Spurs Obtain Draft Rights To Kawhi Leonard
SAN ANTONIO (June 23, 2011) - The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have obtained the draft rights to Kawhi Leonard, Davis Bertans and Erazem Lorbek from the Indiana Pacers in exchange for George Hill.
Leonard, a 6-7 forward, was selected by the Pacers with the 15th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. He played two seasons at San Diego State University. Last season he was a Second Team All-America selection by the Associated Press while leading the Aztecs to a school-record 34 wins and an appearance in the Sweet 16. Leonard earned First Team All-Mountain West honors and was selected to the All-Mountain West Defensive Team. For the season he averaged 15.5 points, 10.6 rebounds (ninth in the NCAA), 2.9 assists and 1.42 steals in 32.6 minutes. Leonard posted 23 double-doubles which ranked fourth in the NCAA. He scored in double figures 33 times, including 20-plus in 10 games. He led the team in scoring 16 times, in rebounding 25 times and in assists 12 times.
As a freshman Leonard was named the Mountain West Freshman on the Year, earned All-MWC First Team honors and was named the MWC tournament MVP, becoming the only freshman in MWC history to earn first team all-conference honors. He was one of only four freshmen in the country to lead his team in scoring and rebounding, averaging a team-best 12.7 points and 9.9 rebounds. Leonard finished with 17 double-doubles, which set a freshman school record. He finished with a career-high 26 points at Wyoming on Jan. 9, 2010 and pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds vs. UNLV in the MWC title game on March 13, 2010.
For his career Leonard appeared in 70 games for the Aztecs, averaging 14.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.40 steals in 31.9 minutes while shooting .449 (377-840) from the field and .744 (195-262) from the foul line.
San Antonio also acquired the draft rights Davis Bertans who Indiana selected with the 42nd overall selection in this year’s draft. Bertans has spent the past five years playing on a variety of levels in Latvia. Last season he split the year playing for BK Barons Riga (Slovenia) and Union Olimpija (Latvia). He started the year with BK Barons, averaging 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 20.3 points in five games. He then transferred to Union Olimpija where he is currently still in season. Through seven games, he is averaging 4.4 points and 1.4 rebounds in 10.1 minutes. He also appeared in seven Adriatic League games for Olimpija, averaging 4.1 points and 1.3 rebounds in 8.9 minutes. Prior to the start of the 2010-11 season, Bertans participated in the 2010 U-18 European Championship for Latvia. He averaged 14.8 points. 7.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 30.1 minutes in nine contests. In 2009-10 Bertans spent the majority of the season with BAA Riga in the Latvia second division. He averaged 17.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 30.2 minutes in 30 LBL games.
The Spurs also received Erazem Lorbek from the Pacers. Lorbek was originally selected by Indiana with the 46th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft. He has played in Europe since 1999. Lorbek has spent the past two seasons playing for FC Barcelona in the Spanish League. Last season he averaged 8.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 22.5 minutes in 40 Spanish League games and 8.5 points and 3.7 rebounds in 20.7 minutes in 20 Euroleague games. In 2008 Lorbek helped lead CSKA Moscow to the Euroleague Finals. He was named to the Second Team All-Euroleague Team after averaging 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 21 Euroleague games. During the 2004-05 season Lorbek won the Eurloeague Rising Star Award, averaging 9.2 points and 4.9 rebounds in 20 Euroleague games for Climamio Bologna. Lorbek has played for the Slovenian National Team since 2005. In the 2009 Eurobasket Finals, he averaged 16.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists in eight games.