Tag: Jimmer Fredette


Report: Former second-rounder Deshaun Thomas will accept Spurs’ tender if offered

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Deshaun Thomas famously refused to give the Spurs his phone number.

Now, he’s waiting to hear from them.

Despite his interview difficulty, San Antonio drafted Thomas with the No. 58 pick in 2013. The last two years, they offered him the required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed and at the league minimum, necessary to retain his rights. Both years, Thomas rejected it in favor of signing in Europe, allowing San Antonio to carry his rights another year.

But he’s apparently no longer willing to put off an NBA deal.

David Pick:

The Spurs have until tomorrow to offer Thomas the tender. If they don’t, he’ll immediately become an unrestricted free agent.

If he accepts the tender, he’ll either make the regular-season roster or he won’t. Either would get him closer to the NBA. San Antonio keeping him would obviously get him there immediately. But even if he’s waived, he could negotiate with all 30 NBA teams. As is, only the Spurs, who hold his draft rights, can sign him.

San Antonio has 13 players with guaranteed contracts plus Matt Bonner ($749,594 guaranteed), Jimmer Fredette ($507,711 guaranteed), Reggie Williams (unguaranteed) and Youssou Ndoye (unclear guarantee). Those are substantial guarantees for Bonner and Fredette. I think the odds of Thomas beating them in training camp for the final two regular-season roster spots are low.

But it’s obviously not impossible. The Spurs drafted Thomas, and the only way for them to get a return on that investment is bringing him to camp to compete for a regular-season roster spot.

There is a downside, though. Required tenders can’t include an Exhibit 9, which offers teams protection if a player gets hurt. If Thomas injures himself during training camp, his contract would become guaranteed until he can play again. San Antonio might determine Thomas’ odds of making the team are too low to warrant such a risk.

Thomas faces potential downside with this route, too. If the Spurs bring him to camp and waive him before the regular season, he won’t receive more than per diem. During that time, he could miss out on more-lucrative overseas options.

If Thomas wants to reach the NBA, though, this his best move. It’s on San Antonio to make a call.

Report: Spurs signing undrafted Keifer Sykes

Cleveland Cavaliers v Milwaukee Bucks
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The Spurs had to sacrifice some depth – Tiago Splitter, Cory Joseph, Marco Belinelli, Aron Baynes – to sign LaMarcus Aldridge and build one of the NBA’s strongest teams.

That has left San Antonio needing the preseason to round out its roster. The Spurs have:

  • 13 players whose salaries are fully guaranteed
  • 2 players whose salaries are mostly guaranteed (Matt Bonner and Jimmer Fredette)
  • 1 player whose salary is unguaranteed (Reggie Williams)
  • 1 player whose guarantee is unknown but probably low (Youssou Ndoye)

San Antonio is adding another player to the mix.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Sykes is quick and explosive, and he uses those skills well to get the basket and pester opponents defensively. But he also has to maximize his athleticism, because he’s just 6-foot and not a good outside shooter.

He’ll have a tough time making the team, because the Spurs are loaded at point guard with Tony Parker, Patty Mills and Ray McCallum. All three already have fully guaranteed salaries. Most likely, Sykes gets waived and has his D-League rights assigned to San Antonio’s affiliate, the Austin Spurs.

Still, San Antonio’s roster instability gives Sykes at least a chance to make a strong impression and land a spot on the parent club.

Spurs give Jimmer Fredette training camp contract, chance to make roster

New Orleans Pelicans v Los Angeles Clippers

The San Antonio Spurs and their system have revived the careers of many shooters — the Spurs don’t ask them to do anything but play to their strengths. Marco Belinelli was just the most recent.

Now Jimmer Fredette will get his chance.

The Spurs and Fredette have reached a deal, something first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The Spurs themselves have since confirmed the deal is done.

The cult of Jimmer may have shrunk, but it still exists — there are people convinced that Fredette would be an NBA star if he just got a chance. The reality is he’s had a lot of chances with different coaches and different styles, and he has not been able to flourish in any of it. For good reasons. He can shoot the rock — he’s a career 38.1 percent from three, although that fell to 18.8 percent last season in New Orleans — but he’s not the point guard/playmaker at the NBA level he thinks he can be. However, the bigger problem has been at the other end of the court — the second he steps on the court other teams go at his defense. That has limited when and where coaches will use him.

There is no better place, no better system to change that narrative around in than San Antonio. The Spurs make shooters look good, Fredette is going to get his chance. His best chance. But he’s going to have to play better than he has at any other stop to make this work.

It’s official, Gal Mekel reaches deal with New Orleans Pelicans

Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings

We told you this was coming but now it is official:

Gal Mekel has signed on as a backup point guard with the New Orleans Pelicans, the team announced Friday. He will be in uniform on Saturday when the Pelicans take on the Clippers.

This is a non-guaranteed two-year deal according to Marc Stein of ESPN, meaning Mekel has to stick on the roster past Jan. 10 to be guaranteed a salary for the rest of this season. The second year is also not guaranteed.

The Pelicans give most of their point guard minutes to Jrue Holiday, with Austin Rivers getting the key backup minutes (and playing a little at both guard spots). Makel will battle Jimmer Fredette for the limited third point guard minutes.

Mekel, out of Israel, played for Dallas last season but was buried on the bench (behind Jose Calderon andDevin Harris). Mekel is a classic pass-first point guard who does some things well like coming off the pick-and-roll and being able to find teammates. The questions about him are his shooting (he really struggled with that in Dallas), which allows teams to go under picks, as well as his ability to defend NBA point guards.

Indiana tried to sign Mekel a couple of weeks back but were under a deadline due to a roster exception spot being about to expire and Mekel couldn’t get a work visa within the 24 hours needed (it often takes 72 hours). Although apparently that was not the problem in the Big Easy.

Eric Gordon out indefinitely after MRI reveals torn labrum

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon left the Pelicans’ game Saturday with an apparent separated shoulder, and it was unclear when he’d return.

It’s one thing for a player to be out indefinitely before tests. It’s another when he’s out indefinitely after tests.

Pelicans release:

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that guard Eric Gordon will be out indefinitely with a left shoulder injury. An MRI revealed Gordon suffered a torn labrum as a result of the left shoulder subluxation injury that occurred Saturday night at Utah.

Gordon will undergo further evaluation throughout this week by the team’s medical staff to determine the best course of action moving forward.

Since coming to New Orleans, Gordon has missed 57, 40 and 18 games. It sounds like this will be another lengthy run with him sidelined.

Gordon had been less involved and less effective – in that order – for the Pelicans this season. However, the Pelicans – despite a very strong top six – have little depth at guard, so this will be tough to overcome.

Expect a larger role for Austin Rivers – who, after declaring this his year, has shown marked improvement – and maybe Jimmer Fredette. New Orleans could also slide Tyreke Evans from small forward into the backcourt – maybe even coupling that move with more minutes for its sparsely used Ryan Anderson-Davis-Omer Asik frontline.

As long as the Pelicans have Davis, everything else is secondary. But as they battle for a playoff spot in a tough Western Conference, even the loss of a struggling Gordon will be felt.