Don’t listen to Rob Mahoney, Corey Brewer is alright

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Rob Mahoney preemptively defended the Knicks’ decision to waive Corey Brewer, and despite the playful title of this post, I agree with him.  Corey Brewer wasn’t a great fit for the Knicks. Mahoney:

Brewer may have played regular minutes for Minnesota, but he’s still a very poor offensive player who cannot be relegated to the corner because of his lack of 3-point range. That’s damaging enough on its own, but considering how important the corner 3 is to the Knicks’ offense, Brewer seems to be a particularly poor fit for New York’s rotation.

Having said that, I agree with Henry Abbott’s general assessment of Brewer:

Basically, despite playing for a miserable Timberwolves team, [Brewer] has showed up very well in almost any stat that incorporates defense — plus/minus, adjusted plus/minus, opponents’ productivity, etc. Some of that is probably an artifact of the reality that it’s easy to be efficient when you aspire to do little on offense. Brewer doesn’t take a lot of bad shots, he can feed the post, and he’s incredibly high energy so he cleans up on turnovers and with easy buckets.

Corey Brewer actually improved his shot last season. He shot at least .300 from around the arc, splitting up his accuracy HotSpots style, which was remarkable because you couldn’t pay him to attempt a three during the 08-09 season. He knows his place. His shooting has kind of fallen back this year, and it’s difficult to say whether his three point shot is redeemable (Chip Engelland, look for your Bat Call) or if last season’s improvement was a fluke. But, going with Mahoney, Brewer is not someone whom smart coaches can hide in the corner. Maybe someday. Not today.

But it’s also the case that the Spurs are not the Knicks, despite all the corner three love between them.

Corey Brewer would immediately make the Spurs a better basketball team.  Immediately.

Describing Brewer in terms of Bruce Bowen is more than a little overblown. He’s not that kind of defender. But Brewer is a better perimeter defender than anyone on San Antonio’s roster. The Spurs are solid enough offensively that using Brewer as a cooler, in limited minutes, shouldn’t disrupt their mojo.

Brewer is 24, long, tough, high energy, and would fill San Antonio’s most glaring roster deficiency—the minutes available behind Richard Jefferson. Or, as some would put it, Richard Jefferson.

And, again, he’s 24. Brewer is not a finished product. He’s improving.

If Corey Brewer joins the Spurs, his spot in their playoff rotation is all but certain. It makes too much sense not to happen.

Remember when the Spurs traded for Nazr Mohammed? At the time, the trade was completely lost in the deadline shuffle. Sacramento had moved Chris Webber to Philadelphia on the same night. But that trade very quietly help push the Spurs to a championship (thanks, Isiah, you’re the best). Despite San Antonio’s record, the chase for this year’s title is essentially a 6 team race. Adding Brewer to the postseason rotation is the sort of personnel move that could give the Spurs separation.

  • SAJKinBigD

    I agree completely, Tim! Plus keeping him out of others’ hands would be worth extra!

    Also, this:
    “thanks, Isiah, you’re the best”
    +infinity!
    MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

  • rob

    Not sure this one would be on Isaah more so than D’Antoni. But as long as both keep making poor judgement calls…I don’t care who gets blamed.

    Spot on regarding Brewer and his ability to “immediately” help the Spurs.

    Brewer doesn’t need to be an offensive threat anyway. However if used properly, Brewer is not as bad of an offensive choice as some have made it sound.

    I hope this dedicated article to Brewer is an indication that you have some insight that Brewer is leaning towards the Spurs. If it’s not, thanks for posting it so we can stick to one blog without having to search past articles to follow up on this hopeful development.

  • Judd

    “Brewer is a better perimeter defender than anyone on San Antonio’s roster”

    i agree, and that’s saying a lot because manu and hill are excellent perimeter defenders.

    but rj is not our most glaring roster deficiency. he simply plays his role. he keeps hitting the open three and keeps playing strong defensive (most of the time). don’t be surprised when he drives more and gets more foul shots now that tony is out. rj can be aggressive and get to the foul line when he needs to. we just usually don’t need him to. our offense isn’t a “it’s my turn” iso play offense like miami’s. and thank god for that.

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    I think it would be kick ass to add a guy who has a championship pedigree in Brewer ( BTB NCAA Titles with the Gators) and he has not really had a chance to shine with a team that is built for the postseason.

    When you incorporate a talent in Brewer, provide him with the best coaching in the NBA, then he can reach his full potential….not this year but next year and beyond!

  • SAJKinBigD

    How big a player can Brewer guard? Would he be able to go against Dirk for any time at all?

    I’d forgotten he was on both of those Florida teams. Niiice.

  • Miguel

    I am intrigued by the possibility of adding Brewer, I think he could be a good fit, Tim Griffin of the Spursnation blog on mysa said that the Spurs have kicked around 6 or 7 names and did not deny having talked to Brewer but I find it interesting that he also threw out the name of Garrett Temple again, saying something to the effect of him being very intrigued by bringing him back. I want to see them bring in Brewer but I also always enjoyed Temple as a Spurs and thought he had a good skill set. However I don’t think that the Spurs will bring in both because of them only carrying 13 players all year and bringing in both would bring them up to 14(technically 15 but I’m prematurely throwing out Steve Novak when his 10-day contracty runs out).

  • rob

    Cuban himself talked to Brewer instead of Carlisle.

    http://twitter.com/stein_line_HQ

    Cuban so doesn’t want Corey to play for the Spurs more so than I think he actually wants Brewer on his team.

