If there’s one San Antonio Spurs player who has drawn a lot of attention in this offseason not involving a bar fight, it’s Spurs forward DeJuan Blair. Since the day before the NBA Draft back in June, Blair has been rumored to be on the trading block.
After taking part in a youth basketball camp in his hometown of Pittsburgh recently, Blair told Douglas Farmer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Spurs do indeed have him on the trading block, but with the class the Spurs are known for, Blair says they’re looking to put him in his best possible chance to excel in the future.
“Hopefully, I stay a Spur, but if it doesn’t happen, life moves on,” Blair said. “They’ve got me on the trade market and they’ll do the best to get me in the greatest situation possible.”
Even though Blair hasn’t been happy over his diminished role in the playoffs over the past three seasons, he says that it’s all been a process for him to grow into the mature player that he is today.
“They never let me mess up or make mistakes. It’s been a great experience. I would love to spend the rest of my career there, but like I keep saying, it’s a business.”
As for his offseason, Blair knows why he has lost a good chunk of his minutes, it’s because of his lack of a perimeter shot. Today, he says he’s working to make that an important part of his game.
“It was wonderful,” he said of the challenge. “I lost about 16 pounds, and I’m getting my shot. Once I can drain that 15-footer and get my body toned up, it’s going to be great.
Here’s a quick timeline of how Blair’s summer has gone so far involving his trade situation.
June 28 – The day before the NBA draft, a report broke that the Spurs were trying to trade Blair to clear roster space for European players coming from overseas. One of those guys is Nando De Colo, the other was Erazem Lorbek, who decided to stay in Spain. In that report, the source said Blair was open to being moved because of his lack of playing time in the playoffs.
July 09 – While training with the United States Select team in Las Vegas, Blair told Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express News that he felt his days were numbered in the silver and black, because of the amount of big men the team already had.
July 10 – The following day, an announcement was made that Boris Diaw intended to re-sign with the Spurs. Re-singing Diaw, the player who took more of Blair’s minutes, was yet another sign the team was moving in the direction with Diaw as the future.
July 12 – Blair’s agent Happy Walters told a local television station that he felt this coming season was going to be Blair’s last with the Spurs, if Blair even made it that far, as he has a non-guaranteed contract this coming season. That means the Spurs have until early January to trade him or decide to waive him.
July 13 – A report broke out of that the Spurs were looking for a future first-round draft pick for Blair.
August 7 – Today, Blair has admitted the Spurs are indeed looking to trade him, but it’s good to see they’re looking for the best possible place for him.