4-Down Episode 10: What I did on my summer vacation

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Tiago Splitter is finally, finally (Finally!) a San Antonio Spur. And for cheap, thanks to RC Buford.

The San Antonio Spurs are in the thick of their offseason. And for the last few weeks, I’ve been in the think of my summer vacation. To make up for that, we’re back with a new 4-Down podcast featuring talk about all your favorite Spurs news.

The hits include the NBA Draft, where our own Graydon Gordian was present, and how Spurs basketball is performing during the free agency period. Tiago Splitter is finally, officially, a San Antonio Spur, and Matt Bonner should be in the silver and black for a while.

Tim and I also go into some summer league action and talk about the players that you’d only expect to hear discussed by guys who care way too much about their team.

Make sure to subscribe to the 4-Down Podcast via RSS feed or iTunes. And tell your friends, because we’re awesome.

  • bigtee34

    Does anyone know if the spurs are interested in Ronnie Brewer. He’s a defensive shut down wing. He’s young and not that expensive. He could spend time perfecting the corner three with chip. But defense is what we need most and he brings that.

  • td4life

    Chris Mannix writes:

    “Chicago, Boston, Portland, Utah, Washington and Cleveland have expressed interest in free agent swingman Ronnie Brewer, league sources told SI.com.”

    If this is accurate, it appears that the Spurs are not seeking to add Brewer.

    As the list of prospects has shrunk, I was hoping to add Brewer and Jones or Barnes. But compared to missing out on other guys this summer, I am only slightly disappointed that we might miss out on Brewer. He is the best perimeter defender available, but is essentially a one-way player. I am encouraged that the Spurs would be looking primarily at two-way players. Not that much is out there anymore.

    Still hoping we add another big to hopefully steal Bonner’s minutes, as I believe we can sign 2 guys from the open market. But as far as wings go, RJ remains our best option and we have not signed him yet have we? After that, obviously we’d like some shooting & defensive length at SF, but does anyone think Temple may be a better rotation prospect than available FAs? Spurs fans have been asking for guys like Anthony Morrow, and W Mathews, so maybe Temple will really blossom for us… I sure have a lot of respect for Mario Ellie as a player, who was also undrafted.

  • DieHardSpur

    @td4life –

    I doubt that anyone will be stealing Bonners minutes if he is getting paid anywhere close to what I heard… 34M…???

  • duaneofly

    I believe Bonner’s deal was 4 years, 16 million. Last season he was making around 3 mil I believe, so he got a bit of a raise to start his new contract.

  • doggydogworld

    Splitter and Blair should limit Bonner’s minutes just fine:
    Duncan – 28
    Splitter – 28
    Blair – 24
    Bonner – 14
    McDyess – 14

    This adds to more than 96 because players will miss 10-12% of games on average due to injury, rest games, etc.

  • BALLHOG

    Bonner all over again…

    Spurs have an opportunity to sign T. Splitter and add Shaq to the mix.

    Instead, they use money that they could have used on Shaq, to sign Matt Bonner. Matt Bonner?

    The thought of signing Matt Barnes and Shaq was out weighed by the strange desire to resign Matt Bonner?

    Cant pay Jefferson less than Bonner…It would be an insult..So what of Richard?

    What of the 3 spot?

    With Duncan, Splitter, Dice, and Blair…What do u do with Bonner?

    Its all irrelevant now anyway. Spurs arent serious about winning. Clearly demonstrated by the Bonner signing.

    Is this about taking care of buddies or winning?

    I wonder…..Pop has always filled his roster with easily manipulated “Yes Men”….We know that players like Barnes and Shaq are not “Yes Men”…

    Is that why they arent here?

    Could it be that Pop doesnt want players that might publicly expose him?

    True head scratcher….

    Then there is Splitter…Hasnt bounced a ball on an NBA floor. Is he man enough? How will he react in the face of Boozer, Odom, Howard, or Dirk, or David West?

    We know how Shaq would react!

    Finally, When we are going against Kobe, Carmello, Dirk, Terry, Lowry, and Durant….

    Would we want Matt Barnes defending them? Or good old Keith Bogans?

    My question….

    WTF?

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  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    @BALLHOG

    Why such skepticism? Bonner is a 4 who can hit the 3 at a consistent rate, stretch the defenses, and is a solid defender who knows the system. I’d rather have him on my team than a 38-year-old Shaq. Bonner, even though he got a raise, still comes at a cheaper price than Shaq would.

