It appears that former Ohio State forward Deshaun Thomas will begin his professional basketball career overseas, as opposed to the NBA.
According to several reports, Thomas will sign to play in France, perhaps as early as Friday. Thomas had been deciding between offers from teams in both the French and Spanish leagues.
Thomas was selected by the Spurs in the second round of the NBA Draft (No. 58 overall) in June. He entered the draft after his junior season with the Buckeyes, in which he averaged a team-high 19.8 points and 5.9 rebounds.
But questions about whether the 6-foot-7 Thomas would be a small forward or power forward at the next level contributed to his slide on draft night. He was not guaranteed a roster spot on the Spurs.
Thomas averaged 12.4 points for the Spurs’ entry in the Las Vegas summer league.
By opting to play overseas, Thomas allows the defending Western Conference champions to retain his rights through the 2014 draft should he decide to make a go of it in the NBA. The Spurs would have surrendered his rights had he not made the final cut at the end of training camp.
“I needed to make a decision,” Thomas told The Columbus Dispatch. “In this business, you have to think about family. I still could have gone to (training camp) and tried to make the roster, but with my (17-month old) son and a family to provide for, I had to look at that. And developing a year ain’t going to hurt.
“It was kind of tough, because I wanted to make the roster. But if training camp didn’t go well, I’d probably be in the (NBA Development) League, and when you go in the D-League you need another part-time job.”
Thomas added he spoke with the Spurs and received no assurances about making the team.
At least one Ohio State player has been selected in each of the previous seven drafts — the longest streak in college basketball.