Several former San Antonio Spurs players have made headlines lately, and with several of our readers showing interest in tracking some of their favorite former players, we've put all of the links together in one roundup.
Gary Neal, who the Spurs chose not to re-sign this past summer, had a confrontation with teammate and Bucks big man Larry Sanders after a blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Bucks are appearing to be siding with Sanders, their franchise player who they recently signed to a four-year, $44 million contract, and are looking to move Neal before the trade deadline.
Neal, who reportedly told Sanders, "I earn my money. You should try it sometime," as he left the locker room after the confrontation, is currently averaging 10.4 points and shooting at a 41.9 three-point shooting percentage for the Bucks, who he signed a two-year contract with over the summer.
The Bucks will likely get some interest from several teams considering Neal is averaging a career high in points and comes relatively cheap at just over $3 million per year.
Kurt Thomas, who last played for the Spurs during the 2008-09 season before he was sent to Milwaukee as part of the trade for Richard Jefferson, is looking to make a comeback, and he wants to play for a contender.
Thomas is 41-years-old, and while some could see him filling a void with Tiago Splitter our for the next 5-6 weeks, the Spurs have several options on their own roster and also in their own backyard with the Austin Toros.
Thomas played with the Knicks last season before a stress fracture ended his season, and his stint with the Knicks.
From one former Knick turned Spur to another. Former Spur Charles Smith (the forward, not the long-armed guard) told the Associated Press he feels remorse for choosing to play in the North Korea game organized by another former Spur, Dennis Rodman.
Smith is one of seven former players Rodman took to Pyongyang for Kin Jong-un's birthday. Smith said the effort made by the players and Rodman is positive, but the focus has turned to politics and government. Smith also said some of Rodman's recent comments have "tainted the efforts" of the players.
Former guard and fan favorite Roger Mason Jr. has bounced around the league since playing for the Spurs from 2008-2010, playing for the Knicks, Wizards, Hornets and Heat.
It looks like Mason will get a chance to unpack his bag and stay around a little longer in Miami, at least until the end of the season. The Heat chose not to waive Mason, making his contract guaranteed for the remainder of the season. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Mason earned the guaranteed contract by embracing and filling his role with the team.
Jackson, who played for the Spurs last season before being waived prior to the playoffs, is back out of the NBA after being waived by the Los Angeles Clipper.
The Clippers originally signed Jackson on December 10, and waived him just ahead of the waiver deadline yesterday. Jackson played against the Spurs twice as a Clipper, putting up six points in 17 minutes on December 16, and going scoreless in five minutes on January 4.
Let give credit were credit is due,Neal would jump start the Spurs when everyone on the team would go cold (something the team has a tendency of doing so at times ). A quality that is missing in this years version of the team and therefore an attribute that made the spurs better and that also made Neal a valuable commodity to the organization on last years title run .Few player have it in them to on a consistent basis to put the ball though the hoop when the game is on the line. Spurs would be wise to try and trade for him and ensure themselves of the much needed spark that some games call for .
@quixem Gary Neal really shouldn't be calling anyone out in the locker room.
Gary Neal's contract is CHEAP? Lol I don't think so, that is 3 million a year. He is lucky enough to be still in the NBA to make that much money. But like they say, money isn't everything and it is the root of all evil.
@koshwayne $3 million/yr in the NBA is pretty cheap. Carlos Delfino, Alex Len, Matt Bonner, Joel Freeland etc.. all make the same if not more. Especially on a second contract after his rookie contract and for a player averaging 10 pts per game. I'm not sure how you chalk it up to luck. He has earned his spot in the NBA and is a key role player on that team. I'm not sure how "money is the root of all evil" got into this conversation at all. I was merely making a comment that his salary being what it is and as short as it is, combined with his production on the court, could get him a few looks before the trade deadline.
@mdeleon @koshwayne If your not in the NBA and could pull 3 million or more out of the blue, then yes my point making it is not cheap if someone isn't in the NBA making that a year. 3 million is a lot of money to me, may not be to the player himself or someone who has been in the NBA and made 3 million, since your not in the NBA or have been.