    Jefferson should sign by the end of the week according to the SAEN’s Mike Monroe, and it will be at a lesser price than last season, but still more than Bonner. Barnes was never really an option because he can command more money than the Spurs would have to offer. And Bonner is not taking that money, because the Spurs owned his Bird Rights. Bonner’s contract doesn’t affect what they could’ve offered free agents.

  • Manolo Pedralvez

    Last season, Bonner injured his shooting hand when he was just peaking so wasn’t as good in triple country when he was needed most in the stretch, particularly in the playoffs.
    But with new a four-year deal, I suspect he’ll try to disprove his critics and play his heart out to prove them wrong.
    Until I see him on the floor and play, the judgment is out on this sandwich gourmand.

  • Koppie21

    We were torched by the Suns pick and roll in the playoffs. Shaq can’t guard the pick and roll so by adding him it would just hurt us in the long run. Splitter can play the pick and roll as can Bonner. I’ve learned to never doubt the Spurs management.

  • doggydogworld

    “they use money that they could have used on Shaq, to sign Matt Bonner.”

    Completely clueless. Bonner signing has zero impact on money available to sign Shaq or any other free agent.

    “We know how Shaq would react!”

    Shaq would wave at those guys from 10 feet away while they shoot jumpers off the P&R, as he’s been doing for three years now.

  • TIAAAAGOOO!!!

    Why is there such a negative outlook when it comes to Bonner? The man is a stretch 4 who plays at his best when he is with a good defensive player and he only plays 15 minutes a game. The guy can shoot really well for a big nonathletic guy. I understand he dissapeared during the playoffs, but he was also out of position playing center.

  • duaneofly

    I’m not a fan of Bonner, but if he’s the fourth/fifth big off the bench, then I’m ok with him on the team.
    As for Shaq, he didn’t help the Suns any. Then he went to Cleveland, and didn’t help them out any. So why anyone would think Shaq is even part of the answer to our woes is beyond me.

  • BALLHOG

    Not the point…

    Winning in this league has always been tough. It just got tougher.

    Unless the Spurs move Bonner to the 3 and keep him at no more than 10-12 minutes a game, it’s just more of the same.

    Bonner has been around for a minute. He has proven what he is. He isnt a 4 or a 5. He is a guy that you just hope can hit some shots for ya. If he is to continue to be used as before by the Spurs, 16 million certainly could have been better spent.

    Besides, if we are facing the Lakers in in the playoffs (certainly the team that we should be building to beat)….

    Wouldnt Shaq, Splitter, Duncan and Dice on the floor against Bynam, Gasol, and Odom be a million times more desireable than a line up with Bonner in it, anywhere on the floor.

    As for Shaq’s age….Lets keep it real!

    I would take Shaq at Center, at age 40, over 90% of the centers in the NBA…

    For that matter, I would take an aging, declining Tim Duncan over that same 90% of the PF’s in the NBA.

    Shaq makes us a contender. Makes us serious. He would be a bonus on and off the court as well as in Peter Holts pockets. Seems like a no brainer if winning is the point. With Shaq, Teams are a lot less giddy about playing us. He makes us Scary! Without him though, not so much…

    But, look on the bright side…We have the Red Rocket!

  • Hobson13

    BTW, here is a quote from ESPN regarding RJ:
    “Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News gives indication via Twitter that Jefferson is likely to return to the Spurs.

    “McDonald: “For what it’s worth, source close to the process sets odds of Jefferson returning to San Antonio at 95 percent,” he tweeted Thursday.”

    Looks like RJ is coming back to the Spurs for somewhere in the neighborhood of $6mil/year. That is a hell of a deal considering guys like Travis Outlaw, whose BEST season matches RJ’s WORST season, got $7mil/year. Here are some comparable 3’s who have already been signed this summer.

    Travis Outlaw: 5yr/$35mil
    John Salmons: 5yr/$39mil
    Josh Childress: 5yr/$35mil

    At best, these players are equal to RJ. Realistically though, you could make a pretty good case that RJ (besides his first year with the Spurs) is a better player than these clowns. If we get RJ for say a 5yr/$30mil contract, plus signing Splitter for a can of coffee I’d say this summer has been quite a heist. Now we simply need to find a suitable backup like James Jones or Matt Barnes to fill out the roster.

