On the morning of the NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs have a lot of decisions to make on who they pick tonight and how those players will affect the future of their roster.
Not only do they have decisions to make tonight, but they also have players overseas who are eager to make the jump to the NBA. One of those players is Deshaun Thomas.
Thomas was drafted last season by the Spurs in the second round, 58th overall, even after refusing to give his number to the organization during pre-draft interviews.
Seeing his potential, the Spurs selected him and he began the Summer League on a tear with 18 points in a win over Charlotte. By the time the Summer League ended, Thomas led the team with 12.4 points per game and nabbed five rebounds per game as well.
Soon after, the idea that he would not make the team came to life, and Thomas opted to play overseas with JSF Nanterre in Paris where he averaged eerily similar numbers, while helping with his team win the French Cup championship.
Scoring the basketball has never been an issue for Thomas. The bigger questions came on the defensive end, as Thomas is stuck between both forward positions, known around the league as a “tweener”.
Tweeners generally have trouble making the league, as they are to small to defend the bigger fours around the league, and not quick enough to guard the mobile threes on the perimeter.
So, naturally, that’s what Thomas has been working on:
“[The Spurs] told me to keep on the boards and sitting down and guarding the three. I’ve gotten better at doing that. They are excited to work with me this summer. We’ll see what the results are in summer league and training camp.”
One of the better things going for Thomas is the lack of depth at small forward for the defending NBA champions. Behind Finals’ MVP Kawhi Leonard, there are no true small forwards on the roster. Granted, the Spurs do also have rights to small forward Davis Bertans and swingman Adam Hanga. On top of that, although he is not ready to make the jump yet, Livio Jean-Charles is also a talented swingman.
Nobody knows what the Spurs will pull tonight. Given the current need, they could very well draft a small forward. The 30th pick doesn’t usually make an impact right away, but this year’s draft is so deep that there very well could be a rookie impact player sitting there when the Spurs go on the clock.
Whatever happens, Deshaun Thomas is confident he can make the jump to the association.
“I have faith that I’ll be in the NBA. “If it takes one or two years to do that, it’s OK. I’ll make money playing the game I love, so I can’t be mad about that.”
(quotes via Indystar.com)