Posted: 10:38 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013
By J. Gomez (Edg5)
In the past few days there have been rumors about the Spurs being interested in various players. It's always important to remember to take these reports with a grain of salt, as it's possible the interest is not as strong as it's made out to be. After all, anyone that's left unsigned at this point is auditioning for a job and the perception that teams are interested can help create a market.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let's take a look at the recent names linked to the Spurs and see if there is a fit.
Let's start off with an easy one. There is no reason whatsoever for the Spurs to be interested in Bibby. The former second overall pick didn't play last year and the previous couple of seasons he was a shell of his former self. I guess he still has value as a spot up shooter, since he is a career 38% marksman from beyond the arc though it's very doubtful he can create for others and play even passable defense at this point. He is also 35-years-old and the Spurs have three young guards that play the same position.
I could only see this happening if the Spurs waive or trade one or more of their guards and there has been no indication they are entertaining that idea. If Patty Mills is released it could make some amount of sense to fill the spot with a veteran shooter and Bibby fits the bill. But even then it's hard to see Bibby cracking the rotation.
This is most likely a situation in which a veteran player is looking for a place to work out and the Spurs accommodating him. Nothing more.
Report: Spurs interested in Telfair
Telfair is also a point guard but of a completely different type. He is a solid floor general that can create for others and occasionally get to the rim, where he struggles finishing. Telfair is a veteran that could come in and provide some steady minutes as Parker rests, not unlike T.J. Ford did a couple of season ago, and at 28-years-old he is still young. His shooting is a bit suspect but so was T.J.'s and he worked out just fine.
Unfortunately for Telfair, the Spurs already have a very similar player with higher upside in Cory Joseph. If the plan is to give some minutes behind Parker to a caretaker point guard, the Spurs would be better served letting Joseph have them. Their weaknesses are the same, namely spot up shooting and finishing at the rim, and their potential for an immediate impact seems similar. Joseph should have the edge because there's clearly still some untapped potential there while Telfair is what he is, at this point.
It's interesting that the Spurs are doing their due diligence and seeing what's out there at all positions but it's extremely unlikely they sign a point guard unless there is a trade in the works.
There was a time not so long ago when the possibility of signing Pietrus would have excited most fans. When the French forward was a part of those good Stan Van Gundy/Dwight Howard Magic teams, he seemed to be a really good 3-and-D player. He didn't have the highest of BBIQs but he had the physical tools and the drive to be an above average defender and the shooting stroke to keep defenses honest. In 2009/10 he played a career high 75 games and shot 38% from three while also helping on the boards.
But the perennially injured Pietrus couldn't repeat that performance and after leaving the Magic he bounced around to a few teams without sticking. Last season he was with the Raptors, who signed him after being ravaged by injuries. He posted the worst shooting numbers of his career and didn't stuff the stat sheet either. At age 31, it seems Pietrus body is starting to betray him and he simply doesn't have the skills to make up for it.
At this point in the off season the pickings are slim so a guy like Pietrus isn't really that bad of a get. The problem is there is no reason for the Spurs to sign him. He is bulkier than Danny Green, even though they are both 6-6, so he could ostensibly guard bigger forwards. But he is not a lockdown defender and on offense he would be a huge downgrade. There's no way this version of Pietrus can carve out a role for himself with the Spurs. As injury insurance you can do a lot worse but he (or someone like him) will probably be available later in the season
Report: Sam Young has meeting with Spurs
Out of all the players the Spurs are rumored to be interested in, Young makes the most sense. He was part of Indiana's roster last season, so former Pacers assistant coach Jim Boylen knows him first hand and he has played his whole career on winning teams, so he knows what will be expected of him. He is a solid team defender and he understands his limitations on offense, so he should fit right in with the Spurs. The problem is he is just not special at all.
Young is not a scorer and especially not a good spot up shooter, connecting on only 31.5% of spot up threes last season. He is a solid individual defender but is a bit slow for a shooting guard and a bit short to play small forward, much less slide up to power forward. He is a very solid rebounder but that's pretty much it, as he has seen his scoring numbers slip along with his minutes.
There's nothing wrong with having a guy like Young to be your 10th man but the Spurs have more intriguing players already in the roster. Danny Green is obviously a better option as back up SF but even three guard lineups could yield better results than playing a mediocre player like Young. It's not hard to see Pop succumbing to what I call Keith Bogans syndrome and in the name of marginal defensive improvement (at best), taking minutes away from more naturally talented players like Nando De Colo or Marco Belinelli in favor of Young. The trade-off just isn't worth it.
Pretty much the same happens with everyone on this list, really. These are all veterans that do a couple of things well enough to still be in the league but nothing well enough to have a roster spot secured already. The Spurs already have guys like that in Jeff Pendergraph, Aron Baynes, De Colo, Mills, and Joseph filling out the roster and it's hard to see those guys getting enough minutes despite still showing potential for improvement. Adding someone else for the sake of adding them makes very little sense.
That doesn't mean the Spurs should stop looking, of course. On non guaranteed deals, any of these four along with other free agents that remain unsigned would make very interesting additions to the training camp roster. And you never know who can surprise and either take an unlikely step forward or regain his old form. But at this point no one out there still and available for the minimum seems to be better than what the Spurs already have.
Feel free to use this thread to add any rumors I missed and to discuss free agents that the Spurs should target