After Oregon State forward Drew Eubanks went without hearing his name called in the 2018 NBA Draft, the future of the now-professional basketball player was uncertain.
The San Antonio Spurs quickly signed Eubanks to their NBA Summer League squad and have played the 6’ 10” forward between 12-18 minutes in most contents, where his stat-line is usually filled with a few rebounds and a single-digit (although very efficient) scoring output.
But as we’ve learned over the years, statistical production in NBA Summer League is not what most teams are in search of. The questions teams ask themselves are does this player fit our system? Can we see him developing in our program? Is he worth the investment?
In the case of Eubanks, this question is a more than intriguing one. Eubanks has shown flashes of comfort in a pro-style game, where his offensive abilities can shine through effortlessly. While not regarded as a defensive menace, the Pride of Troutdale even came through with a few big blocks and forced turnovers here and there. But at the end of the day, solid and consistent play considered, we here at Building The Dam were still left with the question...what are Drew Eubanks chances to the make the Spurs roster?
To answer this inquiry, we reached out to Jesus Gomez, one the staff writers over at SB Nation’s San Antonio Spurs site Pounding The Rock, for his insights on what he’s seen from Eubanks so far and how the roster situation will likely play out in front of the one-time Oregon State star. We can’t thank Gomez enough for his time and effort when answering our questions about Eubanks.
The first thing I noticed is that he didn’t look out of place in Summer League. That might seem like a low bar to clear, but it’s not. As the saying goes, “Summer League doesn’t tell you who can play, but it does tell you who can’t.” Big men in particular can struggle to make an impact, because the game is so guard-oriented. It’s a credit to Eubanks that he has made the most out of his playing time, showing off his touch around the rim and his light feet on defense. He clearly has the athleticism and the skills to play professional basketball. I’m not sure he’s going to be doing it in the NBA, though. At least not right away.
He’s a little undersized for an NBA center and can’t hit threes yet, which is a bad combination. There are small centers who can’t shoot in the league, but they tend to be physical freaks or masters of the little things. Eubanks is neither. He’s a good athlete but not elite and still needs to improve as a screener and positional defender, in my eyes. The Spurs drafted a big man who needs work in the second round in USC’s Chimezie Metu, so I doubt they’ll add another one. I’m not sure Eubanks has done enough to catch on elsewhere, either. Eubanks just looks a little raw. A stint in the G-League learning some tricks and extending his range would do him a world of good.
Hopefully that will happen in Austin, where the Spurs can keep an eye on him.
- Jesus Gomez, Pounding The Rock
If Eubanks remains in the Spurs organization, it seems like he could be a solid fit at the stretch-four (or swing forward) spot, where previous players like Boris Diaw have flourished. However, Eubanks (like noted above by Gomez) needs to develop a more consistent jumper and limit his perimeter turnovers.
For now, his status still remains up in the air, as the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League continues for the Spurs on Thursday against the Milwaukee Bucks.