Dick Vitale tweeted it best last night…
What is the deal with Deshaun Thomas? The kid I saw is as good as many in the 1st rd & certainly as good as those in 2nd rd.”
In the 2nd round of the 2013 NBA Draft, Ohio State Buckeyes reigning scoring leader, was selected by the San Antonio Spurs with the 28th pick. It could be a perfect landing spot for Thomas, with a veteran team that almost won the NBA title under a future Hall of Fame coach in Greg Popovich.
Thomas did continue Ohio State’s streak of draft picks, with Buckeyes selected in seven straight years dating back to 2007. That’s the longest streak in college basketball.
But the second round doesn’t include guaranteed contracts. And it can be tough to make a roster from the second round. Ohio State’s Jon Diebler was drafted in the second round in 2011 by Portland and while playing overseas, hasn’t played in an NBA game. If Thomas doesn’t make the Spurs roster, he’ll certainly have a chance overseas.
On ESPN’s draft broadcast, analyst Jay Bilas said he was surprised that Thomas lasted as long as he did, expecting that he’d go earlier in the second round because of his scoring ability.
Given the outcome, some may question whether Thomas should have come out or stayed at Ohio State for his senior season. But Thomas wasn’t going to improve his stock.
He didn’t show great athleticism and quickness at the NBA Combine. He’s not a great defender. He’s a tweener – too small to be a rugged power forward, but not athletic enough to be a dominant small forward.
That wasn’t going to change. And it made sense for Thomas, who could help his family, to start getting paid to do what he does best.
So he left. And he might find a role with a team that nearly won a title. The idea of Thomas providing bench scoring for a good team isn’t far-fetched.
And though he didn’t go as high as maybe he thought or many others thought he would go, he’ll have a chance to earn a living playing his favorite game.