Deshaun Thomas had one of the most intriguing Summer League games for San Antonio Spurs players in recent memory.
He finished with 18 points on 7-13 shooting from the field in his first game. His ability to score the basketball is what jumped out across to many people who were watching Thomas for the first time. For those who were familiar with Thomas, this was no surprise.
His last season at Ohio State he averaged 19.8 points per game while being one the best players in the Big 10 Conference. While in college the 6' 7" Thomas was primarily used as a power forward. His frame does not translate into the ideal size for a power forward in the NBA but the Spurs would like to see him in that role according to assistant coach Ime Udoka.
They envision him as a stretch-4 (power forward) and at this point it seems like a stretch. Thomas’ size and build is more suited for the small forward position.
While the backup small forward position happens to be the glaring hole on this current Spurs roster, don’t expect Thomas to be filling that spot any time soon. Thomas still needs to continue to work on his defense and show the Spurs staff that he has the foot speed to guard the small forward position.
There is no doubt that Thomas can fill it up on the offensive end, but his best chance at securing the last roster spot will depend on what he shows these next few games defensively. The Spurs typically like to keep that last roster spot open given their recent history.
Gary Neal’s status is still pending and he could be in line to fill that last spot should he resign with the silver and black. Keep an eye out for Thomas down the line though. He can easily be called up for spot minutes if the Spurs need an extra body throughout the season.