San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Who is Adam Hanga?

By Rob Wolkenbrod
May 11, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs players smile from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets in game six of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs players smile from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets in game six of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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After waiting six years for Adam Hanga, the San Antonio Spurs will likely have him on its roster for next season. Who is this player?

The San Antonio Spurs have become known for drafting and stashing players, mostly international prospects. They usually have to wait a year or two for them to arrive, including players like Manu Ginobili, Davis Bertans and Luis Scola, the latter of whom never played for the team. However, there is someone from overseas that has a good chance of playing for the Spurs next fall: Adam Hanga.

In 2011, the Spurs selected Hanga in Round 2, with the 59th pick. These selections, especially being late-round international picks, either never pan out or stick around in Europe. However, six years after being drafted, the 28-year-old wants to come to the NBA. So who exactly is this player?

For the past six years, Hanga has played overseas with six different teams. He’s currently part of Saskia Baskonia of Liga ACB,  averaging 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, just over 1 steal, and shooting 33 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Hanga is listed at 6-foot-7, 205 pounds, which likely puts him at a forward spot. Draft Express has his wingspan measured at 6-foot-7. These are quality measurements, which should fit him in as at least a wing defender off the bench.

Hanga was actually the 2016-17 Euroleague Defensive Player of the Year, so the pedigree on the opposite side of the court is there. Andrew Bernucca of The Step Back went into how good of a defender Hanga is:

Hanga is a fantastic shot blocker, especially for a player who’s primarily a perimeter defender. In the previous clip, we saw him come over in a defensive rotation to block a lay-up, and then we saw him successfully pull-off a chase down block as well.

However, Hanga does more than block shots. He’s an incredibly active defender with great anticipation skills. He really knows how to get his hand on the ball defensively and cause problems for his opponent.

This sounds like the latest tool for Gregg Popovich to use, potentially in late-game situations to go against a team’s shooting guard or to spell one of the starters. Hanga will need to get his shot going, though, which is a downside to what he brings.

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Hanga’s 33 percent mark from three-point range is the second-highest mark of his career. It’s not a high number, and something that may not even translate to the NBA. He’ll be against more athletic players that will close in on him and affect his shot, so he may need to focus on cutting to the basket and scoring around the rim, or mid range.

The assist-to-turnover ratio isn’t eye-popping, either. For Hanga’s career, he’s averaging 2 assists and 1.6 turnovers per game. It’s concerning and something he’ll need to contain in the NBA if he wants consistent time off the bench.

If Manu Ginobili retires, then the odds of Hanga getting into the rotation to start next season will increase. The same will go for if Jonathan Simmons leaves via free agency, as his contract is up. Of course, that depends on how Hanga handles the Summer League and training camp.

Next: Would Chris Paul Lift Spurs Over Warriors?

Hanga could be an interesting player to follow for the Spurs in the 2017-18 season. If he signs, will he fit into the rotation and become a successful player?

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