Three players, one spot. Barring a trade or some unexpected cut, that's the scenario Eddy Curry, Josh Powell and Derrick Brown face heading in to the final two weeks of training camp. The San Antonio Spurs have a full four days before their next game in Miami on Saturday. This Spurs have the entire week to work on the good and the bad of preseason so far. For Curry, Powell and Brown it's going to be a week of practices to get more familiar with the system before what it is likely a make or break weekend for all three. We can also assume that the weekend back to back against the Heat and Magic will likely be make or break time for each of the three.
Last week, the Curry told the San Antonio Express News' Mike Monroe that camp has been good for him, and so far there's very little evidence to show he's wrong.
“I feel I’m in a good situation,” he said. “I worked hard this summer. Every game it’s just about showing everybody what I can do. I’m trying to focus on defense and rebounding, trying to play in the system and soak up as much as I can.
“I think I’m going to make it. Until they tell me I’m not, I feel like I’m part of this team.”
If the Spurs were just looking for the best available talent, Curry would be the leader in the clubhouse. He's shown a unique ability to score in the post and generally take up space on defense and with some time and continued practice could become an able post defender. But Curry is not a pick and roll defender and he's not a rim protector. Those are the two things the Spurs need most and both Powell and Brown have shown an ability to do those things.
If the Spurs decide they do like Curry, then other moves could conceivably made to make room for him. As Tim Duncan has said, he sees "potential, potential, potential" in Curry, and that's not something you give up on easily. Yes, Powell and Brown would be better fits, but honestly, don't the Spurs have larger problems if they're signing any of these three to be meaningful contributors assuming everyone is healthy? Is the 15th man spot a good place for a high risk, high reward guy? I don't know what the right answer is. It's not a simple decision either and it's one that's been made only more difficult by the more aerodynamic DeJuan Blair, who slimmed down presents to the potential to do those some of those things Powell and Brown bring to the table.