It wasn’t that long ago that DeJuan Blair was another Spurs success story — everybody passed on the Pitt star in the draft because he had no ACLs left, so the Spurs grabbed him the second round.
And he can play — he started 62 games in San Antonio last season, gave them an efficent 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game with a PER abouve the league average at 17.6. He was invited to be part of the USA Select team (which trained against the NBA stars headed to London). He’s not the most athletic guy but he’s got that old-man at the YMCA game that just works. Everybody wanted a player like him.
But in the playoffs he fell out of favor as he does every year — he was down to less than 8 minutes a game last year — and now the forward in the last year of his rookie deal is being shopped around.
Blair told the Post-Gazette he doesn’t want to leave San Antonio but he understands it’s not in his control.
“My game is a lot more mature compared to a lot of younger guys because of the team I’m on,” Blair said on the sideline of the DeJuan Blair Youth Basketball Camp at Aquinas Academy in Hampton. “They never let me mess up or make mistakes. It’s been a great experience. I would love to spend the rest of my career there, but like I keep saying, it’s a business….
“Hopefully, I stay a Spur, but if it doesn’t happen, life moves on,” Blair said. “They’ve got me on the trade market and they’ll do the best to get me in the greatest situation possible.”
Blair is the kind of guy who could be moved once it gets to training camp and other team suffers an injury along the front line (or someone isn’t working out as expected). Expect him to get moved. And expect him to play pretty well wherever he lands.