The Spurs announced today that they've signed point guard Curtis Jerrells, calling him up from the Austin Toros.
Spurs fans and Project Spurs readers should be familiar with Jerrells. The Baylor grad was signed to the training camp roster and was one of the final cuts prior to the start of the regular season.
While he impressed in training camp and in preseason action, the Spurs only had so many spots open.
When Cedric Jackson and Garrett Temple were signed recently, some questioned why the Spurs didn't go into their own backyard to sign Jerrells, who's been a two-time D-League performer of the week with the Toros.
Jerrells has averaged 20.7 points, 5.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds on a very talented Toros team.
"Jerrells was quick, attacked the basket and would have been a better fit if the Spurs decided to keep a third string point guard," I wrote when Jerrells was waived in late October. "But whether Williams was here or not, Jerrells didn't have much of a chance to make the roster after the Spurs signed Keith Bogans before training camp."
Earlier today, Sham Sports wrote about Jerrels in a "Where Are They Now" post.
Jerrells never really had much of a chance of making the Spurs roster, which therefore meant that they spent $150,000 (after tax) on a player that they knew wouldn't play for them. The reason for this is obvious; it is not in any way coincidental that Jerrells later signed with the D-League and was immediately assigned to the Spurs affiliate (which they own), the Austin Toros. Essentially, they kept him in house and expanded their roster. They technically had no claim to him, but they had him where they wanted him, and where they had the inside track on his progress and abilities. And that's surely the aim of signing anyone. It's not illicit; it's shrewd.
However, when the Spurs needed some ten day contract guard help midseason, they instead opted to sign Cedric Jackson and Garrett Temple, not Jerrells. This was a genuine eye opener. All that manipulation of the system to get the player where you wanted for when you wanted, and then you didn't want him. Bizarre.
So what does this signing mean for the Spurs? Likely that Jerrells will end up being sent back down to Austin.
Scott Schroeder from Ridiculous Upside seems to agree.
My assumption is that another NBA team decided they wanted Jerrells, but the Spurs didn't want to lose him, so this whole "we'll pay you a lot more than we have been to keep playing for our D-League team and learning our system" thing occurred.
So Spurs fans, don't expect to see Jerrells in a Spurs jersey for tonight's game, or anytime soon.