The Asociacion de Clubs de Baloncesto, or Liga ACB, is commonly thought of as the best basketball league other than the NBA. Players like the Gasol brothers, Ricky Rubio, Jose Calderon and Serge Ibaka all began their careers in Liga ACB. Spain's talent shows in FIBA World Rankings, too, as Spain sits second behind the United States.
Baloncesto Sevilla seems thrilled to have Mr. Thames, just take a look at this tweet. And if I were Thames, I'd be pretty darn happy, too. The summer league showed us that Thames probably wouldn't have gotten much playing time with the Brooklyn Nets this year and may have been assigned to the D-League. Now, with Baloncesto Sevilla, Thames will travel, live abroad and get a lot of playing time and experience on a good team (Sevilla reached the semifinals of the Copa del Rey in 2011-12 and have a winning record in three of the last five seasons) in the world's second-best basketball league. Sounds pretty good, if you ask me. And because the Nets can hold Thames' draft rights for as long as they'd like, they have the option to sign Thames in the future if they like what they see in Spain.
Thames will play in Sevilla with Latvia's Kristaps Porzingis, a 7-foot power forward/center, who is already on 2015 NBA Draft boards. Thames' head coach will be Scott Roth, who was an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons last year.
Thames was drafted 59th overall by the Toronto Raptors at the 2014 NBA Draft. The Nets quickly bought his draft rights, however, and Thames played with Brooklyn in the NBA Summer League. Thames struggled in Las Vegas, averaging 3.6 points, 2.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 26.9 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from long range. Brooklyn signed its two other draft-night rookies, Markel Brown and Cory Jefferson, to multi-year contracts on July 23.
The Nets have until September 6 to offer him an NBA contract.