As was the case when Tiago Splitter was preparing to join the NBA two years ago, the San Antonio Spurs might arguably have the best big man in Europe once more as Slovenian big man Erazem Lorbek was named MVP of the Liga Title, as his team FCB Regal Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 73-69 today.
In the game five win, Lorbek scored 10 points while shooting 50% from the field, though he went 0-4 from 3-point range. Lorbek grabbed six rebounds in 27 minutes of action. Pete Mickeal led Regal in the game with 17 points.
The next question for Lorbek now becomes whether or not the he's ready to come to the NBA and join the Spurs, and whether or not the Spurs are ready to bring Lorbek in on their side? The last news of Lorbek came from a report on April 17, where a news site said Lorbek was ready to come to San Antonio, though those exact words never came from Lorbek himself.
Lorbek is now a free agent in Europe, so it'll be interesting to see if he re-signs with Regal, looks for a new team, or makes his way to San Antonio. The Spurs' first offseason move will be to re-sign Tim Duncan, but after that, it'll be interesting to see what the future holds for Lorbek and the Spurs.
As was the case with Splitter, it will take at least a season for Lorbek to become acclimated/comfortable in the NBA/Spurs system. His curve may be faster if not delayed by injuries like Splitter had. Despite the shaky playoff performance he had, I believe in the Spurs' coaching staff and that he (Splitter) will improve even more for next season. My hope is that the strength/conditioning coach puts some muscle mass on him and he starts to develop a true low post game to go with his P&R. Maybe he should get training tips from Tim, in all the years I've seen him, this season he looked absolutely ripped! And this, being his fifteenth year.
If we amnesty Bonner, we can afford him as a more versatile upgrade, but Matt and Lorbek are only about an inch taller than Boris. Boris way more versatile than both of them. I still say, if can either trade or amnesty Bonner, we need an athletic big with a 12-15 ft shot. Maurieese Speights or D Arthur will be available and Memphis can't afford both. Same is true for Jason Thompson and Donte Green, and several others like A Randolph, that people have mentioned. There are ex Toro guys as good as Lorbek, so save the money , develop some younger talent and get more quickness and defense. We also don't need DeColo. We could, however, stand to see if R.. Richards can develop into anything. He has gifts at 7ft and works hard.
The seniority system in Europe hasn't given him much playing time , even though he performed well when given a chance. Being 20 in Europe get you 8-10 minutes on the floor and your role, on the floor, may not be a good match for your skill set. He is a perimeter and mid range player with some rebounding potential. Think we could use this ?
@jojo707 Spurs need to stop messing around and just bring Richards already. Amnesty Bonner and trade Blair for a first. Develop Richards on the Toros, bring Lorbek with the savings from Bonner, Keep Diaw.
Duncan, Diaw, Splitter, Lorbek as bigs with Richards developing. We can stash the pick in Europe or use for another big to develop.
Splitter came from the same league. Both he and Lorbek are mvps. Its interesting to know if they play the same way!
@rtesoro440 They don't. Splitter is mainly a pick'n'roll monster, great hands and feel around the basket, useless when more than 5 feet of the rim.
Lorbek is way way more versatile. 40% on 3s, 55% on 15-23ft. jumpers, has a better post game than Tiago.
The questions about him are mostly defensively, can he keep up with athletic big men.
@24writer He played ill today... Didn't play a big role until the last Q. Great effort and monster finals.