When the San Antonio Spurs selected Nando De Colo with the 53rd overall pick in the 2009 draft, the team held expectations of being a future rotation player for him.
Though it’s a stretch to say De Colo was expected to play at a Manu Ginobili level, similarities in the games of the two led to comparisons and at least the expectation that De Colo can rise in the depth chart. However, his sophomore year hasn’t gone as all Spurs fans had hoped.
With the decline in De Colo’s play has come rumors of Fenerbahce, a Turkish league team, wanting to pry him away from San Antonio as soon as possible. It makes sense that foreign teams are looking to Nando as an option, since there are no signs that he will return to the Spurs for a third year.
De Colo’s agent has denied the reports that the interest is mutual, but stated Nando will weigh all his options and is open to returning to a foreign league. The tools in his game are NBA-caliber, just not with the Spurs.
In De Colo’s rookie year, he was brought along as a project that needed a lot of time in the D-League with the Austin Toros throughout the season. To the surprise of many, he was brought along into the rotation toward the end of the regular season and was named the backup point guard publicly by head coach Gregg Popovich. However, it all went downhill from there.
De Colo lost the position to Cory Joseph and only logged in 14 minutes total in a five-game span during the 2012-13 playoffs. In the last postseason, De Colo was deactivated the entire run.
After disappointing in the summer league and preseason, De Colo lost the opportunity to regain his spot very quickly, this time to Patty Mills. He publicly stated his frustration with the lack of playing of time in the playoffs, which didn’t sit well with the Spurs staff either. This season has been and up and down trip from San Antonio to Austin, as his time with the Toros is still going strong.
De Colo’s numbers in the D-League jump out of the scoreboard, as he’s averaged 23.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.8 steals in his eight games with the Toros. He just can’t transition any momentum when he gets playing time with the Spurs. He’s only played in 13 games with the Spurs and holds an average of 6.8 minutes, mostly in garbage time.
To sum it all up, De Colo simply doesn’t have a future in San Antonio. There are two more capable backup point guards that have beaten him for the position before, and there are three shooting guards that will stay miles ahead of him in the rotation. He’s stuck at the end of the bench (most often in his suit), and if he wants to continue his NBA career, he’ll most likely have to do it somewhere else.