This past season, the San Antonio Spurs showed they could use some help in their front court, especially the services of an athletic power forward or center. Well, it seems that they will be working out a player with those skill sets, except he's DeJuan Blair's height.
According to Missouri power forward Ricardo Ratliffe, he has a workout set with the Spurs today. Ratliffe first tweeted that he was heading to San Antonio yesterday, and later said today would be his last workout with the Spurs.
Ratliffe plays both the power forward and center position even though he stands at 6'8. In his senior season with the Tigers, he averaged 13.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1 block, and 1.6 turnovers per game. He seems to be an efficient player as he shot 69% from the floor on the season, on just 8.7 shot attempts per game.
What does ESPN say about him?
According to ESPN, he has good skills.
- Positives: Super efficient big man, excellent finisher at the rim, moves well without the ball, soft touch around the basket, decent low post moves.
- Negatives: Lacks ideal size for his position, will turn 23 by time of the draft, no perimeter game to speak of
ESPN projects him to be either a second round pick or go undrafted, which means the Spurs could possibly land him because they have the 59th pick in the second round.
In doing some research on Ratliffe, I learned that he set the career scoring record for Central Florida as a sophomore before signing with Missouri for his last two seasons in college. After watching a few clips of him online, I can't really make an NBA player comparison with him. From what I saw on the videos, he's really fast for his position and has good dribbling skills, kind of like how Blake Griffin sometimes does crossovers before attacking his opponent. He's also got a good understanding of how to score without having the ball in his hands, while he can finish on the break too.
Unfortunately, I don't think he'd have a huge impact on the Spurs if they were to draft him because of his smaller frame. He'd be a good option at the small forward position, but that's not his natural position, he plays in the front court. The Spurs' tallest player is still Tim Duncan (if they re-sign him), in my opinion they still need someone over 6'10 who can have an impact defensively, but Ratliffe doesn't seem to possess those traits.
The draft is now four days away, will Ratliffe be the player for the Spurs? Only Thursday will give us that answer.
It does help discussion when people know the rules of the cba. I do believe that the FO can find a way to get TD contract down to something that leaves some cap room, be we have the full MLE and mini MLE. It is possible to buy a spot into the 1st round. Many have done it for less than $4mil for getting into the 20's.
The reason we need and athletic big is defense. No one can stay in front of TP or R Westbrook and you can't put hands on them. TD is too slow to protect the paint when one of these quick guys turns a corner. The Heat had athleticism in 4 positions. Bosh is 7', Anthony is 6'10" and blocks shots. The Thunder got 4-6 extra possessions and negated even more of ours because of shot blocks or threats. These points made all the difference, even in the one blow out by OKC. The Heat countered much of this with size and quickness, we are 1 or 2 players short to win another title. JA could still be a good player like Harden if given some time, but we do need another slasher from SG position and a 4 that can put the ball on the floor and block shots. How to get what we need ? J. Hill could be someone, E Clark, A Randolph, J. Thompson, D. Green, M. Speights. All these guys will be under the MLE. Yes, no more need for Bonner or Blair if we resign Diaw. Mills would be fun to have, and Joseph still has promise, he came along well after time with Toros. Still looks like he needs another year to get grounded. If TD takes $30mil over 3 yrs w/po for 3rd, we have almost 12-14mil plus a potential Bonner amnesty with all combined, plus another $4mil to get back into the 1st round.
My 2 cents.
What's with the spurs working out these undersized guys??? If the guy is less than 6'9, don't bother. The spurs need a BIG man.
PROJECT SPURS...please do a right up, so all of the follows understand how NBA basketball works......people. Draft is June 28th, free agent singing is July 1st. So... You can not trade James Anderson or danny green to move up in the draft. You can't trade a restricted free agent..the spurs elected not to pick up james anderson's contract, so how could they trade him. If it's the team option, the spurs can move them, if the player has the option, the spurs can not trade them.. Stop dreaming of these NBA XBOX trades.....true spurs fans love the writes ups on project spurs.com and good feedback....read up on the CBA and rules, so yoU can have a full understanding on what a realistic move is....
Oh yes, they can trade Anderson via sign and trade. The suggestions put forward are NOT pipe dreams. They can happen under the right circumstances.
I would like this plausible scenario to play out: trade Splitter and Green/Neal to Raptors for #7 pick and Ed Davis. We draft Dion Waiters and bring Lorbek and resign Diaw. Okay, not everyone will like Waiters but he's an electric Vinnie Johnson in the making. Raptors may bite since they are rumored to sign Nash and are in win-now mode.
Also, Duncan isn't going to sign for less than 14 million......he wants another ring, but he needs to make money as well.......it's a business...not a charity
$12m annually is lot of moolah! Some have predicted TD might agree to a lesser amount. He is NOT greedy as you might think.
