Papaloukas Re-Signs With CSKA
The best player in Europe has decided to stay put with CSKA Moscow to accept the most lucrative contract in European basketball (3 yrs at €3M per, which is approx. equal to $4M per), according to Eurobasket. This move effectively eliminates one of the few quality PGs from free agency.
Maybe he was never serious about coming over to the NBA all along, and just wanted to drive up his price tag in Europe. Will be interesting to find out if he was not getting the deals he wanted from NBA squads, or if he just preferred to stay in Europe.
Eurobasket claims three NBA teams made offers:
- The most high paid European player will be continuing his career in the CSKA Moscow untill June 2010! Theodoros Papaloukas became officially the most expensive player (European) with the new contract of 3 million euros (net) per year for the next three years who will be wearing the Russian jersey of CSKA.... Papaloukas had offers from NBA (Lakers, Timberwolves and Miami Heat) and also from Panathinaikos and Olympiakos but he kept his promise to the Russian management as he told them that if not NBA I will be staying in Moscow!!
Would be a big mistake for many teams if they did not offer the full MLE to Theo, considering all the teams in need of quality PG help - and also considering the deals that the likes of Jason Kapono, Matt Carroll et al are commanding.
After Billups & Mo Williams, Theo was the best PG in free agency. And with Billups likely returning to Detroit & the Bucks seeming to be the only team willing to offer Williams more than MLE, Theo was the prized PG on the open market.
We will now more than likely never see Papaloukas in the NBA since he's turning 30 years old & his contract runs thru 2010.