It always fascinates me that basketball so called experts cannot see the forest for the trees when the comparisons are so blatantly obvious. Just need to get past your assumed "expertness" to see it, to be honest.
Deshaun Thomas like the aforementioned other Big 10 conference player is a not so poor mans Glen Robinson.
They both played Power forward in College more or less. They are both 6'7'' "non athlete' scorers from anywhere on the court. Their game translates to the NBA in ANY ERA. All you big headed guys here and on Spurstalk want to prove how knowledgeable you are but miss the obvious.
He can play back up small forward on the spurs behind Leonard.
First it's a BACK UP FORWARD position and he will not be putting many minutes against starting 3's in the NBA.
Second he will see time as a stretch four in small ball situations and he will not be that much of a defensive liability because his perceived lack of quicks can be masked by proper defensive scheming and coaching . If mat Bonner can see significant minutes at the 3 and four in relief minutes and the spurs STILL have a top 5 defense then Thomas will be just FINE. Also,he seems to have a nose for the game which means he is probably crafty enough to to get beat off the ball TOO badly.
I sit back and watch all you guys hem and haw at one of the best prospects to call into the Spurs Laps in YEARS because you try to make yourselves talk like guys you hear talk on TV and Radio.
I'm sure the Spurs coaches and Front Office see the OBVIOUS even if the Fan's don't because RC himself has said that there is a spot behind Leonard in the lineup OPEN.
@RodneyDeLaCruz I concur with almost everything. But I believe Thomas is a basketball player, a scorer, who will play back up 3 & 4 and he will come off the bench because what is called instant offense. He has better handles than Gary Neal. If the NBA Finals are any indication of small ball to come then Thomas will play in the NBA and get his share of playing time. He also has a high basketball IQ.
Your right, if Bonner can get playing time in the NBA so can Thomas. Bonner cannot shoot when the pressure is on. He can shoot 3's in a regular season game at home but when the playoffs come Bonner is on the bench. I do not live in SA, but people must love Bonner off the court, since he does nothing on the court. He does not even make enough money to amnesty.
Gary Neal cannot play defense or dribble, but the gets playing time
Someone made an accurate comment about Melo, and he's right, Melo does not play defense. But Thomas is not Melo, but what I've seen of Thomas I will be surprise if he does not make the Spurs.
I hate to lose Neal, but I'm sure another team will pay him more money and he will not be on the Spurs roster. If Neal does not make squad, I believe Thomas will make the team
In the back of my head I can't help but think about the inevitable post TD/Manu era. Thomas needs to work on his athleticism and defense, but he is showing real potential as versatile 3/4 scorer who could carry a lot of the scoring load for our second unit as the first or second guy off the bench. Right now, we have players for that. Two years from now, when our big three turns into TP and the majority of our contracts expire, the development work we put in to DeShaun Thomas now could pay dividends.
It's a balancing act for us this year, as it has been for the last couple. We need to maximise our chances of winning a title whilst the window is open, and we also need to start re-stacking the deck for what we know is coming. Increasingly, using a spot at the end of the roster to ensure the proper development of a young player with potential seems like a good move to me. Thomas could be that guy. I'm hoping he closes out the week strongly. I'm hoping he earns that spot. I'm starting to cheer for Deshaun Thomas.
Carmelo Anthony doesn't play defense and he is still a great asset....Deshaun can learn or Pop can make a system to cover his weakness in the future when he starts flourishing...he will be a star, they need to give him a spot on the roster
Deshaun tries on defense, always has and always will. The problem is he is a WORSE athlete than Matt Bonner. He athletically is not able to guard SF's in the NBA. So no, I don't think he can back-up Kawhi. HOWEVER, he is one heck of a scorer. Night in and night out, he commanded a double-team in the Big Ten. I think he can command a double team in the NBA. I know that Pop is focused on defense, but sometimes you figure out a way to use somebody when they have a special talent. I think Deshaun and Gary both get roster spots, meaning somebody else has to go ...
I hope Neal doesn't resign (quit), I hope he re-signs, but I'd also like to see Thomas make the team.