San Antonio Spurs: Has Drew Eubanks done enough to stay?
By Cal Durrett
The Case for Eubanks staying with the San Antonio Spurs
If the Spurs decide to bring Eubanks back next season, he may have to compete for the role of backup center against Dieng, a new free-agent big, or possibly even the Spurs' 12th overall draft pick. That said, he's shown that he can be a good backup center option in the Spurs' system.
After spending the first month of this past season behind both LaMarcus Aldridge and Poeltl in the rotation, he was promptly asked to step up after Aldridge's departure. That said, Eubanks clearly took advantage of that opportunity and was able to contribute immediately.
Drew averaged an impressive 5.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks, in just 14 minutes per game this past season. Additionally, he shot a very respectable 56.6% from the field, using his athleticism to get up for big dunks, alley-oops, and putbacks. He was also able to develop a reliable hook shot and the occasional floater with his soft touch.
Eubanks earned high praise from coach Popovich by doing the 'little things' like setting hard screens, rolling hard to the basket, and finishing strong at the rim. Outside of Keldon Johnson, he's probably one of the best on the team at crashing the glass on both ends of the floor. He possesses many of the same skills that made former Spurs bigs like Tiago Splitter, DeJuan Blair, David West, Dwayne Dedmon, and David Lee successful later on in their careers.
In addition to his on-court production, Drew also appears to have a great relationship with many players in the Spurs' young core after having played with many of them in Austin. While that may seem trivial, its importance shouldn't be understated given how the Spurs are known to value culture and fit. In this way, the team may see him as a safe option as opposed to a free agent whose fit with the team would be a question mark.
Ultimately, it's hard to envision a scenario in which Eubanks isn't on the Spurs next season. After all, he provides a good backup to Jakob and has also shown that he’s willing to be the third-string center if necessary. For what he brings to the team, his contract is also a fantastic bargain. Since the Spurs may have big free agency plans, such an inexpensive contract could end up being very valuable.
Regardless of what the Spurs decide to do with Eubanks this offseason, in my book, he has done more than enough to return for another season with the Silver and Black. That being said, if he's traded to a team that could give him a bigger role, he'll be very deserving of it.