The Brooklyn Nets signed two of their three second-round draft picks to contracts this offseason, but the third, Xavier Thames, has signed on to play with Baloncesto Sevilla, the top team in the Spanish League, instead, Baloncesto announced on Wednesday.
— Baloncesto Sevilla (@cdbsevilla) August 6, 2014
The 6-foot-3 Thames was drafted with the 59th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. This move will help him to continue to develop while the Nets retain his rights. To do that, they just have to offer him a contract by Sept. 6. He’ll turn it down to play in Spain, but if he didn’t sign with Sevilla, they would have had to invite him to training camp and if he was cut from the roster they would have lost his rights. The Nets currently do not have a D-League affiliate that he could play on.
Thames, who was the Mountain West Player of the Year with San Diego State last season, is known for a strong mid-range game, but has received critisim for being a little too small to be a two-guard. He averaged 17.6 points, 3.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game last season. While playing in the summer league last month, he averaged just 3.6 points and 2.4 assists per game with a 26 shooting percentage.
I like this move. The Nets didn’t need to carry all three of their draft picks on the roster and, in fact, didn’t have the roster space to do it even if they wanted to. So this stashes him away and let’s him continue to develop in a solid league. If he makes strides, they can bring him back next year or even use him in a trade down the road.