Spurs looking for point guard depth: How about Barea?

The NBA lockout is still in full effect, and it looks like it isn’t going to be resolved soon, but that shouldn’t stop us from planning ahead and thinking on what the San Antonio Spurs can do to improve their current roster.

With George Hill being traded, and Chris Quinn signing with a Russian team, the Spurs are now thin on point guard rotation.

Don’t get me wrong, Tony Parker remains one of the better point guards in the league and rookie Cory Joseph looks promising, but adding another reliable ball handler wouldn’t hurt either.

With that in mind, how about targeting free agent point guard Juan Jose Barea?

Barea is arguably a crucial part of the Dallas Mavericks’ championship run, as he provided spurts of energy, scoring and forced defenses to adjust when he penetrated the lane at will on his off the bench role.

Continue reading

Spurs’ Top 5 Draft day steals

The San Antonio Spurs is one of the most successful franchise in NBA history. They’ve won four NBA titles, including three in the last nine years which is a remarkable feat, considering San Antonio is a small market team.

For over a decade, the Spurs have stayed competitive and are considered legitimate title contenders since Tim Duncan’s arrival.

Today, Spurs World looks back at some of San Antonio’s best draft day moves since 1997.

5. Gary Neal – Undrafted rookie (signed in 2010)

Neal turned heads with his shooting prowess in last year’s Las Vegas Summer League. The Spurs took notice and signed the undrafted rookie and didn’t regret it.

In his rookie season, Neal averaged 9.8 points and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 45.1 percent from the field, including 41.9 percent from beyond the arc in 80 regular season games.

He was also a part of the Spurs’ playoff rotation last year and showed that he is willing to take and make big shots. In Game 5 against the Memphis Grizzlies, he made a 3-pointer at buzzer that sent the game into overtime which the Spurs eventually won to force a Game 6.

To top it all, Neal became just the second undrafted rookie to make the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team in league history.

Continue reading

Former Spurs Hill considering to play overseas

With the NBA in danger of losing the entire 2011-12 season, some NBA stars have already gone overseas to play some basketball while the lockout is still in place.

Add former Spurs guard George Hill to the list of players who are considering to play elsewhere if the lockout drags on.

Hill’s agent, Michael Whitaker told HoopsHype that George is in wait-and-see mode regarding the possibility of playing overseas during the lockout.

“If a team with the appropriate budget – that’s an Euroleague or Eurocup team – is willing to give him an NBA out if and when the lockout ends, George will highly consider the offer.”

“If the NBA season is fully canceled, it will be more likely that George pursues an opportunity to play in Europe or China.”

Continue reading

Former Spur Hill held camp at the University of Texas

As reported by Todd Orodenker of The Brownsville Herald, former San Antonio Spurs guard George Hill held a camp at the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.

George Hill may have switched teams, but he remains committed to the Spurs community.

Even though he’s no longer a Spurs player, Hill still made a commitment.

“My word is my bond,” Hill said.

The locked-out Indiana Pacers player played host to two youth clinics Wednesday at the REK Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, teaching kids fundamentals and playing games before autograph and picture-taking sessions.

The day ended with a benefit softball game against Brownsville police and firefighters.

“Fun experience,” Hill said. “The kids are smiling, having fun. (I’m) showing them I support them just like they support me.

Hill was traded from the San Antonio Spurs to the Pacers during the NBA Draft in June for San Diego State star Kawhi Leonard, who Indiana took 15th overall, and the 42nd draft pick and the rights to Erazem Lorbek.

Continue reading

Will Cory Joseph be able to step in for Hill?

During the 2011 NBA draft night, the San Antonio Spurs made a deal that sent George Hill to Indiana. Much of the attention were focused on the acquisition of Kawhi Leonard and the 42nd draft pick that was used to get young Latvian Davis Bertans.

That same night, another young player picked by the Spurs is Texas point guard Cory Joseph.

Cory Joseph could be a capable backup behind Tony Parker.

Many were surprised and even criticized this choice, but the truth is, the Spurs had their eye on Joseph at number 29 the whole time.

Especially when they’ve dealt Hill to Indiana that left a void at the backup point guard spot.

Joseph is another step in the direction if the Spurs aims to get back as a defensive-minded team.

He has a very well-rounded game, a good decision maker and, like Leonard, a proven winner.

Continue reading

George Hill bid Spurs’ goodbye

Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation shares this nice piece about George Hill bidding goodbye to the San Antonio Spurs.

After three seasons with the Spurs George Hill will be playing for his hometown team the Indiana Pacers.