I'm sorry, I've been ready post after post of "rtesoro440". First: James Anderson- we tried trading; no one what's him for a little over a million and why would they if the can just sign him after July 1st for less. And we CAN'T trade him! Second: the bulls are thinking of trading Deng for the 7th pick. Do you think splitter, bonner, Blair, Anderson (can't trade again) is worth the second overall? NO... We don't have a player worth a top five pick. Maybe Leonard in another year. Tony is 30, no team in there right mind would give up a top five for a vet. Third: Splitter, I love how fans have turned on him. Are you trying to blamme the WCF on him? A guy that hasn't had a summer with the team yet! His pick'en roll is great. A year or two chip will have him hitting 12 footers. Give him time. He's already in the top 10 centers in the NBA. Keep in mind, Manu and capt jack were the only ones that showed up for the WCF. I put the lose on Tony. Great players overcome things. Tony folded on us. We need a backup point! Everyone keeps talking about bigs, bigs......heat only had bosh! And they beat OKC. we need a long SG and a good PG. I agree a big will help, but it's not the problem. We need another SG that will go at the rim when needed. Green is to slow off the dribble. Final: most likely the spurs won't trade into the first round. We don't have the money. First round picks get min 1-4 million depending on the draft position. Seond round picks don't. Spurs Are looking for a free agent that is battle tested. Tim is only got 1 or 2 more season and they want to get him 1 more ring. Blair needs to go..via trade for another player or a future pick..I wish they would trade bonner for a new ball boy, but I guess that wasn't part of the new CBA. Maybe just second round or cash. Just get his 3 million out of SA. PLEASE! Sign Adam.... This kid looks like a future star roll player....I really like how fast and athletic he is...chip can teach him how to shoot better. Out of all the guys we have overseas, he looks NBA ready and the most promising.......ready for summer league!
Splitter had no summer camp? It's his 2nd or 3rd season with the Spurs! What could a summer camp do? He was once mvp in Europe. This is not enough to help him adjust? Leonard did it without summer camp and he is less experienced and way younger.
Had the Spurs really tried trading Anderson? Yes he will be a free agent but, he can be signed and traded. Why fault TP? He gave it all but, the bench folded! The Spurs will have the money with the right planning. If they don't have the money how could the enter free agency? You are contradicting yourself, man. You are NOT paying attention to the games. The Spurs lost 4 straight games to the OKC thunder because they lack the height. The Heat have Joel Anthony, Adonis Haslem and James is almost 6'10", aside from Bosh. So, height is the PRIMARY problem of the Spurs!
I believe the FO will do something to move up in the draft. Sign and trade Anderson might work,but I'm not sure what we can get for him. I also believe that Bonner and Blair can be packaged to move us up in the draft also. Players we can bring from overseas (Lorbek, Richards Hanga, DeColo) can be used as trade material or inserted into the roster, whichever suits us best. I wouldn't mind seeing Garrett Temple come back either. Parker's eye may dictate additional moves that are unknown now. TD being signed for less money is a "no brainer" and I'm sure it will get done. Mills and Joseph are still "unknowns" to me and don't know what to expect from them,but I believe the FO will pacage them also if need be. I reserve the right to laugh at myself when nothing like this happens between now and next seaso!!!!!
Yeah, it's 4 days away to draft day! Fans like you and me must be wondering what are the plans of the Spurs considering they have no ist round draft pick. Are they thinking of joining the draft? Will they trade some of their assets so that they can enter the ist round draft? With whom? How high will they go? Who will be traded? In my fertile but simple mind, if I were to be asked or having the chance to decide, I plan to do the following: 1 - Plan to re-sign TD at a reduced amount of $12m. Will he accept it? I supposed, for the love of the team and a rare chance to win another ring! During his entire tenure with the team, it has paid him so much. If only for the purpose of signing a long, younger and aggressive free agent player, I supposed he would and for his love of the game..2nd, Splitter has performed creditably during the regular season but, he must go. Trade Splitter and draft in the ist round. How high? Maybe #10-14. If given the opportunity, why not add Bonner and Anderson (sign & trade) and go higher the ladder. Is it possible? It is bruited that Bobcats are loooking for a trade partner; That the Raptors are looking for center/pf. Bargnani seems to be uncomfortable playing pf/c. The Rockets have too many rookies they might be looking for a viable trade partner. I would test the waters and trade Splitter, Bonner and Anderson to the Bobcats and draft Andre Dummond! Or with the Raptors or Rockets and draft a long, young and aggressive frontcourt guy. 2 - Logic dictates that something has to done with the ridiculously high salary of Jackson. First, I would work, if at all possible, to offer him an extension of 2 yrs including the current, for $12m annually or a savings of $4, for a total savings of $13m, enough to sign free agents like Kaman, Humphries or Clark or any UFA available and suited to the Spurs system. 3- What will I do with Blair? He is too small to play pf/c. I will plan to trade him in the higher 2nd round draft and maybe draft Mike Scott, Henry Sims or Kyle O'Quinn. 4- Danny Green. He is RFA. I will offer to re-sign him at an amount within reason or trade him. The Celtics seem to like him and they hold draft picks #21-22. These must have entered the minds of the coaching staff, coach Pop, GM Buford and Mr. Holt. I am sure they will find it hard to let go these players for loyalties sake. But, for the sake of the team, YES they have to go. Now is the opportune time, when the draft is deep, when there are able materials,when our players have value in the market.