Jan 29, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph (5) prepares to face the Dallas Mavericks before the game at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Spurs 101-100. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

ESPN NBA Rank: Cory Joseph drops to No. 458


ESPN has officially embarked on their quest to rank the top 500 NBA players for the upcoming season. As each Spur is listed, I will provide a synopsis and a brief take on why they deserve (or don’t) this ranking.

Cory Joseph appeared in 29 games with the San Antonio Spurs and, though no fault of his own, averaged two points and 1.2 assists. Those numbers subsequently led the NBA rankers to peg him as the 458th best player in the NBA, a drop of 24 spots from last year.

But he struggled because the minutes he received were insufficient and when San Antonio acquired Patty Mills, Joseph wasn’t necessary on the NBA roster. There is nothing wrong with the Spurs’ approach considering they are completely justified to develop him slowly but he didn’t get much of a shot to succeed.

He did succeed, meanwhile, in the D-League with the Austin Toros as he averaged 13.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists, good for an excellent 19.1 PER.

My take. From a superficial level, Joseph’s numbers fit well with the players around his ranking. But I can’t help but to be optimistic about Joseph. He played well in the D-League and he played well in Vegas, even earning a bid on the Summer League All-Star team. He may not be better than most players but against the likes of Darrius Johnson-Odom, who hasn’t even appeared in a NBA game, he fares well.

Other Spurs already ranked | Derrick Byars (488)

Tags: Cory Joseph San Antonio Spurs