After completing their three team trade with the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards, the Denver Nuggets have bought out 6’10″ center Ronny Turiaf.
While Turiaf has only played 56 minutes this season with the Wizards, he represents yet another cost effective player that the Spurs could acquire in their pursuit of obtaining optimal frontcourt depth.
Turiaf is a high energy player but, curiously, is also a suspect rebounder compared to his peers. Offensively, he won’t provide anything other than shooting the occasional open midrange jumper or easy putback attempt. Without any volume of attempts and the relative proximity of his attempts, Turiaf is a really efficient scorer (career .571 true shooting percentage).
For all the acclaim Boris Diaw gets for his superior passing ability, Turiaf has also proven to be an adept passer from the high post. His assist rate, sitting at 25.0 currently, has been consistently above average.
Defensively, Turiaf creates a lot of havoc. Again this pertains to his tireless work ethic on the basketball court. He is the rare center that can not only block shots (2.8 per 40 minutes) but also jump into passing lanes and create steals. His defense is not perfect, however. His aggressive nature continually puts him into foul trouble (career average of 5.8 personal fouls per 40 minutes) and that wouldn’t sit well with Pop, whose teams always value defending without fouling.
Signing Turiaf wouldn’t directly lead to more wins but you never know when his services could be necessary. Depth is always important especially when acquiring that depth is relatively cheap. The Spurs have carefully put together one of the most diverse, and successful, benches in the NBA. But the roster isn’t perfect and could always use a cheap fix. Moves like the Patrick Mills signing have the potential to help the Spurs in the long run. If not? Well, we are still one of the best teams in basketball.
Signing Turiaf would provide the same effect. His services aren’t absolutely necessary but, hey, it can’t hurt to see what we have first.