San Antonio Spurs Draft-and-Stash Prospects Power Rankings: Week 1
By Jay Desai
Most of the San Antonio Spurs draft-and-stash prospects have kicked off their international seasons which means it’s time to check in on how they are doing.
Every week, we will be providing power rankings for these players, essentially ranking them based on their performances overseas.
The players that will be assessed in this Spurs draft-and-stash power rankings will be those we discussed in our first segment where we previewed these players for the upcoming season. You can read about that preview here if you want to catch up on some background information on these prospects.
Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all the Spurs draft-and-stash prospects, just the ones under 25 since they are the most likely to make their way to the NBA out of all the prospects.
Let’s get these Spurs draft-and-stash rankings started shall we?
7. Deshaun Thomas, FC Barcelona, Spanish ACB League
ACB Stats: 1 Game, 11.0 MIN, 0.0 PTS, 0.0 AST, 0.0 REB, 0.0 STL, 0.0 BLK, 0.0 FG%, 0.0 3FG%, 0.0 FT%
Deshaun Thomas starts out this list at the bottom thanks to his irrelevant performance in FC Barcelona’s first game against Saski Baskonia. The former Ohio State star was ineffective in his 11 minutes on the floor contributing to nothing on the stat sheet.
The one positive Deshaun Thomas does have going for him moving forward is that he is the Spanish ACB, a league that is widely considered to be the second best basketball league in the world.
Thomas is going to have to be more effective for FC Barcelona if he ever wants to see playing time for the San Antonio Spurs or any other NBA team for that matter.
The 6-foot-7 forward also needs to be careful moving forward. Another bad performance, especially considering this is Thomas’ first year with the club, could lead to an end of the bench role early.
Deshaun Thomas’ next game with FC Barcelona will be this weekend on October 12th against ACB team La Bruxia d’Or.
6. Marcus Denmon, Enel Brindisi, Italian Lega Serie A
2013-2014 Stats for Tofaş: 31 Games, 30.6 MIN, 13.9 PTS, 3.2 AST, 3.4 REB, 1.3 STL, 0.0 BLK, 43.6 FG%, 34.9 3FG%, 81.4 FT%
Marcus Denmon lands at number six, ahead of Deshaun Thomas for basically not doing anything wrong. The former Mizzou point guard has yet to play for his new team Enel Brisindi, which start their season this weekend on October 12th against Vuelle Basket Pesaro (This is why last season’s stats are shown above).
The Italian Lega Serie A is a solid league to be playing in, but, with that said, Marcus Denmon will have to put up dominant numbers if he wants a shot with the San Antonio Spurs or any team in the association.
At 24-years-old, time is not on Denmon’s side to make it to the NBA. Although he may never make it to an NBA team, for the purposes of these power rankings, he could shoot up the board with some nie play for Enel Brisindi.
Denmon showed to be solid player last season for Turkish side Tofaş and will hopefully be looking to do the same this year and more in the weaker Italian league.
5. Ryan Richards, BC Zepter Vienna, Austrian League
Austrian League Stats: 4 Games, 29.8 MIN, 20.3 PTS, 1.5 AST, 7.3 REB, 1.0 STL, 0.5 BLK, 60.0 FG%, 27.8 3FG%, 71.4 FT%
I know what you’re thinking. How is Ryan Richards ranked fifth in these power rankings if he is putting up gaudy stats like these? How much better are the players above him if Richards has these kind of numbers?
Let me explain myself.
Ryan Richards plays in the weakest league out of all of the Spurs draft-and-stash prospects under 25. The Austrian league is no comparison to the likes of the ACB, the Turkish league, or even Lega Serie A.
With that said, Ryan Richards is putting up impressive numbers. If he can continue this tear through Austria, he should be back in no time to a stronger league.
BC Zepter Vienna has already played four games this season which means Richards has shown his dominance in four games. That is pretty impressive, especially when you look at his best performance.
Richards had his best performance of the season so far in BC Zepter Vienna’s first game. In that match, the 7-foot tall Englishman scored 27 points and pulled down 9 boards while shooting a cool 7-of-9 from inside the arc and getting to the free throw line 15 times.
If Ryan Richards can put more of these performances together, he should move up this board in no time.
Richards and BC Zepter Vienna play their next game on October 12th against Gmunden.
4. Ádám Hanga, Sidigas Avellino, Lega Serie A
2013-2014 ACB Stats: 26 Games, 16.9 MIN, 5.8 PTS, 1.0 AST, 2.4 REB, 1.0 STL, 0.6 BLK, 62.9 FG%, 33.3 3FG%, 50.0 FT%
Ádám Hanga falls into the same category as Marcus Denmon, an Italian league player who is yet to start their regular season games. Hanga was loaned to Italian side Sidigas Avellino for the upcoming season and will begin play on October 12th against Umana Reyer Venezia.
