Dirty Work Is Done Down Low

Perhaps no greater realization was found in the playoffs than Duncan is the only guy who still knows how to rebound.  Whether it takes sending Oberto to a 3rd grade basketball clinic to learn the fine art of boxing out, or making Thomas think he’s guarding Duncan instead of playing next to him, the Spurs need guys who can crash the boards, and crash them hard.  They’ll also need to be able to block the occasional shot, and make sure the fort is held down when Duncan takes a breather.  Our second installment looks at some possibilities to shore up the post in San Antonio yields some quality, but unsung players.
Hakim Warrick might seem like a bit of a stretch, but if you ask Kirk Hinrich, you’ll find he has a lot of stretch.  An under rated defender, Warrick could thrive in Popovich’s small ball sets in the 4 spot.  The guards will be running the offense anyways, so let him set some screens, rebound the ball, and let his long arms get in the way of his opponent.  With Memphis trying to put the right pieces together, a second round pick might be all it takes to pry him away.
Do you remember Randolph Morris?  You may have forgotten, as he was hidden in the mess we call the Knicks.  D’Antoni might want to hold on to him, but he came out of the Kentucky school of defense, and Popovich likes defense.  He could be a hidden gem, as Rondo turned out to be, that does big things when least expected.  He has the potential to at the very least put up the same stat line Oberto does, and has the benefit of being a much younger player.  Placing him under the wing of the league’s best power forward, as opposed to the no defense tandem of Curry and  Randolph, will enhance his all around game, and anybody will see the brighter side of life when you’re on an annual playoff contender.  As a bonus, San Antonio was rumored to have had interest in him before he signed with New York.
Another Knick, David Lee, has already shown he plays far bigger than he is.  A tenacious rebounder, and a great hustle player, Lee is the unsung hard worker that coaches love.  Like Warrick, he would be an excellent candidate for the Spurs small ball rotation, as he has had monstrous rebounding nights with minimal minutes.  Both Lee and Morris would require sending someone to New York, so they’re both unlikely, but I didn’t think Malik Rose would get traded to them either.
The Blazers only found 17 minutes a game for Channing Frye this year, and there will be even less to go around with Oden returning.  Another Isiah Thomas draft pick who has been under utilized, Frye is a guy who can rebound, and will only look even better with Duncan beside him.  A career 80% free throw shooter makes him an ideal candidate to be on the floor in critical situations as well.  Frye could offer the best bang for the buck to step in and help Duncan on the blocks, or at least until Mahinmi is ready and Splitter is in America.

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.

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