For veteran forward Quincy Pondexter, joining the San Antonio Spurs means the chance at playing meaningful minutes on a playoff team.
Eight-year veteran Quincy Pondexter has experienced lots in his time in the NBA but has yet to be part of a true winning organization. After splitting time between New Orleans and Memphis with a short pit stop in Chicago, Pondexter has only reached moderate success in the NBA.
Joining the Spurs gives Pondexter a fresh start after working his way back into the professional league last season. The 6-foot-7 forward spent just 23 games with the Bulls last season before being cut in favor of their young talent.
Head coach Gregg Popovich prefers to tackle adversity head-on, which may be why he and general manager R.C. Buford decided to recruit Pondexter. Not only does he bring some veteran experience to the locker room, but his presence improves team culture and gives some perspective to the rest of the team.
According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Pondexter stepped away from the game for two years after suffering a staggering knee injury. His slow recovery process was hindered when he was diagnosed with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which is a life-threatening skin condition that forced him into the hospital for weeks.
Pondexter overcame the odds of and returned to the hardwood for Chicago, who traded the draft rights to Australian-Sudanese center Ater Majok for Pondexter and a second round pick last summer.
Like many others before him, Pondexter fits the build of a two-way shooter that can provide valuable minutes as a spark plug. His usage won’t be high and his role within the organization will be limited, but there will be times when Popovich depends on Pondexter to go get a stop or to drain a three-pointer. With a crop of fresh faces on the team, newcomers will likely need to prove their worth before final rotations are settled.
As a complimentary piece, Pondexter fits nicely next to star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan because of his floor spacing and defensive help. While DeRozan isn’t necessarily a poor defender, he’s still got a ways to go before becoming an actual defensive pest. By pairing him with Pondexter, San Antonio will allow DeRozan to play his game while Pondexter picks up on defense and spots up for three’s as needed.
For his career, Pondexter has put up an average of five points and two rebounds per game in an average of 18 minutes per contest. Unless he shows something worthy of garnering more touches on offense or a bigger role within the rotation, expect roughly the same in the coming season.
Pondexter’s not there to be your go-to scorer, but he’s a nice complimentary piece to bring together a core of young inexperienced players and hardened veterans.