Race for Spurs roster spot down to Curry, Brown
By Jeff McDonald
MIAMI — Ten days before the start of the regular season, there technically remain four candidates to claim the Spurs’ 15th and final roster spot.
Before Saturday’s 104-101 loss at Miami, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich winnowed the field further.
“We’re looking at basically two guys, Eddy Curry and Derrick Brown,” Popovich said.
Curry, a 29-year-old center whose career has become synonymous with squandered promise,
has throughout the preseason displayed a consistent ability to put the ball in the basket.
In his Saturday return to Miami, where he was a little-used member of last season’s NBA championship squad, Curry contributed nine points in less than eight minutes.
“Eddy lost 20 pounds to come to camp, and he’s played through being tired, which has always been a bugaboo for him in the past,” Popovich said. “He’s worked very hard, and he’s done a lot of good things.”
Brown, a 25-year-old former Charlotte Bobcat who can guard both small and power forwards, did not play Saturday. Still, Popovich has been impressed with Brown’s versatility and defensive chops.
“He’s a talented kid,” Popovich said. “Sometimes it takes people a little longer for the light to go on. You get them into another program and things work for them.”
The Spurs have until Oct. 29 to cut their roster from 18 players to no more than 15.
In addition to Curry and Brown, two other players on camp contracts — forwards Josh Powell and Wesley Witherspoon — remain on the roster for now.
Powell logged 16 minutes against the Heat, producing eight points and six rebounds, but made only 3-of-8 field goals. Witherspoon did not travel with the team to Florida, although he has not yet been formally waived.
Prize waits: In addition to the promise of a paycheck, Curry has another reason to want to make the Spurs.
If Curry is on the team Nov. 29, when the Spurs return to Miami in the regular season, that’s the date he’s most likely to receive his championship ring from the Heat.
“It’s cool,” Curry said. “I already got sized and everything. My wife, too.”
Having appeared in just 14 games for Miami last season, and none in the playoffs, Curry admits he had considerably less to do with the Heat’s title than, say, LeBron James did.
“I don’t want to sound ungrateful,” Curry said. “My second ring will be better. I’ll say it like that.”
Got Spo’s vote: One person rooting for Curry to hook on with the Spurs is Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
“He has really committed himself, to put himself in a position not only to be back in this league, but really be an impact player,” Spoelstra said.
And here we go. With 10 days left until Game 1, substance begins to emerge from camp.
I hope Curry is good enough to get that last spot. He could actually play minutes and have an impact. I don't think Brown would get any playing time unless there were injuries.
I’m righteous with the choice of Curry getting the last active roster spot, if it happens. But here’s my dilemma – if you can only suit a maximum of 13 for a regular season game, who are the two that you sit? Joseph and ??. Isn’t there a league regulation on how long a player can be on the inactive team roster and not assigned to Austin? Or do we send Joseph back to Austin and sit someone on a rotating basis, depending on the need over the next few games?
Sounds like Pop has made up his mind. I think Brown will get the eviction notice soon.
We always talk about a player who might benefit or turn their career around by playing with the Spurs, wouldn't it be nice if Curry did that and became what some thought he'd be when he was drafted?
And while Brown has played well, you can't teach size and Curry give us that size....
PG: Parker, Neal, Mills, Joseph
SG: Manu, Green, De Colo
SF: Leonard, Jackson,
PF: Duncan, Bonner, Blair
C: Diaw, Splitter, Curry
With Curry, I think we're "fine" at all of the traditional spots, except SF. Going with the idea of 2 bigs, 2 wings and a PG though and I think that makes the need for another SF moot as well. Obviously a defending/rebounding big would be nice and a bigger SF to deal with the Lebrons/Durants of the world would be nice, but overall I'm happy with the team. I wonder if it wouldn't behoove us to try a (more successful, but lower version) of Houston's to package several of these assets into a starter quality player (the big mentioned above). Some combination of (Mills or Joseph)+(Green or Neal)+(Bonner or Blair) for an Al Jefferson or Paul Milsap for example (with I'm sure some $ or picks thrown in or another contract coming back). Utah gets a better backup for Mo Williams than Jamal Tinsley, Green could start at the 2, move Hayward to his natural 3 position. Williams moves to the bench and becomes a 6th man candidate backing up the 3 and 4, and most importantly, they clear playing time for Favors (who looks like the real deal.) That gives us:
PG: Parker, Neal, Mills
SG: Manu, De Colo
SG: Leonard, Jackson
PF: Duncan, Diaw, Bonner
C: Jefferson, Splitter, Curry
Solid lineup that competes for a championship without losing anything in our depth advantage. Those 13 suit and then you can keep Brown also and let either him or Joseph season some in the D-league.
I have to go with CURRY here, his size and post game is just what we need at times and you can't teach size like someone said. He gives you another big body down there and he can actually score in the post unlike most of our big guys outside of Tim (Splitter at times). I would go with Curry.
the wives get rings too?! :lol
As I've been saying curry will be the one to stay for his low post presence on the offensive end. Pop will be sure to get on his case about defense but his offense speaks for itself.
The main thing I'm interested in seeing this year is if Manu has a drop-off in his production level as he gets older.
Second thing I wanna see is Neal and Green play more consistent on offense and play a bit better team defense.
I know and the team knows who the best player is... from day one!
They both just got waived.
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