Time for a risk-reward guy?

Earlier this week, reports came out that Eddy Curry is serious about getting himself back in to game shape. Matt Moore with Pro Basketball Talk quoted a story out of the Miami Herald early this week that said that Curry was working out with famed conditioning coach Tim Grover to get himself ready for a post lockout audition for NBA squads, with the Miami Heat highest on his radar.

The article goes on to say that Curry now weighs about 300 pounds, which is about 50 pounds less than he weighed when he started working out with Grover, but still five pounds over his listed weight (which I’m sure was completely accurate when it got printed…). Curry still wants to get close to 275 for any auditions, which is probably a good idea.

Curry has always been very talented. His ability to score in the post is pretty impressive. If he gets himself in shape, I don’t see why the Heat wouldn’t bring him in. What’s the risk? When Juwan Howard or Jamaal Magloire are giving you regular minutes, why wouldn’t you take a chance on a guy who was averaging 20 points per game before Mike D’Antoni showed up and did what he always does, namely refuse to mold his coaching style to the roster he inherits. Curry isn’t going to get much more than the league minimum for one year. So you’ll have a guy who’s been humbled and will be motivated to prove he’s worth a larger (no pun intended), long term deal. With a strong coach and team leaders in place, Curry could become a productive center again.

So if he’s good enough for the Heat, why wouldn’t he be good enough for the San Antonio Spurs? Curry was on his way to becoming a productive member of basketball society in Chicago, but then left for the most toxic environment ever for a young player, the New York Knicks when they were under the rule of Isiah Thomas. Tyson Chandler, who may or may not have just won an NBA championship if you want to pretend this year’s Finals happened, says he still talks to Curry often and still thinks he has what it takes to be a productive guy in this league. That’s a pretty good vote of confidence.

One of our own, Jason Rogers, said the Spurs should think about targeting Aaron Gray this offseason. Gray is low risk, low reward 7-footer who more that held his own in playoffs against Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. So here’s the question: Do the Spurs pay Aaron Gray something like $2.5 million for Gray (a logical pay raise), know that you’re going to get like 8 PPG, 6 RPG and some solid hustle or do you take a cheap gamble on a high risk high reward guy like Curry?

I honestly don’t know the answer, part of me thinks you sign Gray for a little bit more and just take the decent production. At the same time, I feel like that’s what the Spurs have been doing for the past couple years and it hasn’t worked because Tim Duncan isn’t the best big man in basketball anymore. So maybe you choose Curry and hope for the best, which could be something like 15 and 8 rebounds per game. Still, it would just feel weird having the Spurs do that. The larger meaning is the Spurs now have to think about these types of moves, especially if they’re not looking to make any big moves whenever the lockout ends.

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