Saturday, before the San Antonio Spurs’ victory over the Houston Rockets, reports surfaced that the Spurs and free agent Andre Miller had come to an agreement, to allow Miller to sign with the Spurs for the remainder of the season.
With Miller reaching a verbal agreement with San Antonio, the Spurs are now faced with the task of having to waive one of their maximum 15 players on the roster. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical, that player will be point guard Ray McCallum. Per Wojnarowski, the Spurs won’t waive McCallum until Miller passes a physical and signs his contract.
McCallum, 24, was acquired over the summer from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for a 2016 second round pick. McCallum never received much opportunity to become a rotation piece in the system because of the consistent play from both point guards ahead of him – Tony Parker and Patty Mills. McCallum has seen game action in just 31 of the Spurs’ 59 games this season, and he’s started just three games on nights when Parker was out for rest or injury.
In his 8.3 minutes during those 31 games, McCallum shot 40.3% from the floor for 2.2 points and 1.1 assists. While the numbers won’t wow you because of his limited minutes, when McCallum did play in more meaningful minutes, he never showed a full grasp observationally like former point guard Cory Joseph would when Parker or Mills would sit out a game for rest or injury. McCallum has been sent several times on assignment back and forth from San Antonio to Austin, but really, on most nights, he would only be used sparingly when the Spurs either led by a substantial amount of points, or San Antonio was trailing by a lot of points.
Financially, McCallum earned $947,276 this season, but it was the following year on his contract that might have been a reason why the Spurs will reportedly waive him. McCallum was set to become a restricted free agent this summer for $1,215,696 per BasketballInsider.com, if the Spurs had him in their long term plans and were to tender a qualifying offer in the offseason.
Had McCallum been in the situation of Jonathon Simmons or Kyle Anderson, who both are guaranteed under contract next season, San Antonio might have kept McCallum to see how he could develop with one or two more seasons in their system. For McCallum now, if he’s waived before March 1, he’d be eligible to sign with another playoff team before the final day of the season. This summer, he’ll also now be a free agent to choose where he’d like to continue his journey in his career.