Can Austin Daye Be the Next San Antonio Spurs Success Story?


Austin Daye is probably the least notable player on the San Antonio Spurs roster. Averaging only 8.2 minutes last season, Daye went largely unnoticed by many NBA fans.

Austin Daye is still on the Spurs roster, however, which makes us here at Air Alamo beg the question, can Daye be the next San Antonio Spurs success story?

Daye played sparsely in during his time with the Spurs. A member of the San Antonio roster as a result of mid-season trade, Austin Daye averaged 4.1 points and 1.4 rebounds on 38.2% shooting in 14 appearances for the Spurs.

The former Gonzaga player looks even worse when we take a look at his advanced statistics. A sub-50% true shooting percentage, a sub-10% rebound rate, and a measly 7.9% assit rate highlight just some of the issues Austin Daye has.

Can the 26-year-old small forward turn things around though?

Austin Daye has shown flashes of becoming a solid role player in this league during his time with the San Antonio Spurs, most notably, his single D-League performance from last season in which Daye scored 27 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for the Spurs affiliate Austin Toros.

Daye even had a great game in the regular season against the Philadelphia 76ers in which he scored 22 points and pulled down 6 boards.

Austin Daye is also in the right system to potentially turn around his career. The San Antonio Spurs have turned around numerous careers, most recently the careers of Patty Mills, Danny Green, Boris Diaw, and Marco Belinelli.

To see if a turn around for Daye’s career is even possible and what that hypothetical turn around would look like, we take a look at some of the numbers before each players turn around, that is, each of the above mentioned players statistics before their best season with the Spurs.

As you can see in the table, each of the players who ended up breaking out for the San Antonio Spurs was not very good. Another interesting observation is that out off all of the players listed, Austin Day was the lowest win shares per 48 minutes.

That number is not too concerning though considering one of the better contributors for the Spurs, Danny Green, posted similar numbers in terms of win shares.

Austin Daye’s best comparison is Danny Green, from a standpoint of not getting very many opportunities and lacking efficiency.

One statistic that is concerning for Daye though is his true shooting percentage. As the table shows, no player that has recently had a coming out party for the Spurs posted a below 50% true shooting percentage prior to their break out season.

Daye is clearly the worst of the group, posting a true shooting percentage nearly 6% less than anyone else on the list.

While this outlook may not look promising, Austin Daye has shown some life the past few months.

Daye had a solid Summer League for the Spurs in which he posted averages of 16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3 assists.

Another thing to note for the players who ended up being breakout players for the San Antonio Spurs is that these guys saw a jump in a few of these advanced stats categories, allowing them to become more efficient.

This is most likely the result of being more acquainted with the system as all of the guys saw similar numbers in a majority of the categories.

Check out the before and after breakout seasons statistics below.



Austin Daye’s strong performance in the Summer League has shown the talented small forward can be solid contributor to the Spurs offense.

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As long as Daye continues to play within the system, as all of the aforementioned players did, he will get a chance to showcase his talent. And, when Austin Daye gets that chance, he will definitely show how valuable of a player he actually is.

Until then, San Antonio Spurs will just have to wait patiently.

What do you think of the chances of Austin Daye becoming the next San Antonio Spurs success story? Let us know in the comments!

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