The Spurs have started training camp with a few new faces, and as we did last season, we’ll profile one player per day to give you an inside look at the players competing to wear the silver and black.
Weight –179 pounds
Born –October 11, 1982
Draft –2005, Round 2/Pick 1, Hawks
The Spurs said goodbye to one Stoudamire (Damon) this off season and hello to another (Salim). Salim Stoudamire signed a 2-year non-guaranteed contract with the Spurs in September, looking for a second chance after struggling to find a steady place in the Hawks lineup under Mike Woodson.
Stoudamire is known for one thing –shooting. During his senior year as an Arizona Wildcat, Stoudamire led the NCAA in three-point shooting, connecting on 50.4% of his attempts. With a quick, high arcing shot, Stoudamire is the epitome of a spot up shooter; the kind of guy who can benefit from playing with Tim Duncan and the open shots that come when his defender doubles off him.
Despite his reputation as a marksman, Stoudamire’s shooting percentages have been average. He had his best shooting year during his rookie season, shooting 41.5% overall and 38% on threes. He also averaged 9.7 points in 20.3 minutes, both career highs. Over the past two years his numbers have declined, and he only played in 35 games last year, partly because he found a permanent spot in Woodson’s doghouse. After his shooting abilities, Stoudamire is most known for his moody, aloof attitude, which should make things interesting with Pop.
Stoudamire is different that most training camp players the Spurs sign. Normally they sign unknowns who really don’t have a shot at making the roster. Stoudamire, on the other hand, has a history and a past that we can look at. From his three years with Atlanta, we know that he is an undersized shooting guard, somewhat of a defensive liability and a slightly above average shooter with the potential to be a great shooter.
Unfortunately for Stoudamire, the Spurs backcourt is pretty full with Tony Parker, Jacque Vaughn, George Hill, Manu Ginobili, Roger Mason Jr. and Ime Udoka. However, only Ginobili and Parker can provide instant offense, and Ginobili will be out for the first 25 games or so. Similar to Eddie House with the Boston Celtics, Stoudamire can score in a hurry. For his career, Stoudamire averages 17 points per 36 minutes, higher than Mason, Udoka or Vaughn. If Stoudamire can find his shot during training camp and preseason, he could find a spot on the Spurs as the 10th, 11th or 12th man, providing that scoring spark off the bench that the Spurs have desperately needed at times.
Two other things you need to know about Stoudamire. He is an afro-rocking vegan. Poor guy can’t even enjoy some Tex-Mex or BBQ. But lets be honest, we all know the Spurs have been missing a good fro. Stoudamire can provide that if nothing else.