Spurs prepare to dominate Summer League (again)

By Joe Buettner

Feb 18 2012; College Station, TX, USA; Missouri Tigers guard Marcus Denmon (12) against the Texas A


Talk about stacked. San Antonio released their 2012 Summer League roster which is loaded with talent. Last season, the Spurs and the rest of the league were robbed of summer exhibitions because of the lockout. However, it had no effect on Kawhi Leonard, who will be playing for the silver and black in Vegas.

Joining Leonard will be Cory Joseph and James Anderson, who both have seen NBA action. Also, the defending D-League Champion Austin Toros will be well represented.

Calling the shots will be Jacque Vaughn, which, ultimately, is icing on the cake. This team is oozing with talent, and do not be surprised to see them run through the Summer League unscathed.

Eric Dawson and Derrick Byars were huge for the Toros last season. Also, the Spurs brought Luke Zeller, another big who has a lot to prove in the professional ranks. Though he’ll be overshadowed by the additions of Ryan Richards and Alexis Ajinca.

Richards was taken in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft, and with a couple more years on him, Richards will want to prove his worth as capable center. Ajinca, an imposing shot blocker without any offensive ability, is a guy to keep an eye on.

Ajinca is a good shot blocker, but very raw. Much like Serge Ibaka, he gets by with defense, but if the Spurs were to pursue Ajinca, he would be a project on the offensive end.

San Antonio’s second-round pick Marcus Denmon will be among 18 players fighting for the final roster spot. Denmon is a great shooter and San Antonio is in love with combo guards who can shoot the ball well. Denmon would add depth to a deep backcourt but, like many of these guys, he has much to prove.

One last guy worth paying attention to is Tyler Wilkerson. If you don’t remember, Wilkerson wasn’t half bad in the 2010 Summer League for the 5-0 Spurs. He even threw down a monster jam over OKC’s newest big man Hasheem Thabeet. Of course: Wilkerson is only a 6-8 forward and the Spurs don’t need another undersized forward.

The Spurs have some good, young talent on their roster, but with all the free agency madness, the Spurs haven’t really made any moves this off-season. Re-signing Duncan was obviously important, and San Antonio re-signed two key role players, Boris Diaw and Danny Green. However, fans should be very curious to see how the Spurs evaluate their summer league roster. It’s how a lot of unsung guys get noticed, just look at Gary Neal.