The Spurs have had their eye on JaMychal Green for quite some time.
After he went undrafted out of Alabama in 2012, he played for San Antonio’s summer summer-league team. He spent that season with the Austin Toros, the Spurs’ D-League team. Then, following last season in France, Green joined San Antonio’s summer summer-league team once again this summer.
For most of that journey, Green was deemed – despite his hustle – too unrefined for the NBA.
That has changed.
The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed forward JaMychal Green.
Shams Charania of RealGM:
That partial guarantee usually indicates a player is likely to make the team, but the Spurs now have 16 players with at least partially unguaranteed contracts – plus Aron Baynes.
A restricted free agent, Baynes remains unsigned. He had a fully guaranteed $1,115,243 qualifying offer that remains on the table until Oct. 1 if it wasn’t pulled by July 23. I’ve seen no reports San Antonio withdrew it, but that type of thing can fly below the radar. If the qualifying offer remains intact and Baynes accepts it – and I find it unlikely another NBA team offers more money, though a foreign team could – he’d give San Antonio 17 players with at least partially guaranteed contracts.
That’s two over the regular-season limit of 15.
Cotton’s deal is only $50,000 guaranteed, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Green received a similar guarantee. Maybe the Spurs would be willing to eat the fully guaranteed salary of someone like Austin Daye, or perhaps they have a trade already lined up.
Possibly, San Antonio was just willing to give Green and Cotton partially guaranteed contracts to ensure its top targets were in its camp. But if Baynes re-signs, the Spurs would have room for neither Green nor Cotton without waiving a fully guaranteed player.
To an NBA team, spending $50,000 on a player is a relatively small investment. But it’s not one most teams make without a clear path for that player to join the roster. I’m not sure what San Antonio has in mind here, but it’s something.