One of the newest San Antonio Spurs appears thrilled to have joined the roster.
According to Trevor Zickgraf of ESPN’s 48 Minutes of Hell, point guard Ray McCallum said he’s honored to play for the highly successful franchise.
Just talked to Ray McCallum. Said he was in LA when he found out about the trade. Says being a Spur “feels like an honor.”
— Trevor Zickgraf (@yowhatupT) July 12, 2015
Joining an organization with four future Hall of Famers is certainly rare, but McCallum is getting that
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opportunity under coach Gregg Popovich and alongside teammates Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
The five-time champion Spurs acquired McCallum from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for a future second-round pick, and he’ll serve as Cory Joseph’s replacement. Joseph signed a four-year, $30 million with the Toronto Raptors.
Per San Antonio’s official site, general manager R.C. Buford acknowledged Joseph’s impact but addressed McCallum’s fit on the roster. Buford said:
"“McCallum fills a big need. Cory’s play and his presence in our group can’t be overstated. Replacing Cory’s fire, passion and personality as well as 1,500 minutes of really good play was important for us. To go out and get a player like Ray fills a big hole.”"
McCallum possesses plenty of potential, though that’s because the 24-year-old is far from a finished product. Last season, he connected on just 30.6 percent of his three-pointers.
However, the Spurs boast one of the league’s top shooting coaches in Chip Engelland, who has helped develop Kawhi Leonard into an elite mid-range weapon and serviceable long-range asset. Engelland also keyed Joseph’s progress toward a consistent 18-foot jumper.
If Popovich stays true to form, McCallum will log approximately 10 minutes per night—mostly next to members of the second unit.
McCallum averaged 21.1 minutes per outing last season, tallying 7.4 points and 2.8 assists. If he can contribute five points, two assists and a 35 percent three-point mark during those expected 10 minutes, McCallum’s season will likely be a success.