Guess who's baaaack!
San Antonio Spurs 2010 draftee Ryan Richards is apparently coming stateside next month to be a part of the San Antonio Spurs' Summer League squad. Hoopfix.com first reported that Richards is currently in England working out with trainer James Dugdale and added that he would be in Las Vegas playing in Summer League.
While the Hoopfix report didn't say whether Richards would be playing for the Spurs, Dugdale did confirm to me via Twitter that the British prospect would in fact be suiting up for San Antonio for the second year in a row.
Last year, Richards wasn't very good or bad. The coaching staff seemed happy with his willingness to rebound, set screens and generally speaking not force anything. He showed a couple of flashes of his athleticism, but also showed his game still needs plenty of work.
Nothing's official yet, but it's safe to assume we'll get another look at Richards next month. The rest of the Spurs' Summer League roster also remains a mystery.
I have seen Ryan working out at Leeds Met University in the UK for the past few weeks. He is working hard on his game and the attitude worry is something that has primarily been created by the media and their thirst for a story.
Ryan has bulked up his upper body and will cause most team's match up issues as he is a very mobile PF. It is yet to be seen if he will make it in the NBA but he is putting himself in the best position possible by working every waking moment.
@Bearall That's what I like to hear. Hope he makes the most of his opportunity this summer on the summer league team.
@ajd21 Thanks for your input, R.C.
@ajd21 Why so negative ? This guys has not been ahead case. This site reported changes in his affiliation and jumped to judgement that he was unstable and immature. No one knows anything about his changes, or the reasons behind them. Give the guys some room to develop. He came from being insured to SA and spent 1.5 yrs healing from 2 arm and shoulder surgeries, went to play as a bench player in Spain. Played for UK national team and was cut in favor of older players and then to Poland and never got on the court and asked to be released and was. Played the past 20 games in Austria and got minutes ( 20 or more) and lead his team in scoring, and rebounds, and they won the their league. He may not be the next TD, but could be the next L Odom or C Bosh. They are similar types and skill sets.
I heard through the grapevine that he's grown even more since we drafted him in 2010 when he measured in at 6'11. He's probably 7'0 or maybe even 7'1 now. And he has pretty good athleticism and he's very coordinated for a guy his size. When I watch his mixtapes, I just don't understand how he's not competing in the NBA already. He's got all tools: Athletic, runs well, is skilled, and has an excellent jump shot for a big man. Has range out to NBA 3. This guy is an anomaly. I hope he figures it out in Austin and put it all together cause he could be a really good player if he does.
The saga continues! I hope this kid develops as a person and as a ball player. It will be interesting to say the least and many eyes will be on Ryan. His length and athleticism reminds me of Ian Mahimni and the hopes we had for him. Pop gave Ian a long rope and opportunity to give us something. Keywords here for Ryan are 1. Discipline... prove you can stick to coach's instructions and role in practice, games, and all around as a professional. 2. Acceptance... show you are willing and even thrilled to just play defense, rebound, and fill in the wing on the break. 3. Work (silently) Come everyday and give max effort and pay attention to detail. If confused or in doubt see Kawhi Leonard. You can do it Ryan! Go Spurs !!!
What is different this time, is that Richards has 20 or so games under his belt. Last year, he had barely played for 2 years. He started out in Poland this year, and got very little playing time. They parted company and he signed with an Austrian team and lead them in Pts and Rebounds. He shot well form the perimeter. This wa the 1st year in 3 that he played more than 120 minutes in a season.
You could see he was tentative last Summer and more like a young colt than many hoped for. This time, we can actually make an judgment on how far away he may be to being signed by the Spurs. D-League might be a good next step, if we sign him.