Jeff Pendergraph, power forward
New contract: two-years, $4 million
2012-13 per game averages: 10 minutes, 3.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.3 blocks.
Former team: Indiana Pacers
If you were expecting the Spurs to make a splash this offseason, think again. Instead of testing free agency — quality talents like Andrei Kirilenko, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, to name a few, saturated the market — San Antonio re-signed their two key free agents, while adding a couple of ancillary rotation pieces (Marco Belinelli and Pendergraph). Ho hum.
Pendergraph, 26, will earn approximately four million over the next two seasons according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. His salary is the ninth largest commitment on the Spurs' payroll next season, ahead of Kawhi Leonard (earning $1.89 million next year), so it's clear that he won't have a pronounced role on the team. Perhaps he could play himself into Gregg Popovich's rotation, but that's a bit of a stretch — Pendergraph has played in just 96 games in four NBA seasons (he didn't log a single minute in 2010-11).
So this is a terrible acquisition right? Not necessarily. Pendergraph, though undersized at six-foot-nine, can contribute a few minutes a night, solely guarding power forwards and centers. He's quite large for his height (240 lbs), which means he won't be easily bullied on the block by most big men. Pendergraph isn't a push over on the boards either. He grabbed 22.2 percent of Indiana's defensive rebounds in the few minutes he played last season according to Basketball Reference, a significant number given the abnormally big lineups coach Frank Vogel regularly employed. The only Spur more proficient at protecting the defensive glass was Tim Duncan (29.6 percent). Pendergraph also made 21 of 51 attempts (41.2 percent) from 15-19 feet last year, per NBA.com — San Antonio regularly utilizes the pick-and-pop to free Duncan for open mid-range looks and that is a niche Pendergraph is very comfortable with.
Looking for a potential Pendergraph comparison? Think DeJuan Blair, except with shooting range and better defense. Please try and contain your excitement.