  • Ken

    Resigning Bonner is not the end of the world! When he spreads the floor it’s makes it easier for the rest of the guys to do their thing. He went into a shooting slump doing the playoffs but almost everybody does at one point or time (Ray Allen after game 2 of the finals). Also, if you watched he played as tough a defense on Dirk as he was physically able but Dirk lost his damn mind and was hitting everything at one point………… Still it’s awesome we don’t have to rely on him to play nearly the same amount of minutes since we have Splitter now!

  • Dr. Who

    Geeze Ballhog makes his summer appearance and while I agree with him that resigning Bonner is a kick in the nuts… then he goes on a rant about two players that probably would end up damaging the Spurs if signed. Shaq… please that dude had double digit rebounds back in 2005, hasn’t propelled even the best player in the league to a championship. He’s all about ego and couldn’t handle Noah in the playoffs. He was overwieght and lazy in his prime. Now he’s out of his prime and fatter and lazier (and way less productive). Did you watch him play last year? Tiago can’t be worse that Shaqfu version 2011. doggydogworld rightly points out Bonner signing (although I’m anything but a fan of it) had ZERO to to with Shaq coming here. They still had the MLE and LLE for Shaq. They had ginger’s Bird rights to play with, couldn’t do that with Shaq. The only other players they could have reisigned with Bird Rights were Bogans and Mase. You want them instead of gingerballs? Its a choice of ugly, uglier and ugliest. If they would have targeted an upgrade to Bonner it would have dipped into the MLE and LLE money. That means no Tiago yet again. Gotta know the facts if you’re going to play miniGM. Since his contract isn’t Kahn crazy maybe he can be moved later during the season in a package near the trade deadline. I dont’ like it but it’s probably the best move the Spurs could have made.

    Barnes is a defender but can’t hit the 3 and is not a good lockeroom guy. He’s a whiner and complainer. When has that type ever excelled in this organization? I really don’t like the idea of a stretch 4 anymore. Horry was a freak of nature and the strech 4 worked for us on many levels since we had a guy who could rebound, defend, hit the 3 and take the ball to the hole hard (even if it meant nearly dislocating his arm). Bonner only fits 1 of those 4 categories. When thinking about trades and FA’s, you have to remember not only do the Spurs want to make the move but the other team has to want to do the trade and the other player has to want to play in SA. Look at Raja Bell, at his age a championship should be what is most important. LA gave his the best chance with the least amount of money. On paper Utah and SA have close to the same chance for a ring next year, but Utah had more money; neither city is a huge FA draw. Spurs wanted Bell and couldn’t get him. In some respects we’re the goofy kid in glasses that wants to go to the prom with the head cheerleader but instead has to take our ugly redheaded sandwich eating cousin. We want 40% sharpshooting 3 point shooters who can defend too. We got… none of that so ol’ gingerballs is all that’s left (and we have bird rights to sign him and it doen’t hurt us financially). Jones is a career 40%ish shooter and had a little run in Phoenix. Not a sexy FA but SA is not a sexy draw. We lucked out when the likes of Horry, Kerr, Barry and a “didn’t suck as bad” Finley chose to come to SA. The future was bright with SA back then and it helped. Now it’s the twilight TD years and hope that there’s one more run in there. Different story when attracting FA’s. We take what we can get and sadly getting Bonner back was all that fit in the books. Hopefully we can move him later for a usable piece at a later date. Looks like Jones is probably our target with the MLE. Insert scrub with the LLE. Would have been a great offseason if we’d landed Bell and Jones too but Bell signing here was a reach. Never once did he mention he actually wanted to play for the Spurs.

  • jking000

    @BALLHOG
    I was thinking about responding to the content of your post regarding Bonner, but that is a debate that has been rehashed enough. I just want to thank you for one of the best laughs I’ve had in a while:

    “Spurs arent serious about winning.”

    Really? With this front office, head coach, and Timmy we have won 4 titles in the past 11 years. Do you really think they aren’t about winning? In a league whose history is dominated by an elite few big market wealthier teams, you are going to disparage the best small market dynasty not featuring Michael Jordan(not to say Chicago is a small market)? All the consecutive 50+ win seasons, late playoff appearances, and a 4-0 record in the finals you are going to say the same core that accomplished all that isn’t about winning because we resigned a proven role player? I’m sorry, it’s just too hard to take anything else you say seriously after that.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    @BALLHOG

    The hope was that with signing Splitter, Bonner wouldn’t have to play more than 15-20 mins per game in the playoffs.

