He’s a seasoned NBA veteran languishing away on the bench of a sub .500 team. It’s time for the San Antonio Spurs to set DeMarre Carroll free.
DeMarre Carroll has had to fight to earn his place in the NBA. He’s a seasoned veteran who has bounced between the G-League and the NBA, traveling all over the league while establishing himself as a reliable defender and solid three-point shooter. When he was signed by the San Antonio Spurs the summer it looked like a solid fit for both side. The Spurs shored up an area of weakness and Carroll would be handsomely paid for his services.
Carroll could really help the Spurs. He’s defended some of the toughest matchups in the league over the course of his career yet he’s been relegated to the bench for the vast majority of the season. Games can pass by without him playing and you’d be forgiven if you actually forgot he was on the team for stretches of the season.
Signing Carroll might have seemed like a good idea at the time but it’s to call a spade a spade and see this fit for what it is. Carroll’s a 33-year-old veteran, he doesn’t exactly fit with the timetable that the Spurs will be working with over the next few years. It’s time for the front office to do what’s best for both parties and trade Carroll to a team where he will be better utilized.
To his credit, Carroll has been, unsurprisingly, the consummate professional about the situation he’s found himself in. He hasn’t complained to the media about a lack of playing time but he’s acknowledged the difficulty of the situation. As he told Luke Adams with Yardbarker, it’s out of his hands.
“You don’t know when your opportunity will come,” Carroll said. “Maybe somebody will get hurt, you get traded, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to be ready. … You try not to have no hard feelings, because it’s going to come back to you. Pop’s the coach; he does what he wants to do. I just got to get ready to play when he asks me to.”
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Carroll has only played in 13 of the San Antonio Spurs 29 games so far this season. That’s the kind of playing time you’d expect for a rookie or end of the bench player, not a seasoned vet earning $7 million a year.
Carroll’s on a multi-year deal but it doesn’t look like playing time is going to open up for him anytime soon. There are plenty of younger players on the Spurs roster who could make a push for minutes and they’re not the only ones standing in Carroll’s way. Keldon Johnson and Luka Samanic have both been toiling away in the G-League this year but they’ll be up in the big leagues before long.
Carroll has handled the situation as well as anyone could have hoped. It’s time to reward him for his professionalism and send him someplace where his talents will actually be utilized. San Antonio isn’t in a position to ask for much in return but it’s better than paying Carroll millions to ride the pine.
A lot of things haven’t worked out as well as the San Antonio Spurs had hoped coming into the season. The fit with DeMarre Carroll gets lumped into that. It’s time to make an amicable split with the veteran and try to get a draft pick or young prospect in return.