Moving to the Italian league is a step down for the Hungarian shooting guard but that is okay. Hanga should see an increase in playing time in Italy which will allow him to showcase his talents more.
Also a positive for Hanga is that the deal is a loan, meaning that Saski Baskonia of the ACB League, his former club, still holds his rights.
At 25-years-old though, Hanga needs to start putting up big time numbers fast. His window on potentially becoming a San Antonio Spurs member is closing fast and if he cannot become a star for Sidigas Avellino, his NBA future could become a pipe dream.
3. Livio Jean-Charles, ASVEL Basket, French LNB Pro A
Euroleague Stats: 3 Games, 13.7 MIN, 1.3 PTS, 0.7 AST, 2.7 REB, 0.0 STL, 1.3 BLK, 25.0 FG%, 0.0 3FG%, 0.0 FT%
LNB Pro A Stats: 2 Games, 13.0 MIN, 4.5 PTS, 0.0 AST, 6.0 REB, 0.5 STL, 1.0 BLK, 44.4 FG%, 0.0 3FG%, 50.0 FT%
Livio Jean-Charles has gotten off to a rocky start to begin this season. A player who was predicted to be one of the Spurs top draft-and-stash prospects has struggled in the early goings, both in the Euroleague and the French LNB Pro A.
The only reason Jean-Charles is holding down this number three spot is because the others below him are either not playing, playing in a poor league, or are named Deshaun Thomas.
The good news for Spurs fans though is that the 6-foot-9 forward has shown some flashes of that eye-popping talent he displayed at other competitions.
Jean-Charles’ best game so far came in ASVEL Basket’s first regular season game against Strasbourg. In that match, the French forward scored a solid nine points and grabbed eight rebounds while shooting 4-of-7 from the field.
Although those numbers do not jump off the page, it is early in the season and Jean-Charles could definitely up those stats when he gets in mid-season form. The concern right now is that those numbers were in Jean-Charles’ first game, since then he has struggled.
Jean-Charles is really going to have to step up his game in the coming weeks, otherwise he could even be passed by Ryan Richards, a player who was thought to clearly be at the bottom of this list heading into the season.
The former first-round pick plays his next game on October 11th against LNB Pro A team Dijon.
2. Nemanja Dangubić, KK Crvena zvedza, Adriatic League
Adriatic League Stats: 2 Games, 18.5 MIN, 8.0 PTS, 1.5 AST, 2.0 REB, 0.5 STL, 0.0 BLK, 50.0 FG%, 33.3 3FG%, 75.0 FT%
Nemanja Dangubić takes the number two spot on our power rankings with a solid start to the season. The Spurs’ most recent draft pick and a former Adidas Eurocamp MVP, Dangubić has done nothing particularly bad to negatively affect him on this list.
The Adriatic League is less prestigious than the LNB Pro A, but with solid performances, I feel comfortable slotting Dangubić at number two.
Dangubić does need to watch out for Livio Jean-Charles, Ádám Hanga, and maybe even Ryan Richards. The first two players mentioned are supposed to have better seasons than Dangubić so it would not be entirely surprising to see the 6-foot-8.5 shooting guard drop a couple of spots next week.
That said, Dangubić should be applauded for his solid start to the season.
The Serbian guard’s best performance came in KK Crvena zvedza’s first Adriatic League match. In that game, Dangubić scored 11 points off the bench on a nice 4-of-6 shooting from the field adding a three as well.
With more development overseas and continued solid performances, Dangubić could definitely by a future member of the San Antonio Spurs.
Dangubić and KK Crvena zvedza’s next game is on October 10th against Union Olimpija.
1. Dāvis Bertāns
ACB Stats: 1 Game, 29.0 MIN, 24.0 PTS, 2.0 AST, 3.0 REB, 3.0 STL, 0.0 BLK, 90.9 FG%, 0.0 3FG%, 100.0 FT%
Dāvis Bertāns closes out our power rankings of Spurs draft-and-stash prospects at the top of the list. The numbers speak for themselves. Bertāns scorched Deshaun Thomas and FC Barcelona, shooting 10-of-13 from the field, making this a no-brainer.
Sure it is a small sample size of one game but Bertāns was expected to be good this season. The 6-foot-10 forward made the jump this year to the Spanish ACB League knowing that a strong year could potentially land him an NBA gig.
Bertāns is well on his way to the San Antonio Spurs if he can keep producing these kinds of performances.
The only area Bertāns really needs to improve in is his rebounding ability, but that should come in due time considering the Latvian forward is only 21-years-old and can still become stronger.
Bertāns and Saski Baskonia play their next game on October 12th against Spanish ACB League team Unicaja.
Your Turn to Rank The Spurs’ Draft-and-Stash Prospects
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