    And unfortunately, the 16 million that Bonner signed for can’t be better spent at this point. Either they sign him, or they don’t. But that money doesn’t go to another free agent because the Spurs don’t have the cap space. The only reason the Spurs were able to give him that much money is because they owned his Bird Rights.

    Defensively, Bonner actually matches up well with guys like Lamar Odom, Dirk Nowitzki and the like. You know, other stretch 4’s.

  • ITGuy

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • ITGuy
  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    @ITGuy

    Good find.

    Damn Krolik, beating me to the punch. We should have something here on 48MoH about Jerrells next week.

  • junierizzle

    GO RED ROCKET!

    I love the resigning.

    He’s was the best shooter available for the SPURS.
    CLearly they weren’t gonna pay someone like KOrver.

  • BALLHOG

    Doesnt matter how much MLE crap or justification that you come up with.

    He is a Euro player on his best day, period.

    As for those folks throwing that BS out there about how horrible Shaq is…

    Thanks, now that I realize your superior your basketball IQ, I could never challenge you again..

    Doesnt matter how you dispute it…Scrubs dont equal championships.

    Finally, Its not the size of the Spurs market that keeps players away. We know the reasoning on that.

    Besides, the scouting report is out guys…Teams know about Bonner now. What is his assessment?

    Get a hand in his face and he is done!

    Great for 16 million plus!

  • http://www.airalamo.com b.diddy

    When used as a role player, Bonner meets expectataions. When asked to do more he fails to do so. Adding Splitter and developing Blair will keep Bonner where he needs to be in the rotation.

  • dcatkd

    Right, players don’t come here because of Pop is what I believe you are inferring BALLHOG, which is a bit ludicrous. It pretty much IS the size of the market and all that comes along with it… i.e. less exposure, less nightlife, less everything that an overpaid NBA athlete seeks.

    As far as Shaq you clearly have not watched him in years, because in no way is he going to prove better than a 25 year old big man, who can RUN the floor, defend pick and roll, and still have a good 13 years less of wear and tear than Shaq. There’s a reason ESPN’s Hollinger called it the BEST deal of the offseason. With everything that the Spurs front office has done this off season, I’d have to say ALL they care about is winning. Signing the #1 big man in Europe, check, picking up a young and talented shooter in the draft, check, resigning a big man that can extend the floor while knowing the system and providing a solid 10-12 mins a game against bench players, check, resigning RJ at least half of what he would have made, probably a check, and actively pursuing a wing defender like Jones, check. Clearly they MUST be trying to tank their entire season, because they’ve been outdone this off season by who exactly?.. Right.

  • DieHardSpur

    @Dcatkd

    The longer you follow this blog you will learn to ignore Ballhog and TradeTP. THey are probably the same person, and equally as ignorant. Why they consider themselves SPURS fans, i have no clue. They certainly dont “pull” for our players or support our front office…???

  • Zach R.

    R.C.’s expression in the picture is priceless.

    To steal from completelydeck over at PtR,

    “YOU’RE GETTING A SPLITTER! AND YOU’RE GETTING A SPLITTER! AND YOU’RE GETTING A SPLITTER..”

  • dcatkd

    Oh I’ve read this blog for the past year, year and a half consistently. I generally don’t comment, but it was getting a big ridiculous, I mean it’s not like they had a chance to sign any of the top tier free agents. I’ve been extremely pleased with how the FO’s decisions this off season, and am thoroughly excited/confident for this upcoming season already.

  • BALLHOG

    @ DiehardSpur

    Thought you knew, but hey, I was gone for a minute….The HOG does not indulge in “Name Calling”…

    Easy with the angry rhetoric, stud man….

    It stinks up the place….

    Lot of folks in here didnt agree with some of your insight, but never insulted you.

