The 2010 NBA Draft is this Thursday and San Antonio Spurs' guard, Manu Ginobili, weighed in on the Spurs and the draft and feels the team made a good choice in 1999 with the 57th pick.
To sign or not to sign? That is the question. At least for the San Antonio Spurs' front office in regards to the "Red Rocket" Matt Bonner.
Bonner, who made a reported $3.3 million dollars last season and finished his third year with the Silver and Black averaging seven points and three rebounds in 18 minutes per contest.
Bonner is a part of the larger-than-life free-agent class of 2010, and with a fairly large amount of forwards and centers available, the Spurs could choose not to sign him and pick up a faster, bigger low-post player. The Spurs can offer Bonner the mid-level exception (MLE) which this season would be $5.8 million dollars, but that seems very unlikely. R.C. Buford plans to use the MLE to sign Brazilian power-forward/center Tiago Splitter. That is of course if Splitter wants to join the Spurs.
However, because Bonner has played for the Spurs for three seasons now, the Spurs could resign Bonner using their "Birds Rights" which allows NBA teams to resign any player that has been with the team for three years or more without changing teams and not be penilized for going over the luxary tax. According to "Birds Rights", the most the Spurs can offer Bonner is the MLE.
Still, if the Spurs are unable to sign Splitter, the question remains, "Should the Spurs resign Bonner?"
His numbers were down this season after having a good second year with the Spurs in which he shot 44 percent from behind the three-point arch. This year, the "Red Rocket" made 90 of the 231 three pointers he attempted, lowering his three-point field goal percentage to 39 percent. Not to shabby considering Boston Celtics' Ray Allen's field-goal percentage from behind the arch was 36 percent this past season, while three-point shooting champ Paul Pierce shot only 41 percent. Even with a fairly impressive three-point shooting percentage, many Spurs fans have become impatient with his progress and have had enough of his inconsistencies.
I was able to speak with a few friends who are also die-hard Spurs fans. Here is what they had to say on Bonner:
"I just want to rip out my hair sometimes when he wont stop missing!" says die-hard Spurs fan Robin Sunsong. "Sometimes he'll miss five or six in a row and just keep shooting. After the sixth miss I wonder why Pop still has him in the game."
Yet there are some Spurs fans who love Bonner and hope the Spurs resign him not only for his on court capabilities, but for his off the court commitments to the community says Spurs fan Janna Joseph.
"I love Matt Bonner," says Spurs purist Janna Joseph. "His three point shooting helps spread the floor. And he looks really cute in all those commercials you see on T.V."
Bonner's three-point range might help the Spurs spread out the opposing defense, but by stepping out and shooting threes, Bonner has left all the rebounding up to Tim Duncan or any of the other Spurs bigs. This season the Spurs weren't able to crash the boards like they use to, and their inability to collect rebounds was exploited in round two of the playoffs against the Phoenix Suns.
Bonner attempted 231 three pointers this season. No Spurs big man has shot anywhere near that amount of threes except for former Spur, Robert Horry. But the most Horry ever attempted in a single season for the Spurs was 149 in the 2007 championship season.
David Robinson, Rasho Nesterovic and Nazr Mohammed, the last three true Spurs center, have only shot a total of 117 threes combined. Needless to say they were some of our better rebounders.
There are many problems the Spurs need to address this off season. What is going to happen with Splitter? Are the Spurs going to move up in this summers draft and are the Spurs really going to shop Tony Parker? While Bonner might be the least of the Spurs' concerns, the outcome of his free-agency will have a huge effect on how the Spurs handle all three of those questions and more.
On this episode of the Spurscast, Mike and I were joined by Matt Hubert from Blog Talk BayHawk to discuss the Austin Toros and the players from the NBDL who were with the San Antonio Spurs last season.
We review the play of Curtis Jerrells, Garrett Temple, and Cedric Jackson from this past season, discuss whether Ian Mahinmi has been an NBA bust, which players may be back with the Spurs for the 2010-2011 season and much more.
Thanks to Matt for joining us and don't forgot to check out his site, Blog Talk BayHawk, for everything about the NBDL's Erie Bayhawks and the NBDL.
The Spurscast! The first and original Spurs podcast.
During the 2009 San Antonio Spurs' off-season, the team tried to sign then free-agent Rasheed Wallace to address the need for a center. In the end, Wallace chose to sign with the Boston Celtics and the Spurs went on to sign Antonio McDyess.
One reason Wallace decided to sign with the Celtics, according to him, was he did not like the Spurs off-season moves. Spurs fans may have laughed in his face then but looking back, was he right?
Check out the video of Wallace and his remarks about the Spurs during a press-conference when he was introduced to the Boston media. You decide.
With every NBA fan and San Antonio Spurs fan trying to figure out who the Spurs will select in the upcoming 2010 NBA Draft, why not ask Spurs' guard Manu Ginobili his thoughts on the Spurs and the draft.
The San Antonio Spurs will work out Josh Lomers from Baylor University as the 2010 NBA Draft nears:
Lomers has been in the San Francisco/Oakland area for a few weeks training with Entersport and will stay there through the end of the week before he comes back to Texas. He'll go to Waco for a short stay before heading to San Antonio where he’s going to attend a Spurs mini-camp in hopes of impressing a few people.
Lomers said he would love to play with the Spurs or any other NBA team for that matter...
Lomers is 7"0', 280 lbs., who averaged 6.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks with Baylor University in the 2009-2010 season. He is also from Boerne, Texas.
With former Spurs guard Steve Kerr recently resigning from his post as Phoenix Suns General Manager, there has been a lot of speculation over who will replace him.
Spurs assistant general manager, Dennis Lindsey, has been brought up as a likely replacement.
Lindsey was Minnesota's top GM candidate last year before he pulled himself out of contention.
It wouldn't be the first time the Suns hired a former Spurs player or front office executive. Kerr, Terry Porter, Mike D'Antoni and Alvin Gentry all have ties with the Spurs.
Recently, I was able to participate in a Q&A with San Antonio Spurs' guard Manu Ginobili at Spurs.com.
Here was my question for Ginobili:
My question for you is after the Spurs season was over, you said, "Everybody could tell it wasn't enough, that we were not ever, probably, a championship-caliber team. We were close. But we never made it to that level." What was missing from the team to push it to that level this past season?
MG : We started playing well as a team too late in the season. That put us on the 7th spot and to win it in that situation is really hard. A few teams played better than us and they beat us fair and square. We'll be better next season, for sure.
Got to appreciate the honesty from Ginobili. It was too little, too late for the Spurs this past season.
To read the complete Q&A, visit Spurs.com.
Looks like the wait for Tiago Splitter might be over.
According to Tubasket.com, the San Antonio Spurs will sign Splitter in July when the NBA permits off-season signing:
Los San Antonio Spurs anunciarán el fichaje de Tiago Splitter en julio, cuando la normativa NBA lo permita.
If true, the Splitter would address the largest need for the Spurs -- a legitimate big-man to play along side Tim Duncan.no comments