The Spurs will work out center Rafael Hettsheimeir, as João Paulo Benini writes for Papo Com O Papa in Hettsheimer’s native Brazil and as international journalist David Pick confirms through the agent for the 29-year-old (Twitter link). San Antonio has been eyeing the big man for a while, as they were reportedly among the NBA teams interested in him back in 2012. The Spurs were impressed with Hettsheimeir’s performance in this summer’s Pan American Games, in which he helped the Brazilian team win the Gold medal with 10.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in nearly 18 minutes per game, Pick adds.
The 6’10” Hettsheimeir spent this past season with Bauru in the Brazilian NBB league, but he played before that in the more heavily scouted Spanish ACB league. He put up 5.5 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 13.4 MPG for Unicaja Malaga in 2013/14, and he spent the 2012/13 season in a similarly limited role with Real Madrid. He saw much more playing time with CAI Zaragoza of Spain in 2011/12, posting 13.3 PPG and 6.4 RPG in 30.1 MPG.
That season for Zaragoza seemed to put him on the NBA map, as the Cavs, Mavs, Rockets and Hawks reportedly joined the Spurs as interested parties. Hettsheimeir went undrafted in 2008, so no NBA team holds his rights. The Spurs have only 13 fully guaranteed salaries, so room on the regular season roster is ostensibly available. Even if Hettsheimeir ends up signing with the Spurs, he’d still play for Bauru in the club’s preseason exhibitions against the Knicks and Wizards in October, according to Benini.