Two-way center Drew Eubanks was wonderful stepping in for injured veterans, forcing us to wonder if he’ll get a roster spot with the San Antonio Spurs.
At this point, it’s become clear that the San Antonio Spurs trust two-way center Drew Eubanks to fill their needs as the backup center. Even though it’s not his job just yet with a handful of players in his way, Eubanks was pivotal for the Spurs dating back to the end of February when he began to accrue playing time off the pine.
Eubanks, a 23-year-old from Oregon State was brought in by the Spurs as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NBA Draft. He quickly proved himself as a physically imposing commodity with a wealth of heart and basketball IQ. It’s why he’s risen in the ranks so quickly compared with other players who’ve shared the roster with him in these last two seasons.
However, the Spurs need to answer some questions this offseason to ensure that Eubanks is going to remain with the organization. He only got these minutes late in the season due to injuries sustained by LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles, who missed the Orlando restart. He was also aided by the foul trouble that Jakob Poeltl found himself in throughout the 2020 Orlando restart. So how does Eubanks fit in with the Spurs in the long run?
After fulfilling his two years in San Antonio and Austin, Eubanks is hitting the free-agent market. Now that he’s no longer on those deals, the Spurs may opt to sign him to a training camp deal to truly prove himself before the season. If they see growth out of Eubanks, they can either sign him through the remainder of the year, sign him to a 10-day contract, or part ways with him entirely.
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By this point, the final option doesn’t seem plausible. Eubanks has been growing within the Spurs’ system for two years now and continues to show promise. His agility in the open floor, aggressive nature in the paint and dedication on both sides of the ball aren’t easy to come by. That work ethic matches the Spurs’ intensity, making him a great candidate for a roster spot for 2020-21.
However, it boils down to factors outside of his control. If San Antonio comes to terms with a veteran or more established big in free agency, his chances of returning are limited. Even so, he’s a likely candidate to be brought back as a contingency for other injured players down the line.
On the flip side, Poeltl’s future with the team should play a significant role as well. Their playstyles can be a bit redundant and if Poeltl signs an offer sheet that San Antonio isn’t willing to match, Eubanks is sure to be in line for an expanded role as soon as next year. No matter what it boils down to, watching his growth and explosion for the Spurs in Orlando was a treat.
No matter what happens with him and the San Antonio Spurs, Eubanks is in line for a role in the NBA moving forward.