Summer League Profile: Ian Mahinmi

With the 2009 NBA Summer League beginning this weekend, and the Spurs playing their first game July 12, we here at Project Spurs will begin to profile some players on the team.  We’ll continue with Ian Mahinmi.
While Ian Mahinmi is not new to the Spurs, he has only played 23 minutes in two seasons for the silver & black.
After a lackluster summer league showing last Summer and a disappointing season recovering from an ankle injury, Ian will have to show up and dominate in summer league play next week if he wants to ensure his future with the Spurs.
Selected with the 28th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, the little-known Mahinmi was labeled as a future prospect for the Spurs. He was 18-years-old when drafted and playing in his native France, but he was still very raw, while showing some potential and giving Spurs fans hope for the next big prospect from France.
In his games in France, he displayed athleticism and some shot-blocking ability, while also showing he was still very wet behind the years.
When the Spurs signed him two years ago, I immediately called it a mistake to bring the 6-11 Mahinmi overseas this early. But in preseason games, he was a pest in the paint, either blocking shots or altering shots with his defense and long arms.
But then came the foul trouble, the limited offensive game and a tendency to fall asleep on defense, which was even apparent in last year’s summer league games.
With the Spurs lack of centers, Ian will be given an opportunity once again to show that he’s capable of playing in the NBA, and if summer league is any reflection, he’ll have to dominate to prove himself.