When the San Antonio Spurs signed Brandon Paul out of the Summer League, he had a classic reaction to learning about this opportunity.
The San Antonio Spurs delivered a low-profile offseason, not making splashy signings, unlike other Western Conference teams. Instead, they signed Rudy Gay, Joffrey Lauvergne and Brandon Paul to fill the bench, joining 2017 first-round pick Derrick White.
Gay and Lauvergne joined the Spurs with years of NBA experience. The same couldn’t be said for Paul, who entered the 2017-18 season having never played one regular season minute in the Association.
San Antonio plucked the Illinois product out of the NBA Summer League, giving him a fully guaranteed contract. So, when he found out, after years of traveling through the G-League and EuroLeague, it led to a terrific reaction, according to an interview, he did with The Undefeated:
“That was crazy. I could kind of tell something was up because [Pensack] texted me and told me to come out of the locker room,” Paul said. “He called me three times and told me to ‘hurry up and come out.’ I didn’t know if it was a China team wants to give you $1 million or $2 million. It could’ve been anything.
“When I came out, [Pensack] gave me this look. When he told me, I was shocked. I broke down a little bit.”
A special moment for Paul, who realized his NBA dream came true. He was getting the opportunity to play for a team that’s found success through the past 20 years, along with playing for head coach Gregg Popovich. It also ended a four-year journey since going undrafted in 2013, with no NBA team providing the opportunity the Spurs presented.
Through 16 games, Paul settled into a bench role for the Silver and Black. He’s averaged 4.2 points and 1.3 rebounds per game on 50 percent shooting (44.4 percent from 3-point range). His season-high was against the Boston Celtics, with 18 points and 5 rebounds on 6-for-8 shooting (3-for-4 from behind the arc).
If these numbers continue through the season and earn Paul a spot on the 2018-19 team, could he see an expanded role? That’s looking far into the future, and with another round of free agency to go, that’s no guarantee. However, there’s enough to like in this 26-year-old rookie to believe he will last in this organization.