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Former Spurs draft pick Davis Bertans signs three year deal in Spain

Davis Bertans, 42nd overall pick in the 2011 draft, has signed a three-year deal with Saski Baskonia in Spain’s ACB league, according to Sportando.

Laboral Kutxa Vitoria has announced the signing of Latvian small forward Davis Bertans. The player signed a contract until 2017. He comes from Partizan Belgrade, where last season averaged 13.4 points per game.

He signed a three year little less than €2 millions contract with NBA escape every year.

Bertans is still only 21-years-old, so this is just simply the next step in his development. However, it’s a rather big one. He’s leaving one of the best clubs in the Adriatic League to join what is widely regarded as the second-best basketball league in the world. Baskonia also has quite a track record of helping to develop NBA talent, including former Spurs’ draftees Tiago Splitter and Luis Scola.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Spurs seem to have played a part in this move. A separate Sportando report mentions that the team wished for him to be placed under the care of coach Marco Crespi, who is taking over as Baskonia’s head coach next season. This shows that the Spurs still are intensely interested in Bertans’ development, and most likely want to bring him over sooner rather than later. The NBA escape clauses every year also provide evidence that he’s most likely one strong season away from coming over.

Bertans has continually improved since being drafted by the Spurs in 2011. Known as a shooter, his release is extremely quick and his mechanics are beautiful. Deadly in catch-and-shoot situations, Bertans excels both in spot-ups or curling off of screens. My guess is that, at worst, we’re looking at a Steve Novak-type player. However, the same problems that have hampered Novak may be problems for Bertans. At 6’10 215, he’s caught in between the 3 and the 4 defensively. Plus, while he’s comfortable putting the ball on the deck, his handle is still pretty loose. Development in either one of those two areas would be important for his chances of sticking in the NBA beyond just as a requisite shooter.

But as he’s still young, the jury is out on what Bertans is. Regardless of whether or not he can still develop beyond his current skill set, it seems that the Spurs probably did get yet another late round role player in this Latvian sharpshooter.

Sam Vecenie

Sam Vecenie is the editor-in-chief of Upside & Motor, as well as an editor at Hardwood Paroxysm. He likes to spend endless hours watching random NCAA game film, and scouring the internet for international basketball. You can find his other work at SBNation's college basketball platform.