Popovich says Spurs are developing Forbes' point guard skills in D-League

Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports

AT&T CENTER – A week from today, January 10, San Antonio Spurs rookie shooting guard Bryn Forbes will be on his contract deadline date, meaning, if he’s still on the roster past January 10, his deal for $543,471 this season will become fully guaranteed.

However, like Nicolas Laprovittola, who was waived last week by the Spurs, no contract is ever fully guaranteed until the deadline has been passed.

From the outside, it seems like Forbes would be very likely to be waived before January 10, as he’s only played in 13 of the Spurs’ 34 games this season, and he’s just totaled 57 minutes – the least of any Spur on the roster.

Forbes has been sent back and forth several times this season between San Antonio and Austin to get him more playing time in the D-League with the Austin Spurs. However, prior to the Spurs’ game against the Toronto Raptors Tuesday, Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich mentioned Forbes’ trips to Austin aren’t just to keep him in game shape, but rather, he’s learning a whole new skill in the D-League as a point guard.

“I think it’s great for him,” said Popovich of Forbes playing in the D-League. “He’s playing point guard down there, two guard, just to widen his horizons, get him experience. He needs to learn the physicality part of the game and just get time with the ball in his hands being in a lot of different situations and playing all those D-League games is helping him do that, so we’re glad he’s doing what he’s doing.”

When asked how Forbes has played at the shooting guard position, this is what Popovich had to say: “Well that’s an easy one for him, he’s a great shooter. That’s not hard. The point guard is more of an education for him.”

In seven D-League games, Forbes is getting a hefty amount of playing time with 35.1 minutes per game. He’s shooting 56.3% from the floor, 47.5% from three and he’s averaging 2.0 assists with his 23.4 points per game.

Austin is putting the ball in his hands and making him a playmaker as Popovich mentioned, as Forbes has the team’s second highest usage percentage (24.9%) behind only Dejounte Murray (28.0%).

Still, for Forbes’ future, if he’s still on the San Antonio squad by Wednesday morning next week, then him staying on the roster could show how the team might have him in their long term plans possibly beyond this season.


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