Things didn’t quite work out during Jaron Blossomgame’s first stint with the San Antonio Spurs, but the forward has grown since then.
Selected No. 59 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, hybrid forward Jaron Blossomgame spent a year and a half in the San Antonio Spurs’ system before being traded to the Caton Charge in Nov 2018. After half a season with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ G-League affiliate, Blossomgame signed a two-way contract with the Cavs and appeared in 22 regular-season games in 2019.
His time in Cleveland didn’t result in an NBA contract, so Blossomgame is onto the next phase of his career playing for the Chicago Bulls’ affiliate, the Windy City Bulls. In his first nine games there, Blossomgame is averaging 17.3 points per game on 46.2 percent shooting, 37.5 percent three-point shooting and 87.5 percent free-throw shooting —11.6 percent better than his career G-League average.
More so than anything, Blossomgame looks to be an on-court leader with legitimate three-level scoring potential while remaining the defensive firecracker that Spurs fans clamored over during his days in Austin. It’s not unlike the Spurs to host reunions, just like they did with sharpshooter Marco Belinelli most recently.
Bringing in talent that knows the system is rare, but bringing in rising talent that knows the Spurs’ culture could be invaluable. San Antonio desperately needs some two-way help in the frontcourt, and Blossomgame’s explosive play style lends itself to both ends of the floor.
Blossomgame has a 6-foot-10 wingspan, a high motor and high leaping ability. Though he’s only listed at 6-foot-6, he makes up for his lack of height with muscle mass which allows him to push opponents around when need be. His 110 offensive rating is already higher than any Windy City player logging at least 200 minutes, and his stats have genuinely contributed to winning.
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Windy City’s winning percentage was 39.3 percent before acquiring Blossomgame at the start of February. Since the trade, the Bulls are playing at a 44.4 percent win-rate and have won three of their last four on the back of some big performances by the former Clemson Tiger.
For San Antonio, Blossomgame can tack on some bench minutes in place of the infamous DeMarre Carroll, who the Spurs bought out last week. This is a low-risk option because Blossomgame could come back into San Antonio’s development system and try to play his way into the rotation. If it doesn’t work out, the Spurs haven’t really given up much to try.
The way things are trending, San Antonio isn’t heading to the playoffs this year and barring some drastic changes, won’t make it back next year either. Taking a chance on a guy who many within the Spurs’ organization spoke very highly of is much less of a gamble than signing a no-name in the free agency pool or rolling the dice on an international player like they did last year with Donatas Motiejūnas.
So why not take another chance on Blossomgame?