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Old 06-29-13, 10:49 PM
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Checking on the Spurs’ Euro stash

The Spurs continued their long-standing tradition of drafting foreign developmental players on Thursday, selecting 19-year-old French forward Livio Jean-Charles with the 28th pick.

In addition to Jean-Charles, the Spurs hold the rights to eight other prospects who either hail from Europe or, in the case of 2012 draftee Marcus Denmon, played there last season.

Half those players — centers Erazem Lorbek, Sergei Karaulov and Robertas Javtokas, and forward Viktor Sanakidze – will likely never suit up for the Spurs thanks to age and/or their contract situations.

The other four — small forward Davis Bertans, power forward Ryan Richards, and shooting guards Denmon and Adam Hanga — remain on their radar. Richards and Denmon are committed to play for the Spurs in the Las Vegas Summer League, and Bertans has traveled to San Antonio for a second straight summer.

While Richards and Denmon could leverage their summer league performances into spots with the senior team, Bertans, Hanga and, of course, Jean-Charles are all expected to play in Europe this coming season.

With Jean-Charles having been extensively profiled on draft night, here are thumbnails on the other four prospects:

F Davis Bertans
KK Partizan (Serbia)
Latvia, 20
6-10, 210
42nd pick, 2011 draft, Indiana (traded to Spurs as part of Kawhi Leonard deal)
Adriatic League
28 games – 22.8 mpg, 9.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.8 spg, 0.5 bpg, 45.9 FG%, 44.6 3-pt%, 75.0 FT%
10 games – 20.0 mpg, 6.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 0.7 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.2 bpg, 38.5 FG%, 47.1 3-pt%, 62.5 FT%

Needs to put on more weight and strength, a task that will be hampered by his recent ACL injury. Until then, he resembles a skinnier, more fluid Matt Bonner. That might not be a particularly tantalizing prospect, but shooting remains a critical asset in the NBA, particularly at the forward spot.

G Adam Hanga
Basquet Manresa (Spain)
Hungary, 24
6-7, 205
59th pick, 2011 draft
32 games – 26.0 mpg, 11.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.8 bpg, 41.8 FG%, 35.3 3-pt%, 70.3 FT%

An impressive athlete who is on the verge of joining Tiago Splitter’s former club in the ACB, now named Saski Baskonia. The length of the prospective deal is reportedly four years, which could wipe out much of his 20s. But he’ll have the benefit of playing for one of the top teams in Europe, which should only increase his development.

C/F Ryan Richards
BC Zepter Vienna (Austria)
England, 22
7-0, 230
49th pick, 2010 draft
20 games – 26.2 mpg, 16.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 0.7 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.4 bpg, 54.5 FG%, 31.9 3-pt%, 75.9 FT%
Euroleague (w/ Asseco Prokom)
5 games – 11.8 mpg, 4.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.2 apg, 0.0 spg, 0.6 bpg, 66.7 FG%, 00.0 3-pt%, 75.0 FT%

Having grown up in England, and played in Poland and Australia, Richards’ game experience is worlds away from the NBA. He also lacks athletic ability, which hinders him as a rebounder and shot blocker. But Richards shows decent offensive potential, and you can’t teach size.

G Marcus Denmon
Elan Chalon (France)
Missouri, 23
6-3, 190
59th pick, 2012 draft
20 games – 31.5 mpg, 12.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.2 spg, 0.1 bpg, 41.7 FG%, 37.3 3-pt%, 87.0 FT%

If Bertans is the second coming of Matt Bonner, Denmon bears more than a passing resemblance to Gary Neal — undersized, marginal playmaking skills, outstanding range. He bounced back from a broken foot in the season opener to rank among Chalon’s scoring leaders.

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