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 …
#13 – Nando De Colo
There's a fine line between being assertive and careless — and Nando De Colo was often careless last season, coughing the ball up on a whopping 23.7 percent of his possessions. That easily led the team, and only two players, New York Knicks point guard Pablo Prigioni and Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, gave up the ball on a higher share of their possessions, per Basketball Reference.
De Colo's ambition does get him into a bit of trouble against smart NBA defenses; he's adept at finding any passing angle, but he hasn't quite grasped the nuances of the NBA game enough to refrain from making every single highlight reel pass. Sometimes a simple pass is the optimal course of action. Sometimes hitting the safety valve at the top of the key, and generating a "hockey" assist — delivering the pass that leads to the assist — is the right play.
Instead, De Colo unfurled dangerous skip passes through tight windows, or overdribbled into waiting help defenders. De Colo didn't defend particularly well either, and his role in Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's rotation vanished in the postseason. He played just 14 minutes in the playoffs, the lowest mark on the team.
De Colo has two-years remaining on his contract, the last of which is a qualifying offer worth approximately $1.83 million. That's not an egregious amount, but San Antonio didn't extend James Anderson's paltry qualifying offer a few years ago, and perhaps they dabble in free agency or overseas for another cheap combo guard that can replicate De Colo's production.
The Spurs were 10.2 points per 100 possessions worse with De Colo on the floor, per NBA.com — a massive margin, influenced in part because he played primarily with lesser caliber players. His primary competition, Patty Mills and Cory Joseph, were also "negative" in their minutes, but they didn't hurt San Antonio's bottom line nearly as much.
Think of it this way: Mills is a more efficient offensive weapon, and Joseph is a more reliable defender. De Colo is an extraneous part of Popovich's rotation.
He may be due for another rude awakening, if he doesn't cut down his turnovers.
So what do you think, Spurs fans? Is this a fair slot for De Colo?
To read Aron Baynes at #14 click HERE.