Wizards GM calls the Spurs the 'gold standard' of international scouting

SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Spurs have a stellar record when it comes to finding basketball talent across the globe.

Whether it was drafting an unknown guard from Argentina, a lightning-fast French basketball player, or franchise-changing player from the Virgin Islands, the Spurs have a nose for international talent and have the track record to back it up.

Speaking with, Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard, he takes inspiration from San Antonio's approach and hopes to adopt that with Washington.

“I’ve always taken great inspiration from what the Spurs did forever,” Sheppard said, citing the franchise famous for Manu Ginobili (Argentina), Tony Parker (France) and even Tim Duncan (Virgin Islands) as successful overseas stars.
“They were the gold standard. It’s not like they said, ‘Let’s go get international guys.’ It kind of organically grew that way. You take a lot of notes over the years and you see what works in different places.”

Beyond the Spurs international greats - Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan - the Spurs have brought on to the team other foreign talent who made contributions to the franchise's success.

Boris Diaw (France), Fabricio Oberto (Argentina), Nando De Colo (France), Pau Gasol (Spain), Boban Marjanovic (Serbia), Rasho Nesterovic (Slovenia) and Tiago Splitter (Brazil) are just a handful of international players San Antonio has added in their history.

The Spurs also acquired Davis Bertans (Latvia) who is now with the Wizards.

San Antonio's international flare continues. 

Luka Samanic (Croatia) is in his second-season after being selected No. 19 in the 2019 NBA Draft. Before being recalled, he turned heads for his play with the Austin Spurs this season, averaging 21.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 32.8 minutes six games played. He was one of only five players in the NBA G League averaging at least 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds.

Twitter: @JeffGSpursZone

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