    So, to avoid having you beat me on the back of my leg with adjectives and action verbs

    (and yes, I was deeply wounded)

    Try to keep it classy…

  • Jimbo

    My first post ever. I usually lurk, but Ballhog’s inane comments should be ridiculed by everyone who reads this site. Shaq and Matt Barnes are difference makers? Shaq can’t move anymore, which is rather helpful when playing basketball. You may have noticed that he has done nothing at his two most recent stops in Phoenix and Cleveland. Matt Barnes has played for about half the teams in the league on a series of 1 million dollars/year contracts. There is a reason he’s not in high demand. I don’t think Bonner is worth 4 million per year, but the Spurs’ front office has a track record indidcating it knows something about basketball, which you very clearly don’t.

  • ThatBigGuy

    If we needed another big guy to do nothing other than foul or get fouled and shoot 50% FT’s, we’d have signed Ian.

  • Phife

    Let’s compare Matt Bonner and his 4 year/16 million deal to Mike Miller, who just signed a 5 year/ 25 million deal.

    Career stats per 36 minutes.

    Bonner: Miller:

    Effective FG%: 56% 55%

    FG%: 47% 46%

    3% : 40% 40%

    Tot. Reb: 7 6

    PPG: 13 15

    Asst: 2 4

    the last stat I’ll throw at you is win share per 48 minutes. Or, the amount a player contributed to winning a game. League average is 0.100

    Miller is at 0.107 and Bonner is at 0.140

    Miller has been getting paid around 9 million per year the last few years.

    I think the FO did a fine job retaining a classy guy that at least tries to justify what he gets paid.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    @Phife

    That’s good stuff.

  • dplay

    hey ballhog, you’re the beginner chess player that can only see one move on the table, whereas the spurs organization is many moves ahead of you–signing bonner makes sense financially now, he’ll give you 2-4 wins in the regular season on games he gets really hot, and he gives us trade options later next year. and as said before, his signing in no way affects signing of other fa’s we need right now. check mate. go spurs!

  • SpursfanSteve

    +1 for Phife.

    Maybe if we ignore Ballhog he will go away.

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Lenneezz

    Bonner was a consolation prize for the Spurs. When Tony was not traded and RJ opted out, there were no trade chips. Period. Spurs FO had very limited funds. Our club needed 3 pt shooting in the worst way and Boner was the best/only way to address it.

    Most posters know what he can do and when he’s best at doing it. His stats in the playoffs are consistently below regular season averages. He dribbles like his shoes are on fire and his passing skills are not good. He hardly ever draws fouls. He is kind of a spaz. However, he does shoot the 3 good (when open) and with our penetrators we can get him open looks. He is a fairly big guy who can muscle up to other big guys.

    He has value and it should be obvious why we had to sign him but those stats above only partially show the picture.

  • http://www.sxv.cz Elyse Steski

    Barnes is a defender but can’t hit the 3 and is not a good lockeroom guy. He’s a whiner and complainer. When has that type ever excelled in this organization? I really don’t like the idea of a stretch 4 anymore. Horry was a freak of nature and the strech 4 worked for us on many levels since we had a guy who could rebound, defend, hit the 3 and take the ball to the hole hard (even if it meant nearly dislocating his arm). Bonner only fits 1 of those 4 categories. When thinking about trades and FA’s, you have to remember not only do the Spurs want to make the move but the other team has to want to do the trade and the other player has to want to play in SA. Look at Raja Bell, at his age a championship should be what is most important. LA gave his the best chance with the least amount of money. On paper Utah and SA have close to the same chance for a ring next year, but Utah had more money; neither city is a huge FA draw. Spurs wanted Bell and couldn’t get him. In some respects we’re the goofy kid in glasses that wants to go to the prom with the head cheerleader but instead has to take our ugly redheaded sandwich eating cousin. We want 40% sharpshooting 3 point shooters who can defend too. We got… none of that so ol’ gingerballs is all that’s left (and we have bird rights to sign him and it doen’t hurt us financially). Jones is a career 40%ish shooter and had a little run in Phoenix. Not a sexy FA but SA is not a sexy draw. We lucked out when the likes of Horry, Kerr, Barry and a “didn’t suck as bad” Finley chose to come to SA. The future was bright with SA back then and it helped. Now it’s the twilight TD years and hope that there’s one more run in there. Different story when attracting FA’s. We take what we can get and sadly getting Bonner back was all that fit in the books. Hopefully we can move him later for a usable piece at a later date. Looks like Jones is probably our target with the MLE. Insert scrub with the LLE. Would have been a great offseason if we’d landed Bell and Jones too but Bell signing here was a reach. Never once did he mention he actually wanted to play for the Spurs.
    +1

