While the San Antonio Spurs are solidifying their playoff position in the Western Conference, Drew Eubanks is making the most of his two-way contract.
Consistent minutes are hard to come by in Gregg Popovich’s rotation, so two-way power forward Drew Eubanks’ time has best been utilized in Austin during his first season as a pro. With All-NBA power forward LaMarcus Aldridge leading the main show, it’s difficult to find an area where Eubanks can fit in the lineup at this point in his career.
San Antonio brought along center Jakob Poeltl in the offseason as a trade chip in the move that landed DeMar DeRozan in the Alamo City, tying up the backup center position with a capable and reliable two-way rebounder. Throw in the re-signing of Davis Bertans, who continues to show off new tricks and abilities, and all that’s left for Eubanks is garbage time at the end of blowouts.
Eubanks is better served leading the way in Austin, where he is proving himself as an extremely effective post scorer and rim protector. In only 23.7 minutes per game, Eubanks is averaging 15.2 points per game, 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks with ridiculous efficiency. The 21-year-old’s 68.5 percent field goal percentage is the second highest of any player in the G League.
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Part of Eubanks’ draw for the Spurs was the keen attention to detail that he displayed through his three seasons at Oregon State. He improved his average field goal percentage with each year in college and entered the league as a poised player with a firm understanding of how to manipulate defenders around the basket. His clean footwork and crafty motion out of the post make scoring an easy task, especially when surrounded by play makers in the backcourt.
Popovich recently lauded Eubanks as his “favorite player”, according to an article by the San Antonio-Express News’ Jeff McDonald. Clearly Eubanks is a part of the franchise’s long-term plan, which has come to fruition this season with the youthful core of Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV and Bryn Forbes all making waves in their growth. Between Eubanks and USC product Chimezie Metu, the Spurs are working to grow the next generation of bigs.
Having the physical tools to be a good player is not all too uncommon around the G League but putting it all together is another thing. Displaying a true understanding of the game’s fundamentals makes you a hot commodity in the eyes of the Spurs.
Based on his hard work and the reaction from the franchise, you shouldn’t be surprised if Drew Eubanks ends up within the San Antonio Spurs farmhouse for a long time.