San Antonio Spurs: Darrun Hilliard joins Saski Baskonia
By Rob Wolkenbrod
Darrun Hilliard will become the latest former member of the San Antonio Spurs to join an overseas team this offseason.
Darrun Hilliard joined the San Antonio Spurs for the 2017-18 season on a two-way contract, the first year this type of deal went into place. Matt Costello was the other player, as NBA teams have a limit of two two-way players on their roster.
The Spurs tendered a qualifying offer to Hilliard earlier this summer, but he had yet to accept. Given Monday’s news, however, don’t count on it.
Saski Baskonia of Spain announced Hilliard signed a one-year deal for the 2018-19 season. He will join former NBA players, Rodrigue Beaubois and Jordan McRae, amongst other professional-basketball talents.
✍Official announcement | Darrun Hilliard (1993, 1.98 m) signs for a year with @Kirolbet_es Baskonia. Hi @DHilliard6X! #GoazenBaskonia pic.twitter.com/Uvg8Wd0IpV
— Saski Baskonia (@Baskonia) August 13, 2018
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Hilliard only spent 14 games with the Spurs on his two-way deal, averaging 1.1 points in 6.8 minutes. The majority of his year happened in San Antonio’s G-League affiliate, Austin, for 36 games and averages of 20.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 28.5 minutes. He, Jaron Blossomgame and Derrick White were the catalysts towards Austin’s G-League championship this spring.
Hilliard, drafted in 2015 by the Detroit Piston, out of Michigan State, spent three seasons in the NBA before this move. He averaged 3.2 points and 9.4 minutes per game in 91 appearances and three starts.
If Hilliard stayed in San Antonio, his path to the NBA would be as limited, if not more, as the 2017-18 season. His opportunities were sporadic, and with the guard depth of DeMar DeRozan, Marco Belinelli, Bryn Forbes, Manu Ginobili and others, there would not be room for him, even in the event of a temporary call-up.
Without Hilliard and Costello who also signed overseas, the Spurs do not have any two-way players under contract for 2018-19. No reports linked them to potential signees, either, so it’s a situation that may develop as September’s training camp draws near.