4-Down Episode 12: Exploring the value of the Austin Toros


It’s been a busy summer for the Austin Toros, and in this episode of the 4-Down Podcast, we talk about what’s been happening and how it affects the San Antonio Spurs.

Jon L of the great D-League blog Ridiculous Upside joins me and Tim to talk about the Toros and other stuff. We discuss whether it’s worth it for the Spurs to own the Toros, and the coaching and general manager search in Austin.

Other topics include the NBA merits of Alonzo Gee and Curtis Jerrells, and how the San Antonio Spurs reward Toros players by signing them to summer league and training camp contracts.

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  • Hobson13

    Hey guys, why don’t you have a podcast that talks about your expectations for the upcoming season, the Spurs current roster, and the young guys potential(Blair, Temple, Anderson, Hill). Lately, you cats have had a rather odd fetish with the D league. Not that the D league is bad, (well it actually is) but IMO, the D league is largely irrelevant even to a basketball junky like myself.

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


    It’s August, we gots plenty of time to talk about that over the next few weeks.

  • rob

    Speaking of D-league. If the roster will be status quo and there wouldn’t be much room to sign a new prospect from the D-league this season if the current roster remains as is.

    But D-league is for “future” season’s. Not many have made an impact on a “title contender”.

    An interesting story out of Detroit.

    If the Spurs and Pistons would agree to this trade…

    Parker becomes a player that the Pistons can build around after next season. Hamilton moves to SF and McGrady, (if the Pistons sign him), plays a significant role.

    The Spurs would then have 2 legit SF’s with Prince as the starter.

    PG- Hill, Temple, Jerrells
    SG- Ginobili, Anderson, Neal
    SF- Prince, Jefferson, (Anderson)
    PF- Duncan, Blair
    C- Splitter, McDyess, Bonner

    That would leave enough to outright sign Amundson, Boone, or Brown and leave room on the roster to sign a strong D-league potential this season for future development.

  • ThatBigGuy

    How about this for something to fill in the dregs of summer: according to Bill Simmons’ “Book of Basketball,” Kobe is ranked 15th and Duncan is ranked 7th.

    I’ve bought the book and read it 3 times since it came out. Kobe has broken the top 5 of the Pantheon. I say say he’s #4, bumping Magic and the others one spot down, bringing the top 10 list as follows: Jordan, Russell, Kareem, Kobe, Magic, Bird, Wilt, Timmy, Hakeem, and Oscar Robertson.

    You’d have a tough argument against that.

  • TDzilla

    The Toros are now moving to Cedar Park. So, they will be called the Cedar Park Toros?


  • DieHardSpur

    Sweet – I might be moving to Cedar Park soon…

    For now I am stuck in Houston!

  • Tyler

    Just to play devil’s advocate here, but you could make a pretty strong argument that the record number of call ups from the D-League last season was motivated more by cost cutting due to the economy, rather than player development. The Warriors, which you guys touched on, is a great example. With all the injuries and the fact the franchise was on the trading block, the D-League offered the cheapest way for them to trot out a team each night. The primary motivation wasn’t to develop talent, but to cut costs. Therefore, I think it’s misleading to tout the D-League by pointing to the # of callups – if that was the case in the podcast.

  • ITGuy

    didn’t RC said they were not trading Parker?

    ‘With this trade you have decreased this team’s projected wins by 2.’

  • rob

    Good point and probably true to an extent. But I would think signing Gee and Temple was done more in line of need (and talent) than salary regarding the team’s lack of depth in those areas. As well as knowing they (the Spurs) probably wouldn’t be in the running to land top tier talent via free agency this summer.

    The projected wins for the Spurs would be +1. And Parker is not “untradeable” if the right situation came along.

    Not to say this would be the right situation. But Prince IS a solid wing player. Something the Spurs need and something I don’t think Jefferson would mind being (back up).

    I do know at one time the Spurs winning percentage with Tony playing was .620. Very high. But with the development of Hill, Temple, and Jerrells…along with an addition of a player like Prince and rookies Anderson and Splitter…I don’t think the Spurs win percentage drops.

    That plus the team will now have other offensive opportunities that it didn’t have in the past. Tony is a very effective scorer…but not as adept at getting other teammates not named Duncan involved in the game.

    I must also clarify that I am not for trading Parker because I don’t like Parker. Parker is good for the Spurs in how the team is run. But I would not hesitate on trading Parker if it gave the Spurs a better opportunity to win the title now being that Duncan and Ginobili are on the back side of their peak and negotiations to retain Parker in the future may prove to be more than the Spurs would be willing to spend.

    That plus…I really don’t think Parker wants to remain a Spur the rest of his life and will be looking to go to another team after this season.

    This trade allows the Spurs to utelize the strengths they need at a positon they’re the weakest while not losing too much at the PG position with who they have now.

    Could it be the formula for at least one more ring during the Duncan era ends? I couldn’t say for certain. But if were to happen…I would like the chances.

  • manufan

    Just stop with that trade BS, guys. RJ will be just fine and he will have decent backup. Tony is gonna be our best player this year and our D will be better with Hill, Temple, and Manu guarding perimeter.And finaly we got young defensive center who can run the floor.
    Also, is there anybody who can explane it to my why are we named “old” when only 5 out of 15 guys on the roster are over 30 years of age. With Hairston gone and Jarrells and Gee playing in Austin(?) that is 12 on the actual roster. In that case I would like to see Spurs going after Amundsen(my first option) or Gist finaly having strong training camp and making the team.

  • manufan

    And I do think that Anderson will see some action at 3.

  • Jim Henderson

    August 10th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    “Not to say this would be the right situation. But Prince IS a solid wing player. Something the Spurs need and something I don’t think Jefferson would mind being (back up).”

    With this deal you’re putting over 20 million dollars total into the SF spot, which would be comprised of two guys that are too good to play 24 mpg each (or any other way you want to divide it up). On top of that, you’re weakening us considerably at PG with this trade. It would be unwise to trade Parker without getting a proven, NBA tested, decent back-up PG as a part of any deal (preferably a young one that has the potential to start some day). GHill is a very nice player, but he may never be good enough to start at PG for a playoff contender. Hill is a perfect combo guard, and if anything, he’s a better fit at the SG. I like Prince, but this trade certainly does not make us a true title contender. A trade between the Piston/Spurs is just not a very good fit because both teams are not that deep in the front court, but heavy in guards/wings.

    August 10th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    “Also, is there anybody who can explane it to my why are we named “old” when only 5 out of 15 guys on the roster are over 30 years of age.”

    Because out of our proven guys that get a decent number of minutes, most of them (6) are 28 and above, and three of them are 33 and above: TP, RJ, Bonner, McDyess, Manu, TD. The only guys younger than 28 are Hill, Blair, and now Splitter (3).

    The following young guys probably won’t even play that much:

    Temple, Neal, & Anderson

  • ITGuy

    Rob, I think trading Parker to the Pistons, or any other team, would have the same effect that trading C. Billups had on the Pistons, not very good results at all.