The San Antonio Spurs have been working the phones in their small forward hunt now that the NBA lockout is all but over.
From Caron Butler, Josh Howard to Vince Carter, there is no doubt the Spurs are actively looking to improve the the small forward position as the new season is fast approaching. It also makes it likely the days of Richard Jefferson in San Antonio might be over.
According to SI.com, now Spurs fans can add free-agents forwards Shane Battier and Grant Hill reportedly looking at San Antonio as a possible destination once the season commences.
While Hill himself has said the chances are good that he'll return to Phoenix, he has narrowed his list down to the Suns, Knicks, Bulls and Spurs with the Warriors, Celtics and Clippers trailing.
Battier's list still includes Miami, San Antonio, Indiana, Toronto, Memphis, Boston and his former Memphis team.
Right off the bat, Spurs fans would love to see Shane at the small forward position. He is everything what the Spurs are built on. A veteran, lock-down defender, who can guard multiple positions, can hit the corner three-point shot, and has a reputation as a team-first player and of high character on and off the court.
Last season, the 10-year pro averaged 8.6 points, 1.2 blocks, 2.6 assists, 4.8 rebounds, shot 39% from the three-point line, 45% from the field in 30.8 minutes with the rockets before being traded to the Grizzlies in 59 games. While in Memphis, he averaged 5 points per game, 1.4 assists, 4 rebounds, 33% from the three-point line, 42% from the field in 24.2 minutes in 23 games. Not to mention, the Spurs will finally have the "Bruce Bowen" type defender the team has been longing for since Bowen's retirement and could be a great mentor for rookie Kawhi Leonard.
Shane may not "wow" you with stats but there is not doubting he will do the little things on the court that may mean the difference between a win or a loss.
As for Hill, there is his past history of knee issues but that appears to be a thing of the past. But he does has plenty of mileage on his legs. The 16-year pro finished last season with the Suns playing in 80 games and averaged 17.5 points, 4.3 assists, 6.3 rebounds, shot 48% from the field, 39% from the three-point line in 30.1 minutes.
With Hill he will bring just more veteran experience to an already stacked veteran-laden team with Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. Hill definitely can fill the basket even at this stage of his NBA career, can defend the wing as well and is more versatile than Battier.
Both players present great options for the small forward spot for San Antonio but their current teams might have the inside-track in keeping them on their roster.
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Which player would you like to see in black and silver? Howard, Vince Carter, Maurice Evans, Hill, Battier, Butler or Bostjan Nachbar?
Give the newcomers a chance to prove themselves; green, butler,anderson,and leonard. Forget about sf, and concentrate the hunt for a viable pf/c. K. Kaman, C.Landry, K.Fesenko, J.mcroberts, E. Clark would be good recruits. Let the current sf grow and learn. What about Steve Novak?
@rtesoro440 I think we can trade for a PF/C in getting rid of Blair or Bonner with a pick. So getting Battier would pay dividends. We are not getting an elite C/PF in free agency but we can get a decent one to help out Timmy and Splitter with a trade.
at hills age i think he is a huge risk, you can only defy your age and father time/mother nature for so long. it would not surprise me to see him decline REALLY fast this season. like decline right out of the league. shane is a guy i have seen a ton of living in houston and he is the type of guy you dont pay the MLE in full but you would love to have. he isnt going to last much longer but as a leader who can teach the young guys the right way to defend his knowledge is invaluable.
I just feel like in the right situation improvements can be made but if we do have a good shot I try to bring in Battier they've always loved what he brings to the table and so do I.
I feel like Thaddeus Young, & AK47 and not that he's great but Julian Wright could have a good impact with the right coaching.
Wondering where these sources coming from? In David Aldridge's column via NBA.com, it is said that Grant Hill has only considered Suns, Clippers, Bulls, and the Knicks as his final 4. He did not even refer the Spurs, at all. In Aldridge's other column he also pointed out that only his current team Memphis Grizzlies, Miami, Indiana and Toronto as his choices. Didn't see anything regarding the Spurs.
Anyone but Howard. After his comments regarding the national anthem, smoking marijuana in the off-season, and coming off of a recent knee surgery, no one looks like a bigger potential team cancer than this idiot. Depending on what we get to fill our hole at the 4/5 position, Battier would be great for defensive purposes or Butler for an offensive punch.
well, if Hill signed with the Spurs, we'd finally get to see him and Duncan play together since Orlando tried to persuade both of them to join, and fortunately, Duncan stayed with us. :) but to be serious, i wouldn't mind Hill. despite that he's 39 (hard to believe that), he's played at least 80 games for the last 3 seasons. of course, if we could, i would certainly love to have Battier. as stated, the stats may not "wow" us, but being one of the best defenders in the league, that certainly fits our team. so to answer the question(s) above, i would choose Battier first. if not, i would still go for Butler.