The San Antonio Spurs have long been known for employing their draft and stash strategy with their international talent. Tiago Splitter, Nando De Colo and Manu Ginobili are a few of the players that the Spurs have let mature overseas and then bring over to the NBA.
Deshaun Thomas, the Spurs' 2013 second round pick, was a player they were hoping to help at the small forward position. Thomas played for the Spurs during the Las Vegas Summer League and debuted with 18 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals in a 69-68 win over the Bobcats.
But the Spurs saw that there would not see enough playing time to help improve his game.
The Spurs, always being ahead of the curve, are now putting a new twist on their draft and stash strategy. Instead of drafting international players and keeping them overseas, they are sending their US born draft picks overseas, as with another draft pick Justin Denmon.
Thomas will be playing for JSF Nanterre in France to work on his game and gain playing experience.
The team was promoted to the top French League in 2011 after winning the French 2nd division. After winning their first French League title in the 2012-2013 season, they qualified to play in the Euroleague for the 2013-2014 season.
Thomas began his first training camp with the team. He is looking follow a similar path to the one taken by Ginobili of earning his stripes in the Euroleague; and then come back to the Spurs to help them maintain their level of excellence.
So Spurs’ fans, what are you expectations for Deshaun Thomas after he comes back from France?