With the San Antonio Spurs' training camp fully underway, the Spurs will now have a closer look at the players they've invited hoping to find some answers in addressing the teams' immediate needs.
One of the more glaring needs for the team right now is a backup small forward. Enter Alonzo Gee.
He might have the inside track at backing up starting small-forward Richard Jefferson and should the team decide on giving him a fully guaranteed contract, I believe Gee has the physical tools and talent to make it to the next-level.
On offense, Gee is very athletic and is good at attacking the basket. His long strides and explosive first step are his main offensive assets.
He knows how use his athleticism to his advantage, is quick in changing directions and has very good body control. He is also capable of finishing over defenders at the rim, is extremely aggressive and will not shy away from contact which will earn him trips to the free-throw line.
On the defense, Gee could potentially be an effective perimeter defender because of his size and athletic ability. He is already good at moving without the ball but he still needs to have a better lateral quickness and be more consistent on the defensive side of the floor.
His journey to the NBA was not easy. He went undrafted during the 2009 NBA Draft but he was signed and played in the NBDL with the Austin Toros. He averaged 21 points and 6.6 rebounds on 51% shooting from the field per game. Those numbers earned him the NBDL Rookie of the Year honors for the 2009-2010 season.
He also has some NBA experience when he played for the Washington Wizards last season and he didn't disappoint. In 11 games with the Wizards, he managed to produce 7.4 points and 3 rebounds in just 16.5 minutes per ball game and shot an impressive 77.8% (7-9) from beyond the arc. Although he needs to work on his free throw shooting. With the Wizards he averaged 62% from the charity stripe. Not terrible but can be better.
In those eleven games, he recorded a double-double when he scored 13 points and grabbed 10 boards against the Denver Nuggets on March 16 and scored a career high 19 points in his first NBA start against the Charlotte Bobcats. Bottom line is this guy can play.
And with the Spurs' thin rotation at the small forward position, he has a good chance of making it to the final roster. He has a lot of areas to improve on but that's what training camp is all about.
Given the proper knowledge, focus and training he will become a better player when the season starts and that might get him the edge to become the backup small forward.
Nevertheless, he will definitely have some competition with veteran Bobby Simmons and another camp hopeful James Gist to get earn that spot.