Apr 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guardRay McCallum
(3) chases after the ball with Los Angeles Lakers centerJordan Hill
(27) in the first half during the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
The San Antonio Spurs acquisition of Ray McCallum from Sacramento for a future second-round pick went under-the-radar. This trade is bigger than it appears on paper, for a number of reasons.
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The Spurs gave up virtually nothing, since that second-round pick will likely be late. The Spurs acquired a 24-year old lead guard at a cheap cost. McCallum posted averages of 7.4 points and 2.8 assists. Those numbers won’t jump at anyone, but he was much better as a starter. In 30 starts, McCallum averaged 11.2 points and 4.3 assists.
McCallum is an extremely energetic lead guard with good athleticism. When the Spurs let go of Cory Joseph, who signed with the Toronto Raptors, there was some concern. McCallum and Joseph have basically the same body type (6″3, 190-pounds) and they have similar skills. Both are better at slashing to the basket, than they are at shooting. They both play with high energy and aren’t turnover prone. Last year McCallum averaged only 1.3 turnovers in 21.1 minutes.
Joseph signed with the Raptors for 4-year $30 million deal. If the Spurs would’ve resigned Joseph, they would’ve probably been unable to sign LaMarcus Aldridge and David West. To get McCallum at around $1 million for the season, it seems like quite the bargain.
The Spurs resigned Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills is back, which means McCallum will have to earn every one of his minutes. He should play fine alongside both players as they are both good shooters, which should mean that he could drive and kick it out to either.
I believe McCallum will play around 15 minutes a game and he will move into the starting lineup if Tony Parker misses any games. This move is a low-risk and high-reward move for the Spurs.
If McCallum lives up to his potential, maybe he can be the Spurs future point guard, just maybe.