Everybody Loves The 3 Ball

With free agency upon us, general managers across the league will be working the phone lines, setting up meetings, working trades, sweet talking players and their agents.  San Antonio doesn’t have the money available to make a huge splash, but they will be looking at players that can help them now.  The playoffs revealed some chinks in the armor, which Popovich and Buford will be trying to fix.  In our first installment, we’ll be looking at perimeter guys.  Guys who can hit the long shot, run an offense, and play some defense too.
With the drafting of George Hill, a player many believe will make the Spurs roster this season, the guard spots become somewhat less of an issue.  However, we’ve discussed JR Smith before, and there’s no reason to stop now.  With Denver on the cusp of blowing up their roster, there is perhaps no better time for Smith to be a free agent.  Extremely athletic, solid shooting from downtown, and a defense that can be taken to a new level with some pointers from Bowen, Smith could be one of the most under rated players available.  He has a shaky track record, but with quality character guys surrounding him in San Antonio, I don’t believe that will be an issue.  He would probably take most, if not all, of the mid level exception, but he would immediately address the offensive and athletic needs of an aging roster.
JJ Redick is languishing on the Magic roster, and while he might not get many more minutes in San Antonio, he hasn’t moved up the depth chart after Orlando’s draft either.  He’s not the athlete that many are, and he might not be able to do things that many players can, but if we remember some of the classic performances of Kerr and Barry in playoff history, you will see how Redick could be of help in a pinch.  A solid but unspectacular player, perhaps a sign and trade could be arranged to bring this young shooter into the silver and black.
Shooting 44% beyond the arc last season, James Jones could follow Ime Udoka to the land of Duncan doubles.  Many players see more opportunities for open 3s (Bruce Bowen anyone?) as many teams double the Big Fundamental, and there’s no reason Jones couldn’t shoot long range shots at a 60% clip off of kicks from Parker and Ginobili.  He’s done it on the young and inexperienced team in Portland, and the savvy veterans of San Antone would only give him better looks.
Mickael Pietrus has performed well enough in Golden State, but I believe he has another level to be tapped.  With the right guidance, he could boast a box score the likes of Gerald Wallace or Boris Diaw when Amare was hurt.  An extremely versatile player, Pietrus could provide 15 pts, 8 boards, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals on a regular basis with 20 minutes of time.  Knowing Duncan has his back could also elevate his man to man defense.  Another shining example of a player languishing on a team without the pieces to allow him to shine, the Spurs could make use of his all around game.

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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