  • duaneofly

    One thing that those Bonner vs Miller stats don’t show (and it’s something another poster pointed out in a different thread) is that opponents don’t need to respect Bonner. He’ll make 40% of his threes, 40% of the time. VERY rarely does this guy ever knock down a bunch of threes in a row ( I remember he did one game last year), and he NEVER does it in the playoffs.
    I don’t think Miller is really that much better than Bonner. However, he seems the type of person who when he gets hot, he’ll nail 3 after 3 after 3, which then helps open things up in the middle etc etc.
    No players respect Bonner, and he definitely has that “token white guy” feel to him.
    I think Bonner could really benefit from a lot of time in the weight room, and maybe if he watched some UFC he’d find some intestinal fortitude. That’d help him handle the big guys on defense.

  • mikrobass3

    i would like to see everyone able to state their opinions mannerly here, including ballhog and tradetp. personally, i usually skip their posts–experience has taught me that i fell like i’m wasting my time reading their thoughts.

    regarding bonner, phife’s stats were great–i wonder how bonner and miller compare in playoff stats? i know bonner’s stats are much worse during the playoffs throughout his career.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    I think Tim makes a great point in the podcast that one of the major reasons Bonner has struggled in past playoffs is because the Spurs have had to rely on him more than they should.

    He’s not a 25-30 minute per game player in the playoffs. But because frontcourt depth has been weak the past two or three years, he’s been forced into that role.

    Adding Splitter to the rotation, and hopefully increasing Duncan and McDyess’ minutes in the playoffs will limit Bonner to spot minutes, where he’s more likely to produce in the West postseason.

  • El Ganzo

    Please, quit saying Bonner is a stretch 4! Like Kaizer Sozei Bonner stretching the floor is a myth. People fall in love with stats and PER but numbers are made to be manipulated. Even when Bonner’s 3pt is falling no one is worried he’ll catch fire and sink X amount in a row. Also, Shaq wouldn’t add much; he’d be a defensive liability on the PnR and the perimiter and he doesn’t have a mid-range shot to spread the floor. I have a feeling the Spurs are hoping some of the short/long term projects they have can fill some roster spot. Finally.

  • Dr. Who

    @ El Ganzo

    If Bonner isn’t a stretch 4 then what is he? He’s a low post player that likes to bang? He’s a pick and pop guy with a midrange game? No… he’s a stretch 4. I hate the stretch 4 concept here in San Antonio. I’d love it if we had Dirk or Horry from back in the day. We dont’ though. We have Bonner. And during the regular season againt opposing bench players is an OK option for 3pt shots and spacing. Do I like having him here in SA. No… but it’s all we could get. Other Bird rights options were MoneyMase and the defensive centerpiece Bogans. Bonner is the lesser of the two evils.

    @Andrew A. McNeill
    I think that’s being a bit kind to Bonner. We did need 3 point shooting from somewhere anywhere. The thing about Bonner’s playoff meltdown was that no team did something different to shut down Bonner’s 3 pt shot. He missed A LOT of open jumpers. It wasn’t like there were a lot of contested 3 point shots he missed. After missign shots, the D sagged and the pressure got to be a bit more and the shooting struggles continued. He wasn’t playing extended minutes in those playoff games so there wasn’t a huge dependence on Bonner’s game and winning. There wer crucial times of course when he’d go flat out cold and miss open shots and the D on the other ends didn’t get stops. Made for a pretty ugly stretch of minutes. He showed signs of life hitting a few shots after the series was already over so it may be a case of nerves nad perhaps he’ll get better this year. Best bet is we can package him off with somethign else at the trade deadline.

  • Dr. Who

    Correction… lesser of the 3 evils including Bogans, Mase and Bonner. He’s here, we’re stuck with him. Hopefully he opens an awesome sandwich shop since he’ll be here for a while under contract. I love sandwiches.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    @ Dr. Who

    You’re right, he could’ve been better. I just think he’ll be better suited / more productive in around 10-12 minutes per game in the playoffs than the 18-20 he averaged the last two years.

  • MrNiko

    What about this rookie on the summer league team, Tyler Wilkinson….. I know stats aren’t everything but in both games so far this kid has been impressive. Does anyone actually know anything about him?

  • MrNiko

    Correction from abover Wilkerson, not wilkinson.

