Tuesday, the San Antonio Spurs announced the team had waived backup point guard Nicolas Laprovittola. In 18 games with the Spurs, including three starts, Laprovittola, 27, averaged 3.3 points and 1.6 assists, while he was also shooting above league average from three, as he knocked down 37.0% of his looks from 3-point range. Because Laprovittola was the team’s third point guard behind Tony Parker and Patty Mills, he only saw 9.7 minutes per game when he occasionally did play.
With the young Dejounte Murray (20 years old) making trips back and forth between the Spurs and D-League Austin Spurs, the Spurs needed Laprovittola’s playmaking ability to keep the ship steady when Parker was either hurt or needed to sit out for rest.
Recently, Murray started seeing more game action either as the Spurs’ third point guard and his most productive game came last Friday, when he started at point in the Spurs’ win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Murray had a steady game with nine points, three rebounds and one assist in 19 minutes.
With Laprovittola now off the roster, Murray becomes the team’s third point guard option, and though he still won’t see a large increase in a role on the team, he’ll now be the one to earn more experience with the minutes he gets if Parker or Mills misses a game in the future.
Financially, Laprovittola’s salary of $543,471 would have become fully guaranteed had he stayed on the roster past January 10, 2017. Because he was waived before that date, his salary won’t affect the Spurs’ cap situation.
With 14 players on the roster now, the Spurs have some roster flexibility to either sign a player on a 10-day contract beginning in January, or should the buyout market in late February and March have any players that interest the Spurs, then they would have a roster spot open should that player be alright with signing for the veteran minimum.
Here’s where the Spurs’ depth chart stands now that Laprovittola is off the roster.
|Tony Parker||Danny Green (3)||Kawhi Leonard (4)||LaMarcus Aldridge (5)||Pau Gasol|
|Patty Mills||Manu Ginobili (3)||Kyle Anderson (4)||David Lee (5)||Dewayne Dedmon (4)|
|Dejounte Murray (2)||Jonathon Simmons (3)||Davis Bertans (3)|
For Laprovittola, once he clears waivers, he’ll be free to sign with any NBA team that makes him an offer or he can also choose to go back and play professionally in Europe. For NBA teams seeking a solid backup point guard, Laprovittola might not be a bad option, as he’s a playmaker that can make all sorts of passes, run a team’s sets with a good pace, he can shoot above league average from three, and as the video clip below of his scoring and passing shows, he can also put together some highlight plays: