Nando De Colo has what amounts to an open tryout for the San Antonio Spurs, though he already has a two-year contract locked into place. It’s a tryout in the sense that the Spurs will get to see how De Colo fares in a tournament that generally boasts the best players in the world.
Australian head coach Brett Brown won’t coach against De Colo in London unless Australia draws France in the knockout round, but Brown still came away impressed with De Colo’s game after a tight exhibition match against France a couple of weeks ago.
De Colo led the French team with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the foul line, including a 3-pointer that tied the game at 67 with a minute to play. In the end, it wasn’t enough.
“When we played against France in preparation, I could see in Nando true form for the first time and I love it,” Brown said.
He had swag, he has the game, he has a hardness that remind me a little younger version of Manu because he plays without fear, he can get up close and he has great confidence in him.”
Brown also compared De Colo to Goran Dragic, who recently signed a new four-year, $34 million contract with Phoenix. Part of what makes De Colo a nice addition, according to Brown, will be his ability to play a complementary role to Tony Parker and Manu.
“I see how he can be complementary to Tony and how Tony trusts him in the backcourt, because of his sheer talent and hardness,” Brown said. “He has a bit of Dragic in him. … I think he may be a surprise in the NBA, even if it will be an adjustment period for everyone. I think Pop will be pleasantly surprised. Anyway, RC Buford and his staff have done a great job by identifying (him) and now we’ll get him.”
De Colo’s numbers don’t induce any oohs and awes, nor should they, but they are respectable. He’s averaging 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, two assists and 38.2% shooting through three preliminary games. Only Nicolas Batum and Parker have scored more points for Les Bleus.
A standout performance will be highly encouraging and may give him a better chance to earn significant minutes in the Spurs’ rotation.
So what do you think Spurs fans? Will De Colo be able to replicate the success of Manu Ginobili?