Air Alamo 2012-13 player previews: Matt Bonner

By Quixem Ramirez

Feb 6, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies small forward Rudy Gay (22) drives to the basket while being guarded by San Antonio Spurs power forward Matt Bonner (15) during the game at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

[Editor’s note: Prior to the start of the regular season on Oct. 31, I will be previewing every player on the Spurs’ roster, in no particular order. Alphabetical order is lame anyway.]

Drafted with the 45th pick in the 2003 Draft, Matt Bonner has made hundreds of 3-pointers since then, establishing himself as one of the perimeter shooters. Bonner has eight years of experience, two or which were with the Toronto Raptors. He’s spent the last six seasons with the Spurs carving a niche as a space creating big man.

Overview: If you weren’t surprised from Bonner’s 2011-12 season, it was probably because it was so familiar. His per-minute numbers stayed constant and he still made 3-pointers at a greater than 40% clip. He sacrificed some offensive rebounds and notches in 3-point percentage for a lower turnover rate. His playoff performance — if you could call it a “performance” — was underwhelming as he averaged a gaudy 2.4 points and 1.9 rebounds in 13 games. This, too, correlated with his previous postseason struggles.

Role: Bonner’s role isn’t high usage but it is important. In an offense that relies on spacing like the Spurs, a stretch four is a necessity. Bonner, according to Basketball Reference’s offensive rating statistic which denotes his offensive production, was one of the most efficient players in the league. This is due in large part to his league-low turnover percentage and 3-point percentage.

Future: The 32-year-old forward has two seasons remaining with the Spurs at an acceptable salary. Bonner is slated to earn $7.58 million, at the most, as his salary is un-guaranteed next season. The combination of an A) affordable contract, B) skillet that ages well and C) growing discontent could make him a piece in any trade.