While the San Antonio Spurs have played host to a number of second round draft prospects over the past few weeks along with some of their recent drafteed in Adam Hanga and Davis Bertans, apparently one player looking to resume his NBA career came through town a few weeks ago.
Nathan Jawai, an Australian big man nicknamed “Aussie Shaq,” worked out for Spurs officials two weeks ago, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Currently a free agent, Jawai also hasn’t ruled out the prospect of a return to the NBA, having worked out with San Antonio Spurs officials in Texas two weeks ago.
“I’ve got a few options and I’m not going to rush into anything. I might be back in Europe, I’m just waiting on the NBA,” he says.
Jawai was selected with the 11th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers, who then traded him to the Toronto Raptors in a draft day deal that eventually netted the Pacers the draft pick they used on Roy Hibbert.
Through two seasons, Jawai’s never really registered a blip on the radar, averaging 2.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Jawai had one above average game, finishing with 16 points and six rebounds, through his two-year NBA stint.
After his time with the Raptors and Wolves, along with a few stints in the D-League, Jawai has currently been playing with UNICS Kazan in Russia, where he averaged 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds last season.
While Jawai once had plenty of buzz surrounding him during the 2008 Draft and claims that he wanted to establish himself as the best rookie in the league, I couldn’t see him playing much of a role with the Spurs aside from an insurance big kept on the injured list or a player to bring in for a training camp tryout.
While he does have a reported 7-5 wingspan and the frame to play center in the league, he’s more of a brute force down low with decent footwork than a polished big man that could reliably help in the post, much less fight for time in the Spurs’ rotation ahead of DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter.
If Patty Mills returns to the Spurs, I highly expect that he’ll be the only Aussie in a Spurs uniform next season.
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