The NBA is kinda boring right now. I know. There isn't much to cover prior to training camp, so instead we'll indulge you with a comprehensive list, ranking the San Antonio Spurs roster from 14-1. Each day we will reveal a new player and that's when we ask you, the dear reader, to chime in. Connect with #SpursRank on Facebook or Twitter or dabble in the comment section below, and prepare to defend your argument. I may or may not attack you verbally. No promises. And without further ado …
#12 – Jeff Pendergraph
San Antonio Spurs fans wanted a free agency splash this offseason — with Al Jefferson, David West, Paul Millsap and Nikola Pekovic saturating the big man market, there were plenty of legitimate big man to complement Tim Duncan.
Instead, the Spurs dabbed their feet in the water, re-signing Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter. Their only notable acquisitions — Marco Belinelli and Jeff Pendergraph — won't significantly impact their bottom line.
But they aren't bad moves, along the margins. And they're signed to cost-effective deals, with negligible impact on the future payroll — a necessity, especially when San Antonio will need money to build a roster around Kawhi Leonard and, presumably, Tony Parker.
Pendergraph, 26, doesn't figure to be apart of that equation. He's appeared in just 96 games over four seasons, and there isn't enough data to suggest he'll ever amount to anything more than a career backup.
But he can do a few things well, albeit in a limited sample size. He's grabbed defensive rebounds at a higher rate than DeJuan Blair, and he can knock down an 18-footer with regularity. Pendergraph is a physical brute, compensating for his 6-foot-9 frame. He can tussle with most power forwards, and his defense shouldn't pose the same systematic issues that plagued Blair. San Antonio can still generate enough spacing with Pendergraph and Duncan (or Tiago Splitter) on the floor, though it will be a tough fit.
San Antonio assistant Jim Boylen loves the guy, too. And that probably means something.
Boris Diaw, and Matt Bonner will likely inherit larger roles in the rotation, and Aron Baynes will also be pressing hard for a few minutes on Popovich's ledger. But I'm giving Pendergraph the edge over Baynes, because he's played a larger share of time in the NBA.
Even though his ceiling isn't as high, I'm still betting that he earns more minutes early in the regular season.
So what do you think, Spurs fans? Is 12th too high for Pendergraph?
To read up on who finished at spots 14 and 13, click HERE.