“I don’t have a grudge against the Spurs or anything like that,” Hill told assembled media at the University of the Incarnate Word. “The Spurs gave me the chance to play in the NBA. I’m thankful for that.”

For those in the Spurs organization, the time will soon come for hellos. Leonard, the 19-year-old taken 15th overall, is expected in town for an official introduction today. So too is Cory Joseph, the 19-year-old point guard from Texas, selected with the Spurs’ original first-round pick at No. 29.

Friday, however, was time to bid goodbye to perhaps the Spurs’ fourth-most popular player behind Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Parker, the point guard Hill backed up for three seasons.

When general manager R.C. Buford called trading the 25-year-old Hill “one of the most difficult decisions we’ve had to make,” the emotion was real.

Thursday’s draft-night trade, which also awarded the Spurs rights to Indiana’s second-round pick (Latvian sharpshooter Davis Bertans), and 2005 second-rounder Erazem Lorbek of Slovenia, came quickly — just moments after Houston made the final lottery selection at 14. But it did not come out of left field.

The Pacers had been chasing Hill, a home-grown Indianapolis star the Spurs had taken 26th overall in 2008, almost as long as he’d been in the NBA.

“We’ve been after him for a while,” Pacers president Larry Bird told reporters in Indiana. “Today, (the Spurs) thought it was the right time.”

Continue reading

Spurs makes a good deal out of Hill

Kawhi Leonard is the main trade piece that made the Spurs send Hill to his hometown Indianapolis.

In a deal that constitutes the boldest draft-day move of their post-championship era, the San Antonio Spurs traded George Hill  a key rotation who coach Gregg Popovich once lauded as “my favorite player” to the Indiana Pacers for a package highlighted by Kawhi Leonard, a high-energy small forward the Pacers selected with the 15th overall pick.

Though the Spurs are intrigued by Leonard, who at 6-foot-7 gives the Spurs added size at a position where they were small, Buford made clear the night was bittersweet.

“This might have been one of the most difficult nights in Spurs history, as long as we’ve been here,” Buford said. “To lose a player like George Hill, who has meant so much to our team, to our culture, to our locker room … it’s one of the most difficult decisions we’ve had to make.”

The Spurs entered the offseason with the stated goal of regaining a defensive edge that had eluded them the previous few seasons. By trading for Leonard and using their own first-round pick, 29th overall, on defensive-minded Texas point guard Cory Joseph, draft night further underscored that intention.

Leonard averaged 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds as a sophomore at San Diego State last season, but his value comes in his ability to guard multiple positions.

He was the cornerstone of an Aztecs team last season that rose to a top-5 national ranking.

“I don’t know if he’s a throwback to Bruce (Bowen),” Buford said, referring to a player widely viewed as the best defensive wing in club history. “But he led a team at SDSU that had little to no success and took them to one of the top rankings in the country.”

Continue reading

Indiana Pacers acquire George Hill

The Indiana Pacers have traded the draft rights to Kawhi Leonard to the San Antonio Spurs for point guard George Hill, a league source told ESPN.com.

Indiana selected Leonard, a forward out of San Diego State, with the 15th pick in the first round Thursday night.

Hill averaged 11.6 points and 2.5 assists per game last season, his third with the Spurs.

The Spurs also received the 42nd pick and the draft rights to Erazem Lorbek from the Pacers. Source: ESPN

Hill is regarded as the Spurs best perimeter defender and remains one of the popular players in San Antonio.

Leonard is a good defender at the wing position and has a developing offensive game.

Do you think this a good trade for the Spurs? Share your thoughts.

Hill must break the barrier

Hill's improvement from his rookie year was a pleasant surprise for the Spurs.

The San Antonio Spurs were thrilled by George Hill’s progress from his rookie season to his sophomore year in San Antonio.

Given more playing time and defined role, Hill flourished in his second year.

His numbers greatly improved from 5.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists on 40.3 percent field goal shooting in 16.5 minutes per game to 12.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists on 47.8 percent shooting from the field while playing 29.2 minutes per ball game.

Hill’s production increased as his minutes went up. But what was even more impressive was his ability to run the Spurs’ offense during Tony Parker’s absence.

Instead of giving in to pressure, he proved to be up to the challenge.

Because of Parker’s injury, Hill was forced into the starting lineup.

He started 43 games in 2009-10 season averaging 15.3 points, 3.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 48.6 percent shooting from the field.

That same year, Hill was instrumental in helping the Spurs to dispatch the Dallas Mavericks in six games in the first-round playoffs.

Continue reading