2009 NBA Summer League round-up: San Antonio Spurs
July 25th, 2009
– Antonio Anderson: Anderson was Tyreke Evans’s ill-fitting backcourt team mate last season. Like Evans, Anderson is 6’6, athletic, and a good passer and playmaker for that height. Like Evans, he’s not ideally suited for guarding the point and has no significant jump shot. But unlike Evans, Anderson is not carving up defences off the dribble. And unlike Evans, Anderson is 24. The dribbling and shooting flaws haven’t gone away yet, and time is running out for it to happen.
– Romel Beck: Beck is a 27-year-old former UNLV grad whose four-year professional career has included his native Mexico, the CBA, the D-League, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Italy and Croatia. Last year in 16 games for the Dakota Wizards, Beck scored a blindingly efficient 15.9 points in 27 minutes per game, on percentages of 50.9%/49.2%/90.2%. Beck pretty much only scores; he doesn’t much rebound, make plays for others, or play much defence. But even though he’s thin, he’s very tall for a shooting guard. And he’s definitely got the scoring talent. Here’s a video of him crossing over Kobe Bryant before making a step-back four-oint play;
(Note: that really is him. His full name is Romel Roberto Beck Castro.)
– Eric Dawson: Dawson is a 25-year-old big man who’s only had one season of note. He attended Midwestern State, a Division II school that you’ve probably never heard of, and since leaving has spent two years with the Austin Toros of the D-League. Last year he averaged 10.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.2 fouls in 24 minutes per game. They’re not bad numbers, certainly, but in the D-League, but he’s also 25, which limits his upside. Still, he’s come far.
– Nando De Colo: I’m not going to pretend that I know much about Nando De Colo, so here’s some numbers; last year, he averaged 14.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the French league for Cholet, the team that houses the immortal Steeve Ho You Fat. De Colo has signed in Spain for next year already, and he didn’t play in summer league due to his commitments with the French national team. Here’s his performance from this very night. It’s also nice to see Joakim Noah working to develop a three-point shot. It’s totally his main area for concern right now.
– Alonzo Gee: Gee averaged 15.0 points and 7.2 rebounds for Alabama last year, but it wasn’t a very efficient 15 points, coming on 12.4 shots per game. The chances of him playing for the Austin Toros next season are about one jillion percent.
– James Gist: Gist was taken by the Spurs at the very end of the 2008 draft. The Spurs traditionally have lots of success at the arse end of the draft, and Gist hasn’t let the side down; last year for Angellico Biella, Gist averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds, shooting 54% from the field and 51% from three on a relevant 96 three-point attempts. He could contribute in the NBA one day.
– Malik Hairston: The Spurs also have a fine history of success when drafting foreigners in the second round, and they did that in 2008 as well when they took Goran Dragic. However, they then immediately traded him for Hairston, who they then waived in training camp. Then they brought him back again midseason. Then they waived him again at the end of the season. And then they signed him again at the start of the month. In the times Hairston wasn’t on the Spurs roster, he was on their D-League affiliate, the Toros, scoring a crazily-efficient 23.7 points per game. It’s a real explosive relationship they’ve got going on. Even when they’re apart, it’s just a trial separation, and then it’s back on. But then soon enough, it’s off again. They’re so good together, and yet they can’t coexist. It tears me up to see this.
– George Hill: The Spurs tried their best to sell this pick on draft day 2008, going as far as sending a mass email to all teams asking them to bid for the pick. In the end, they got no good offers, ended up keeping the pick, drafted someone you’ve never heard of from a school you had to Google, dragged out contract negotiations with him, and eventually made him sign for less than the scale maximum for his draft position. And boy, did it ever work out for all involved.
– Carldell ‘Squeaky’ Johnson: Johnson was also on the Toros last year, averaging 8.7 points and 5.1 assists in two separate stints with the team. He’s 26, etc. Note to all NBA teams; buy your own D-League team. It’s way more fun that way. Forget the financial drain for a minute.
– Stephane Lasme: Lasme has already signed with Maccabi Tel-Aviv, and is putting together a decent European career. He’s still not really NBA suitable, though.
– Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi was drafted four years ago. We’re still waiting for him to do something. During those four years, he’s been in the NBA for the last two, and has played all of six games in that time. Last year, he played in 0, and played in one D-League game, totalling 2 points, 1 rebound and 4 turnovers. He was injured, to be fair, but he could really, really do with making some progress soon. Especially since this might well be the last year of his contract.
– Jack McClinton: Every team needs a shooter, even a team with Roger Mason Junior on it. As such, McClinton should have a slight chance to make the Spurs roster this year. But it might now be a smaller chance since he shot 22% in summer league. Whoops.
– Donell Taylor: Last year for BC Egaleo in the Greek first division, Donell Taylor averaged 12.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per contest. Last year for AEL Limassol in the Cypriot first division, his twin brother Ronell Taylor averaged 13.7 points and 4.8 rebounds. Does Donell not have enough lure to pull a Kevin/Tony Durant type of situation here? No? Damn.
– Marcus Vinicius: Vinicius went back to his native Brazil this year, and scored big, averaging 22.8 points on 46% shooting. He’s a very polished scorer from all over. But he still doesn’t rebound too well, he still doesn’t give forth all that much effort on defence, and as such, he’s still not in the NBA. Least of all on the Spurs, who right now could use a defence and rebound-minded small forward with only Richard Jefferson and Michael Finley there right now.
I am continuously intrigued by the esoterica and minutiae of all the aspects of building a basketball team. I want to understand how to build the best basketball teams possible. No, I don’t know why, either.