From HoopsWorld Spurs Making DeJuan Blair Available
It’s no surprise that DeJuan Blair may be moved prior to the trade deadline on February 21. The San Antonio Spurs have been shopping him for quite some time, and nearly traded him in June. In the days leading up to the 2012 NBA Draft, the Spurs spoke to a number of teams about the 23-year-old big man. They nearly sent Blair to the Miami HEAT, but the deal fell apart.
Now, San Antonio is once again shopping Blair and seeing what teams are willing to offer.
Blair becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season and it’s unlikely that he re-signs with the Spurs since his role has decreased significantly. Rather than starting and playing big minutes, he’s barely seeing the court. He has been in Gregg Popovich’s doghouse since last postseason. After starting 62 games and averaging 21.3 minutes during last year’s regular season, Blair didn’t start a single game during the playoffs and averaged just 7.6 minutes. He didn’t play in four games and when he did get a chance to come off of the bench, he didn’t stay on the court very long and was on a short leash.
Over the offseason, Blair worked hard and lost a lot of weight, hoping to return to the Spurs’ rotation. However, he’s once again playing limited minutes, especially in the last month. With the Spurs signing Australian big man Aron Baynes on Wednesday, it seems that Blair’s days in San Antonio are numbered. They’ll likely cash him in before the deadline rather than letting him walk as a free agent next summer.
In the past, the Spurs haven’t had any trouble finding teams interested in Blair, but they haven’t been able to find a deal worth taking. However, with Blair out of the rotation and a replacement on the way in Baynes, San Antonio may lower their asking price.
At 23 years old, Blair still has plenty of upside. He has shown that he can contribute when given an opportunity. He has also avoided any serious injuries despite essentially not having an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in either knee. The reason he slipped into the second round during the 2009 NBA Draft was because teams feared that he’d be injury prone, but that hasn’t been the case early in his career.
Blair is certainly a player to keep an eye on as the trade deadline approaches. The Spurs are making him available in talks and a change of scenery would seemingly be best for both parties.