As San Antonio Spurs 2011 draftee Adam Hanga continues to heal from a meniscus tear in his left knee, he's preparing for a new journey in his basketball career that is expected to be more challenging as he will be playing with Saski Baskonia in the ACB Spanish League.
In an interview with Spanish site MundoDeportivo.com, Hanga spoke about the challenge he will face in the ACB League and how he'll first have to prove himself with Baskonia before thinking about the NBA.
Mundo Deportivo quoted Hanga as saying he's ready to "seize the opportunity" in playing with tougher competition this season. Hanga also said he's ready to take the "step forward" in his basketball career by preparing to face the players in the Spanish League.
One interesting teammate Hanga will have on Baskonia is former Philadelphia 76ers and Chicago Bulls forward Andres Nocioni, who was also apart of the historic Argentine National Teams that Spurs guard Manu Ginobili played on.
A player like Nocioni could be a good mentor for a young player like Hanga to both learn from on the court in games and also compete against in practice. Nocioni's play could be small glimpse for Hanga to see what NBA talent is like.
According to the article, Hanga is also prepared to face the tougher scheduling as he'll be playing two games per week now in the Spanish League. This will be a good way to prepare for the NBA if he makes it as teams sometimes play as much as five games in seven nights depending on various schedules.
Even though his new deal with Baskonia is set for four years, Hanga did not rule out possibly leaving to the NBA early, but he said he must first prove himself with Baskonia before thinking about the NBA
"I have to prove I'm a good player on this team and club Baskonia is best to think of the NBA," said Hanga.
Lastly, the article states Hanga is recovering as planned and should be ready to train with his new teammates by September 17.
Hanga signed with Baskonia for four years but there was no mention of any NBA out-clause should he want to make the jump to the NBA and join the Spurs. Adam is 24 years old and if he plays out his entire contract, he will be 28 should he want to join San Antonio.
I'm going to wait and see how his knee holds up playing against tougher competition and playing multiple games in a week before I make a guess as to what kind of a difference he might make as a Spur.
Playing against this tougher competition will be great way to develop, we will definitely know in 2 years if he is NBA ready or not.
If he does as well as I expect, I don't see why the Spurs won't buy out his cheap contract after 2 years -- this guy has a lot of upside and potential through the roof.
Mark my words fellow fans... this guy will impact our roster in a very positive way before you know it!