Dec 29, 2011 10:26 AM EST
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said it’s still way too early to make any assessment of rookie Kawhi Leonard’s role on the team.
“It’s only been one game, but there’s more there than I expected, as a general statement,” Popovich said. “Both basketball IQ-wise and skill-wise, there’s more than I expected.
“He only played two years in college so you figure he’s got a lot to learn, but he does that pretty darn quickly.”
Leonard was the first player off the Spurs bench Wednesday night against the Clippers, replacing Richard Jefferson barely 5 minutes into the game.
Dec 24, 2011 6:37 PM EST
The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have waived forward Frank Hassell and center Luke Zeller.
Hassell appeared in two preseason games, averaging 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.0 minutes.
Zeller saw four minutes of action vs. Houston on Dec. 21 handing out two assists.
The roster now stands at 13.
Dec 23, 2011 4:47 PM EST
The Spurs’ schedule includes 17 back-to-back games, a fact that concerns Tim Duncan about his team’s depth.
“We’re going to find out if guys can play, if guys are ready to go; ready to contribute, because we’re going to have to use a lot of guys,” Duncan said. “Whether you want to, or not, you’re going to have to put guys out there and let them sink or swim.”
Coach Gregg Popovich has traditionally opted to rest Duncan on the back end of most back-to-back games in recent seasons.
“We’ll have to figure out who’s going to be out there and who can give us some help, game in and game out, because it’s going to be a lot of games in a lot of days and that depth is really going to make a difference,” Duncan said.
Dec 23, 2011 10:09 AM EST
Unlike All-Star teammate Tony Parker, who played more or less nonstop in Europe from late August through the end of the NBA lockout, Manu Ginobili took a three-month hiatus from organized basketball.
“I’m not exhausted, I’m just out of basketball shape,” Ginobili said. “When I want to do a step-back, I’m out of rhythm. I still need to fine-tune it.”
At home in Argentina, he lifted and ran, and occasionally worked out with Weber Estudiantes, one of that country’s top professional teams. He did not play competitively, however, after the final horn at the Tournament of the Americas.
“Hopefully, in the long-term (the break) helps,” Ginobili said. “Short-term, of course, it doesn’t.”
Dec 19, 2011 7:42 PM EST
The Spurs officially waived Antonio McDyess on Monday.
The club removed $2.6 million, the non-guaranteed portion of his contract, off its player payroll for the 11-12 season.
San Antonio had hoped McDyess would reconsider his decision to retire.
Dec 19, 2011 10:21 AM EST
The Spurs need a big man to play next to Tim Duncan.
“We probably could use another big in the rotation,” Popovich said. “But I don’t want to put someone there just to have a body there.”
The roll call of available free-agent centers who might fit the Spurs’ price range doesn’t exactly have the front office fumbling for its checkbook. As luxury tax payers, the most the Spurs can offer is a deal starting at $3 million.
That list, highlighted by the likes of Utah’s Kyrylo Fesenko and Toronto’s Alexis Ajinca, “won’t keep you up reading at night, like a good book,” Popovich said.
“I want that person to at least be able to help us when we put him in the game, instead of just take up minutes.”
Dec 16, 2011 10:38 AM EST
Gregg Popovich didn’t quite come out and say the Spurs would not use amnesty on Jefferson this season, but it sure sounded like the team is planning on opening the season with him in the fold.
“Each year, he’s understood the system more and done a better job,” Popovich said of Jefferson. “I think he wants to come back and have an even better year than he did last year. I think he was fifth in the league in shooting his 3s, and he got better defensively. I think he’ll move forward from there.
“It’s kind of interesting, everybody’s always asking about amnesty, and I’m always wondering, ‘Why Richard?’ As if we didn’t advance in the playoffs because of Richard.”
Jefferson’s scoring average dipped from 12.3 points to 11 last season, but he was much more efficient in his second year with the Spurs than his first.
Dec 14, 2011 10:35 AM EST
Obtained in a draft-night trade that sent popular guard George Hill to Indiana, Kawhi Leonard — taken 15th overall — arrives as the Spurs’ highest-drafted rookie since Tim Duncan went No. 1 in 1997.
Though coach Gregg Popovich has sought to tamp down expectations for Leonard, the Spurs clearly did not part with a key rotation piece like Hill to bring in a player they did not think could contribute soon.
“Kawhi is what we expected, in that we knew he was a hard worker; that he was a committed player; that he responded well defensively, and rebounding-wise,” Popovich said. “Already he’s a little more explosive than we expected — the stops and starts, that sort of thing.”
Dec 10, 2011 12:44 PM EST
The Spurs remain in the hunt for Washington's Josh Howard, 31, who is still weighing interest from Chicago, New Jersey, Washington, Utah and Denver, according to a member of his camp, but hopes to decide early next week.
“San Antonio is still very much in the discussions with Josh and his agent (Derek Lafayette),” said Howard's publicist, Crystal Howard (no relation). “A decision has not been made yet, but he's certainly considering San Antonio as his new home.”
The Spurs would prefer a resolution sooner rather than later. They have until Dec. 16 to waive Jefferson if they plan to use amnesty on him this season, but are unlikely to do so unless a suitable replacement is found.
Dec 10, 2011 11:25 AM EST
Richard Jefferson practiced Friday, the first day of Spurs training camp, despite speculation that the team was planning to use the amnesty provision on his contract.
“I’m a Spur right now,” Jefferson said after practice. “That’s pretty much the best way to describe it. There’s a lot of speculation across the league, with the short amount a time everybody has to work their rosters.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said the team has not employed the amnesty provision on Jefferson or anybody else.
“He’s no different than anybody. He’s a Spur,” Popovich said. “We didn’t amnesty anybody.”
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