The trade deadline has passed, but another big transaction deadline is coming up this week. That's the deadline to sign players and have them be eligible to make a postseason roster.
The San Antonio Spurs have reportedly found their back up point guard, but still have room for at least one more player (two if they don't sign Eric Dawson for the rest of the season). In the last two big men who are still relatively young and only a season removed from being rotation regulars have become available. Yesterday, the Nuggets waived center Ronny Turiaf and today the Sacramento Kings announced they released power forward J.J. Hickson.
The Hickson news was first reported by Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski. Pro Basketball Talk's John Krolik points out that Hickson is incredibly athletic, but was also incredibly ineffective in Sacramento this season.
Hickson was a key member of two Cleveland Cavalier teams that won 60 plus games before getting traded. Last season, he averaged 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game for Cleveland before getting traded over the summer for forward Omri Casspi.
Turiaf has never been a stats guy as much as he is a defensive tough guy. He's an average rebounder, but a good shot blocker and defender. He also hits a mid range jumper at a decent rate.
Essentially, Turiaf and Hickson are polar opposites. Turiaf is who you sign if you need some blocked shots and hustle plays from your bench. Hickson is who you sign if you need some scoring off your bench. Despite being only 6'9", he's long and athletic enough to be a good defender, the only problem is he's not. Turiaf, who stands at 6'10", isn't a lock down defender, but he's good, tough and played a key role on a Laker team that went to the Finals before falling to Boston.
The Spurs are likely to have some competition from other contenders like Miami and Boston for both of these guys, but either would make a good fifth guy off the bench. I think Turiaf for his smarts and ability to block a shot would make a better fit.
Stay tuned to Project Spurs for updates on the Spurs' interest in either player or any other big man that might get bought out this week.
UPDATE: Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns are the front runners to sign Hickson.
How much better would JJ or Turiaf be over Dawson ? They are all about the same player, accept Dawson knows the Spurs rotations. There also is Josh Powell, who turns out to be about 6'10" also. He has a mid range shot, much like JJ and Turiaf, and is about the age of all of them. Diaw never got bought out in time, so he's isn't in the discussion. I think to get anyone other than Dawson means committing to multiple years, so who do you want of these guys through 2013 ? We haven't seen more than 6 minutes of Dawson, so ....
I believe Jack will be better for us than RJ was,but signing a back-up PG and atleast one big SHOULD be a priority. Mills can help and that frees up Neal and Green to work their magic> Send Joseph to Austin for experience for next srason. Bring in Turiaf and Diaw to knock people around in the middle. Dawson should stay in Austin in case someone gets injured...he needs to stay game ready. It all sounds good to me, BUT I'm not in the FO and I don't control the money! I'm backing whoever we have on the roster at th time! GoSpurs Go!
Turiaf (post D, 6'10, veteran/French) vs Hickson ( hops dunk/block, mid-range, energy/potential)
Neither can rebound, I think the spurs need more D than O.
Ronny Turiaf in a Silver & Black? Hmm . . I would accept him if he played like he did when he was with the Lakers. He did some work in the paint. Well to me he did. Did the pick-n-roll with Kobe an Farmar. Spurs game is pick-n-roll. Pretty sure Pop can discipline Turiaf. Surround him around Tim, Tony & Manu an they'll eventually come together.
I don't know why Hickson would go to GS over the spurs, unless the spurs never contacted him. He would be a better fit with the spurs and would have a chance to win, unless he just wants money and doesn't care about winning. I don't think the spurs are trying to get Hickson or Turiaf. They seem to have something in mind that none of us will ever get... The Capt. Jack move didn't just happen. The spurs wanted him when he was with the Bucks, but the bucks didn't want RJ back. It always comes down to the money.. The spurs have to have a PG becasue of the stretch that's coming up. They can give Tim the game off in the middle of the back-back-back and still have a good shot to win. Playoffs come around you only seem to play three bigs anyways. Duncan,Splitter and Bonner will probably play most of those.
Unless a good big comes up in the next day or so, I don't see them signing anyone other than a PG. Saves money on taxes.
Hickson reportedly will sign with GS Warriors. Not a big loss if we get Turiaf, but Windhorst says Heat and Celtics are favored and he will decide by Weds. Doesn't give us a ton of time to swoop in.
Why the hell are the Heat trying to sign anyone with a pulse anyway? They need Fish and another big, really? They are supposed to be THE superteam, but Bosh and his max contract and Haslem aren't good enough at the 4? I know they have as much right to sign anyone as any other team but it's kind of annoying. This might be our last, best chance to get one for the thumb and I really feel like some depth and D inside is all we need!
There is a pending move to sign PAT Mills. So that leaves 1 slot if the spurs don't let go of Dawaon. Both Turiaf and Hisckman have seen nba games. Either coukd man the interior but Turiaf means defense If Dawaon is waived or Joseph goes ti the d-league, there is an opening for both. Cone on Mr. Buford ACT!.
I would have to disagree...
Getting Turiaf, to me, seems like getting another Blair. Plus, I haven't had much respect for Turiaf after he gave DeJuan that "Don't dunk on me!" chest bump last year... total facial favorite Blair dunk of all time.
I'm definitely more keen for Turiaf as our major weakness is interior defense. However, Hickson is an intriguing prospect.
@jojo707He had some minutes with the spurs. He is in the mold of Bonner. So why have another Bonner?
Last I heard, I think the Hornets were gonna hold on to him.
@edmolada I agree with you but we have, I believe, two open roster spots, so it seems likely to me they sign a pg and a big anyway. Also agree that money is a factor and they probably won't spend much.
I agree about playing only 3 bigs in a playoff game anyway, but to me another one could still be vital to their chances depending on which teams we draw. Bonner and Blair can both be effective over 7 games against some teams, but maybe not others. As two examples the Grizz and Lakers could be a problem. I don't want to see Bonner on Pau or Randolph. He plays hard but depending on who we're playing a more athletic, defensive big could help us inside and on the boards imo. Things are tight in the West and that flexibility could help.
@CincyKidWhy the warriors a losing team? The spurs is a contender. Either Turiaf or JJHIckson fits well in the spurs play. But these players are after money and the spurs are stingy when it comes to money. Come on. Contending is not cheap. Mr. Buford please do something.
@russman138 Agree with you. Imagine a blair turiaf front court, man that would be such a nightmare. You would get 3 second violations all the time. But having said that, he might be alright as 4th big.