The San Antonio Spurs are one of the best teams in the league in terms of finding value late in the NBA Draft, particularly in the second round. They have a knack for being able to grab players who can succeed as role players in their potent offensive system.
So, when San Antonio grabbed Deshaun Thomas out of Ohio State with the 58th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, many people wondered if the Spurs had struck gold once again.
Last season with the Buckeyes, Thomas was an enormous scoring threat for them. On the season, he averaged 19.8 points per game while shooting 44.5 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three. The previous season, he shot 52 percent from the field as he wasn’t the focal point of Ohio State’s offense. Nonetheless, it was clear in college that Thomas knows how to score.
As Thomas made his debut for the Spurs at the Las Vegas NBA Summer League on Friday night, it was clear that Thomas hasn’t forgotten how to score, either. In 33 minutes, Thomas put up 18 points on 7-13 shooting and 2-4 shooting from long-range. He also added three rebounds and two steals.
For a team like the Spurs that seem to constantly churn out role players who can put the ball in the hole, it seems like Thomas is another young player that’s going to fit right into that system. He’s undersized at the power forward, but he does have the ability to step out and knock down jumpers and stretch the defense.
On a deep team like the Spurs, it’s sometimes hard for players to find their way into the regular rotation. However, with Tim Duncan getting older and his minutes being severely limited because of that, it’s probable that Thomas will see the floor for the Spurs a bit this season. If that does happen, he’s shown, at least in college and through one Summer League game, that he’ll be able to contribute offensively.