raise the biggest concerns about his position in the NBA. Hes likely not quick enough to consistently stay in front of many NBA point guards. So defensively he could really use quick perimeter teammates to switch their assignment. Another issue is his age. Hes has been peaking for a couple of years and wont get any younger, although hes not a guy that needs to rely that much on his athleticism (actually, hes an average athlete).
Any team looking to sign him should be well aware of how to take advantage of Papaloukas. Its either he really runs the point or he will be pretty much useless on an NBA court. Theo is the player he is now because of the way he makes decisions with the ball in his hands. Put him off the ball and hes a bust waiting to happen (hes not even a good shooter a la Jasikevicius). Indeed, hes not a teenager who needs to earn his stripes on the court; regardless of not having any NBA experience, you better give him floor general status. Any other situation is a mere waste of time, money and talent.
Recent reports on Eurobasket.com indicate that Papaloukas may have resigned with CSKA Moscow.