  • McShane

    Wesley Matthews*
    not Wesley Johnson
    http://www.blazersedge.com/2010/7/14/1570320/report-utah-jazz-sign-raja-bell

    Good podcast… I think this offseason has been great for the Spurs; I just think a $5 mil/year contract for Jefferson would be the cherry on top.

  • Jim Henderson

    Elyse Steski
    July 15th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    “I really don’t like the idea of a stretch 4 anymore. Horry was a freak of nature and the strech 4 worked for us on many levels since we had a guy who could rebound, defend, hit the 3 and take the ball to the hole hard (even if it meant nearly dislocating his arm). Bonner only fits 1 of those 4 categories.”

    I totally concur. All this hype about the stretch 4 being so important is absurd. Steski is right, for those rare guys like Robert Horry, it can work like a charm. But the key is that “the stretch 4 can do other things”, including hitting the three “in the clutch” under the stiffest competition.

  • Jim Henderson

    Bonner can’t hit the three in the clutch, is not a threat off the dribble, or in the low post, does not have a particularly quick release or high release point on his shot, and is at best an average rebounder, a below average defender, and a poor shot-blocker. As a result, Bonner’s “spacing the floor” could have just as easily been replaced by the acquisition of 2 wings that can shoot the three, and perhaps do a few other things, like play solid perimeter “D” or take the ball off the dribble to the rack, or be a threat to score in transition, etc. The fact is, while Bonner can serve to open up the driving lanes, at the same time, he’s hurting our ability to have our best low-post scorers & rebounders in the game (he’s usually in the game for either Duncan, McDyess, or Blair). This hurts our ability to get offensive rebounds for second chance opportunities. For example, the Spurs averaged about 1th in offensive rebounding rate during the three years between 2002-03 & 2004-05, and we were also ranked 4th, 14th, & 6th in EFF FG% during those same years (around 49%). In Bonner’s 2nd year with the team, 2006-07, he averaged 13 mpg., and we dropped to 25th in offensive rebound rate, while we ranked just 10th in EFF FG %, which edged up to 50.4%. In Bonners 3rd year (2008-09 – 23.8 mpg.), we edged up slightly again in EFF FG% to 51.3% (5th), but our offensive rebound rate tanked to 30th, LAST in the league. Please note, that even with reduced minutes (13 mpg.) in 2006-07, our offensive rebound rate was 25th in the league! This past season we pretty much held the status quo on EFF FG% (7th – 51.5%), thanks as much, or more to the TS%’s of Manu, Hill, Blair, & Duncan as to Bonner. And the primary reasons that our offensive rebound rate jumped back up to a #13 ranking this past year partly resulted from Bonner’s minutes being cut back from the previous season (17.9), but even more importantly, it was because of the addition of Blair, who had the 2nd highest offensive rebound rate in the entire league.

    The point is, Bonner’s so-called spacing that he provides hurts us in other ways, and ways that are more negative than the positives from the contributions he makes from spacing & shooting. Plus, he doesn’t really cause a defensive mismatch for the opponent because all good teams can go “small” and guard Bonner with another SF, while leaving their best rebounding/defending SF on our SF, and that’s just one example. Furthermore, Bonner’s main skill (3-point shooting during the “regular season”) could have been easily replaced with 2 wings (or one wing & a defensive big) signed with the rest of the MLE & the LLE.

    And, in my view, while it’s probably too late, what we should have done instead of signing Bonner was sign a wing shooter/defender with the rest of the MLE, AND sign another defender/shot-blocker for a 12-15 mpg. role in our front court rotation. It seems like L. Amundson & J. Anthony would be very good fits’, and might have allowed us to bump our shot-blocking up from the dismal 4.3 per game from last season. During our championship years we averaged 6.3 bpg., and the addition of Splitter is really not enough to close that huge gap. He’s not a particularly strong shot-blocker, and we’d be fortunate if he got 1.0 per game during his first year with the club. In short, we have chosen shooting over defense with the Bonner signing, despite the fact that DEFENSE is what has always defined this franchise since the Pop era began in earnest in 1997.

    In conclusion, I’m left with assuming that the FO thinks we might get more out of Splitter than I can imagine, particularly on the defensive end, and that they were very happy to give Bonner, a one-dimensional player, a 30% raise to reduce his minutes by 50%. I’m still scratching my head.