Alonzo Gee was one of the most talked about athletes during the NBA’s 2010 Summer League in Las Vegas.
Following training camp with the San Antonio Spurs, Gee did earn a roster spot with the team, but as the season has kicked off, he has been left riding the pine. Do the Spurs really need Gee in San Antonio or will he make a bigger impact for the team long-term if he is assigned back to the Austin Toros for his final year of D-League eligibility?
The Spurs would benefit largely if Gee were able to spend another year with the Toros. The roster is quite crowded in San Antonio with the re-signing of Richard Jefferson, the signing of Bobby Simmons and Gary Neal. Both Jefferson and Neal have played well in recent games, with Neal having a 16-point game against the Clippers on Monday night. Jefferson has been consistent from the field, averaging 17.3 points per game.
Assigning Gee back to Austin would give him the one thing he needs most to continue to develop – playing time. With the Toros, Gee will be a starter rather than a bench warmer and get the valuable minutes he needs to improve his game. He was criticized by some for his “lazy” defense in Las Vegas this summer, although most believe this could easily be remedied with more conditioning and playing time. Getting more playing time in Austin will also give Alonzo Gee the opportunity to continue to work on his shooting. Last season, Gee was consistent and averaged 21 points per game. However, during preseason with the Spurs, he was 0-3 on 3-point shots and only 2-9 from the field.
While some may have concerns about a hole in the roster left in San Antonio, the great thing about the D-League is that the cities are so close. If Gee needed to be called up at the last-minute due to injury, the short drive from Austin to San Antonio would likely not be an issue. Gee could easily jump back into the Spurs lineup, in great shape and comfortable with the game.