As the Las Vegas leg of the 2013 NBA Summer League inches closer we look at a roster full of talented young men, some who have played in the NBA and some who have not, and we ask ourselves again, “Who needs to prove themselves the most?”
Of course every player participating in the Summer League is hoping for a chance to play in the NBA, and more so for the San Antonio Spurs.
Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka will serve as the head coach for the Spurs 2013 Summer League team.
“It huge, obviously they want to improve their situation and standing with the team so there’s a lot of thing we want to look at to see what they can help us with next year. There’s not a lot of time off and improvement is key for those guys.”
After finishing his college career with Washington State, Australian center and power forward, Aron Baynes, went undrafted in the 2009 NBA Draft. Baynes would play overseas until this past year when he was picked up by the San Antonio Spurs in January of 2013.
Spending most of his time being played like a yo-yo, Baynes was constantly going from Austin with the D-League’s Austin Toros, and San Antonio.
In his time in San Antonio Baynes played only 141 minutes over 16 games where he averaged 50 percent from the floor and 58.3 percent from the line. He also averaged 2.0 rebounds, 0.3 assist, 0.7 turnovers and 2.7 points per game.
Doing well in the Summer League can potentially get more playing time during the actual season especially since the Spurs do need size as the roster stands right now.
Another member of the 2013 NBA Finals team that will be making an appearance in the 2013 Summer League is French guard Nando de Colo. After being signed by the Spurs in July of 2012, de Colo also spent most of his time between Austin and San Antonio.
Nando played a larger role then Aron Baynes playing 920 minutes over 72 games with 6 starts where he averaged 43.6 percent from the floor, 37.8 percent from beyond the arc and 79.5 percent from the line. He also averaged 1.9 rebounds, 1.9 assist, 1.1 turnovers and 3.8 points per game.
Doing well can also potentially get more playing time during the actual season. However, one thing to keep an eye on is De Colo's conditioning heading into next season. Not only is he scheduled to play in Vegas (much to his surprise
), he will also be playing with Team France this summer. Time on the court will be good for him but let's hope he doesn't run out of gar late next season.
A familiar face will be returning to Vegas that is former Texas Longhorn point guard Cory Joseph. He participated in the 2012 Summer League where he led the Spurs team averages, alongside Kawhi Leonard, with 17 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.2 assist and 3.4 turnovers in 33 minutes.
“It was great. A step in the right direction in terms of my leadership and it obviously keep me conditioned. Obviously l worked on my shot a lot and things that I worked on with Chip (Engelland) and Chad (Forcier) in the gym I got to put it to use in Vegas.”
Now Joseph coming off a low stat season, 1.9 rebounds, 1.9 assist, 0.8 turnovers and 4.5 points per game, he hopes to impress once again in Vegas to land high minutes and higher stat numbers. But keep in mind that heading into next season, the team might be guard-heavy with Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Nando, Patty Mills, new Spur Marco Belinelli and possibly Gary Neal (if he doesn't sign with another squad). Cory has to have a nice showing if he wants to crack that guard rotation next season.
Overall all three of the active Spurs players competing in Summer League will have to impress the coaching staff in Vegas in order to come back to San Antonio with the potential to get more playing time and be a bigger asset to the team.
The Spurs will begin Summer League play on Friday when the take on the Charlotte Bobcat at 9:00 PM on NBATV.