The San Antonio Spurs have a full roster at 15 guaranteed contracts for the upcoming season. Although the Spurs would be taking a financial hit if they were to cut one of those 15 players, it is entirely possible that a player with an unguaranteed contract could make it out of training camp.
For something like that to happen, one of the camp invitees on an unguaranteed contract would have to have an excellent showing before the San Antonio Spurs season began.
Today we look at those unguaranteed players and rank them in order of who is most likely to make it out of training camp and potentially steal a roster spot from a player with a guaranteed contract. Players will be ranked by their fit with the team and their basketball abilities.
Identifying the Weakest Links
Our first issue of business is identifying the weakest links on the San Antonio Spurs roster, that is, players who could possibly lose their roster spots if one of the camp invitees on an unguaranteed contract performs well enough to force the hand of the Spurs organization into a roster move.
Jeff Ayres, 6-foot-9, Power Forward, Center
Jeff Ayres is easily the weakest player on this list. In 73 games for the San Antonio Spurs, Ayres averaged 3.3 points and 3.5 rebounds on 58% shooting.
Those are not terrible numbers, but when you consider the depth down low for the Spurs, it becomes apparent that Jeff Ayres is clearly the weakest member of the San Antonio frontcourt. A strong performance by the recently re-signed Aron Baynes and the loyalty the San Antonio Spurs organization has to Matt Bonner could easily push Ayres out of the roster picture, especially if one of the camp invites outperforms the 6-foot-9 big man.
Austin Daye, 6-foot-11, Forward
Austin Daye might have been tied with Jeff Ayres as the weakest link on the roster had it not been for his excellent performance at the Las Vegas Summer League.
Daye averaged 16.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3 assists during his time in the desert opening up the discussion as to whether Austin Daye could be the next Spurs success story.
Cory Joseph, 6-foot-3, Guard
Cory Joseph is probably the safest member on the roster out of all three of these candidates. The former University of Texas point guard played strong last year as the Spurs’ third string point guard, averaging 5 points per game on 47.5% shooting from the field.
The reason Joseph is included on this list is because the Spurs will be without their second string point guard, Patty Mills, until January. If Joseph can’t prove himself as an adequate replacement for Mills and one the camp invites does, potentially Bryce Cotton, the three-year veteran could be on his way out.
4. John Holland, 6-foot-5, Shooting Guard
John Holland starts out the list for us as the least likely player to make the San Antonio Spurs roster. Holland was the last player to receive a camp invite from the San Antonio Spurs which is partially what lands him at the bottom of this list.
Holland played for French team BCM Gravelines last year averaging 10.9 points and 3.2 rebounds on 49% shooting from the field and 34% behind the arc.
The former Boston University star has been playing basketball in Europe since going undrafted in 2011, also playing with CB Sevilla and Chorale Roanne before his stint with BCM Gravelines.
The San Antonio Spurs are very deep at the two-guard position with Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, and Marco Belinelli, making Holland’s chance of making the team very slim. Additionally, although some could argue Holland could play the three, he is quite undersized and the Spurs already have better options in Leonard, Daye, and Anderson.
3. Josh Davis, 6-foot-8, Forward
Josh Davis is the camp invite on our list. Davis is an undrafted forward from San Diego State University, Kawhi Leonard’s alma mater.
Davis, who transferred to SDSU from Tulane, averaged 7.7 points and 10.1 rebounds on 45.5% shooting for the Aztecs.
The reason Josh Davis lands higher on this list than John Holland is because Davis plays the same position as two of the weakest players on the Spurs roster, Jeff Ayres and Austin Daye.
With that said, Josh Davis, like John Holland, has a very outside shot of making the team. The low field goal percentage David shot last season at San Diego State is concerning, especially for someone who likes to spend more time inside the arc and inside the paint than on the perimeter.
However, Davis could very well make the team if he shows he can the type of skill he displayed during his time at Tulane where he averaged 17.6 points and 10.7 rebounds.
2. JaMychal Green, 6-foot-8, Forward
JaMychal Green lands at number two on our list for San Antonio Spurs training camp invites that could potentially make the team.
The former Alabama standout last played for French team Chorale Roanne, averaging 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds on strong 56.2% shooting percentage from the field and a solid 36.1% shooting percentage from behind the arc.
Green gets the nod over Davis thanks to his experience with the San Antonio Spurs organization, playing with the Spurs D-League affiliate Austin Toros during the 2012-2013 season.
This helps JaMychal Green tremendously as he is already well known within the Spurs organization.
Like Davis, Green has a shot of making the team if he can outplay both Daye and Ayres. Green also gets an edge thanks to his wide body, weighing in at almost 230 pounds.
Although Green’s height is a concern, if the 6-foot-8 forward can play well and prove that he can be versatile and play the four, he can give himself somewhat decent odds at making the team.
1. Bryce Cotton, 6-foot-1, Point Guard
Bryce Cotton has the best chance of making this team. It is really as simple as that.
The undrafted rookie was a star at Providence, averaging 21.8 points and 5.9 assists on 41.9% shooting from the field and 36.7% behind the arc during his final year with the Friars.
Cotton could easily sneak into the San Antonio Spurs roster, especially if Cory Joseph struggles to hold down the backup point guard position.
Also, as we noted in another post, Cotton has a very similar playing style to Mills, which is added benefit as the Spurs would not have to change up too much of their second team offense in the absence of Patty Mills.
A strong performance at camp could push out one of the players on the Spurs roster and put Cotton in their place.
The San Antonio Spurs roster appears to be set after re-signing Aron Baynes and bringing their roster to the maximum allowable players at 15.
However, there are some interesting names at Spurs training camp with unguaranteed contracts that could sneak up on players already guaranteed a contract if they are not too careful.
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Coach Gregg Popovich and General Manager R.C. Buford do an excellent job of picking out players for their roster and if they see someone with potential, it is entirely possible that they get picked up.
Also working for the San Antonio Spurs is that if they like a player in camp but do not want to cut a player with a guaranteed contract, they could sign the player to a contract with their D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros.
What do you think of the players the San Antonio Spurs have invited to training camp outside of their roster? Let us know in the comments!
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