The San Antonio Spurs have all the talent in the world. They should be in position to win their sixth title in franchise history. LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, and Tim Duncan are expected to lead the Spurs. Tony Parker, Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Manu Ginobili, David West, and Patty Mills are expected to play a huge role on the team as well. Kyle Anderson looked sharp in the Summer League, and newly acquired Ray McCallum should be a serviceable backup guard.
The Spurs have two sharpshooters with non-guaranteed contracts, Jimmer Fredette and Rasual Butler. Who has a better shot of making the Spurs roster?
Sep 28, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Jimmer Fredette (16) poses for a photo during Media Day at the training facilitie. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The Spurs surprised some people when they signed “bust” Jimmer Fredette to a non-guaranteed contract. Fredette hasn’t been the player that most imagined he’d become, coming out of BYU, when he took the nation by storm.
In fairness to Fredette, the 26-year-old guard hasn’t had a big opportunity since his rookie year in 2011-12. Fredette hasn’t started a game since his rookie season. The best season of his career came in his second year, when he averaged 7.2 points with the Sacramento Kings. Fredette connected on 42% of his threes, opposed to the 36% he shot as a rookie, when he averaged 7.6 points. In four seasons, Fredette has career averages of 6.1 points with respectable 38% from three point range.
The Spurs signing of veteran wing Rasual Butler wasn’t too surprising. The 36-year-old sharpshooter averaged 7.7 points in 75 games with the Washington Wizards last season. Butler is a career 36% three point shooter.
He is a 12-year veteran and he knows his role. Butler’s role is to spot up for threes and play hard on defense. Butler is no longer the player he was between 2008-10, when he was scoring in double digits consistently.
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Butler can be a serviceable backup to Danny Green, but he might be in a battle with Kyle Anderson.
Who has the edge?
There’s no question that Fredette has the upside and is the more intriguing option. However the Spurs don’t need a player with more potential, they need a guy who knows his role. Butler is more likely to accept a role of playing 20 minutes one day, then getting a DNP (Did not play), the next game.
If the Spurs have to choose between the two players, they will likely go with Butler. Fredette is too unreliable of a defender, as he is too slow for point guards and too small to defend shooting guards.
Hopefully both players get their chance with the Spurs.