The San Antonio Spurs Second-Round draft pick DeShaun Thomas has made a decision to play overseas to play with a team in Paris. Earlier, Spanish and European basketball websites reported Thomas was close to signing with Estudiantes Madrid, which plays in Spain’s top league, the Liga Endesa.
Thomas spoke with The Columbus Dispatch, about his decision to play overseas.
Thomas said he and Hensley spoke with the Spurs last week about offers Thomas had received from European teams.
“They didn’t know what they want to do with their 15 (roster) spots . . . and I needed to make a decision,” Thomas said.
“In this business, you have to think about family (Thomas has a 17-month-old son). I still could have gone to (training camp) and tried to make the (Spurs’) roster, but with my son and a family to provide for, I had to look at that. And developing a year ain’t going to hurt.
“It was kind of tough, because I wanted to make the roster. But if training camp didn’t go well, I’d be in the (NBA Development) League, and that (pays) like a part-time job.”
Thomas, the Big Ten scoring leader last season, played for the Spurs’ entry in the Las Vegas Summer League in July and averaged a team-high 12.4 points and 5 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game. He made 41.4 percent of his field goal attempts, including 37.5 percent of his threes, in five games.
There is no surprise about what the Spurs usually do with their picks. They have a history of letting their draft picks, even first-rounders, gain more seasoning overseas before signing them or trading their negotiating rights. Barring a trade, they will retain exclusive rights to Thomas through at least the 2014 draft.