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)
42nd pick, 2011 draft, Indiana (traded to Spurs as part of Kawhi Leonard deal)
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.
<iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JCEW6nPe3sA" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="420" width="630"></iframe>
G Adam Hanga
Basquet Manresa (Spain)
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.
<iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kzODLlOwxd4" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="420" width="630"></iframe>
C/F Ryan Richards
BC Zepter Vienna (Austria)
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.
<iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/eQP90KvJvaY" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="420" width="630"></iframe>
G Marcus Denmon
Elan Chalon (France)
59th pick, 2012 draft
LNB Pro A
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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Link: Spurs Nation
That the Spurs might let Hanga sign a 4 year deal in Spain troubles me but it's not in ink as yet. Why are they waiting until after the end of June? Let's see what transpires starting Monday. The only real news starting then is ink on contracts.
Aren't players taken from the NBA draft treated like free agents and can be signed after 1 July? I'm just guessing. If so, don't draftees sign for 3 years and a standard draftee salary? If that's the case, if Hanga does sign his 4 year deal to continue playing in Europe and after the 4 years, if he's still interested in playing in the NBA, does the aforementioned standard draftee salary still come into play or is he treated as a 'free agent', open to negotiations? If so and he does sign to stay in Europe, kiss him goodbye. Otherwise, sign him and play him in Austin to allow him to get the experience and bring him up if needed, just like Corey.
I would bet big money right now that Hanga's deal includes buyouts to come to the NBA. That has become pretty standard for guys who have been drafted by an NBA team. The fact that it is 4 years is not a worry. He likely can buyout at the end of each season.
In the past, the buyouts written into European contracts were prohibitively high, making it highly unlikely for a player to pay his way out of Europe for the chump change (after paying the buyout) he'd make in the NBA.
With that in mind, if Hanga signs for 4 years in Spain, he'll probably be there until he's 28. That's too bad: the guy looks impressive.
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