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    According to ESPN: The Knicks agreed to buyouts with both Brewer and Azubuike but did not release details. A source said that Brewer HAS A DEAL lined up with another team.

    Does anyone know if it is DEFINITELY with the Spurs???

    If Bowen could guard Dirk, if RJ and Hill could pester Dirk then Corey can TOTALLY be a pest to Dirk as well!

  • Hobson13

    BTW, don’t the Spurs still have about $2.5 mil left of the MLE they gave Splitter? That could be the way the Spurs lure Brewer.

  • SAJKinBigD

    @Alix: That’s what I was hoping… Give Timmy and Dice a break now and then, and put our size on their smalls and box-out Chandler.

  • rob

    @ Hobson13

    I believe it’s 1.7 mil.

  • Ekie

    Cory Brewer has stated before that he would like to play for a winner. I hope the Spurs atleast give him a call. Even if he doesn’t help this year. Once he learns our system and rotations and spends time with our shooting coaches he WILL be our next Bruce bowen (except athletic).
    Remember, Bowen couldn’t shoot either when we first got him

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

    Man, I hope the Spurs get Brewer. He’d be a nice pickup for the short and long term. He’d address a real need. I hope he isn’t too thin to defend the 3.

    I am not sure how this is going to end. My gut is drawing a blank here.

  • Jermaine

    Corey is a really good ball player.He has great defender has a good shot and he can jump out the gym.I don’t know what team is interest,but I really think he will be excited to see in Chicago plus T.J Ford as well too!

  • jwalt

    I want to ensure everyone but I get jumped on that on balance I am rooting for Brewer becoming a Spur as well. But…but, he is capable of doing bonehead things on the court, and I mean truly stupid ones. I’ve watched a lot of Wolve games and he does some things that just make you scratch your head. I think he’s a good guy, a “we” guy, and he can defend. But there’s a reason both Minn and NY didn’t want him.

    Before you get terribly excited, remember Keith Bogans, who has basically the same skill set. And when Bogans fouled in the backcourt with one second to go in a playoff game, Pop never played him again.

  • SAJKinBigD

    I think he’ll be a Spur. It just makes too much sense. And I’d love to poke Cuban and Ainge in the eye. :D

  • Wayne

    In addition to Mahoney, I’d have to include in the list of people you might not want to listen to are all the people at ESPN.com.

    Just thought I’d throw that out there since the organization doesn’t think, based on their current lead article on espn.com/nba, the Spurs have a chance to win the title.

    Don’t the editors even look at their own writer’s power rankings?

  • ITGuy

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • The Beat Counselor

    @jwalt

    “And when Bogans fouled in the backcourt with one second to go in a playoff game, Pop never played him again.”

    That’s why you don’t play Bogans (or Brewer) with one second to go in a playoff game.

    Point taken about his basketball IQ though.

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    I think that the fact the Spurs are in position to pry a lottery talent away for the minimum without giving up jack squat is just a testament to the fact that God loves the Spurs!

  • Titletown99030507

    Well then what about Azubuike if Brewer is taken? Is he a decent defender? He can score and is athletic. At guard/foward is he too small for what the Spurs are looking for?

  • dingo

    Even though we have some of the MLE left I believe we are only $1.1M under the tax line, so doubt they would go over that..

    Brewer sounds nice, but lets not forget we just got James Anderson back, and he can shoot and defend. And with Neal/Splitter cleared to play, I think the team as is should get the job done for home court advantage throughout.

  • Squiggs22

    One thing that hasnt been mentioned really about Brewer is he has explosiveness, I dont think we have anyone on the roster that has the same capabilities to slash in the lane and just throw down like Brewer would be able to. We have a lot of spot up guys, so adding the athleticism that Brewer would bring could prove priceless in the playoffs. Not to mention he would wreak so much havoc on opposing 2gaurds on defense.

  • PHXSpur

    its a testament to the planning and foresight of the front office. God is a superstition

  • Dr. Leonard McCoy

    @Miguel

    You know Miguel, what you say sounds VERY intresting! For one, to have Corey Brewer on this team, provided that he provides some “championship petigree,” plus with his long, athletic body, he can provide us with some defense, especially guarding the three’s & perhaps some four’s, would be REEAL NICE! Especially with the likes of LeBron, Pierce & Kobe, etc. BUT, I can also see this FO also working out a back-up plan with Garrett Temple if the Brewer thingy doesn’t work out. BUT, with Parker being out & Temple being a PG, of coarse, well, he could ALSO be a BIG help in that position right now! I also like Temple because he has shown an ability to defend as well as score. With his lanky 6-5 frame, I believe that he can be match-up probs against other smaller PG’s as well as defend some three’s. OOOOH! Now as you said Miguel, it would be nice if we could get both gentlemen on this team! Personally, I’d prefer Temple over Chris Quinn any day, especially if Temple could play like he did last year for the Spurs! I’m sure that by now, he should be an improved player since the summer league days & the preseason tryouts (Hey! He was on the D-League All-Star game!). We know that Novak would go bye-bye, but I also think that the FO would also have to say, “bye-bye” to Quinn as well if this were to happen. If nothing else, getting Temple back would spell some RELIEF for Hill & Manu as far as the PG duties goes, until Parker gets back. And as for Brewer, he would be a nice added piece now, & in the future, that’s if he plays his cards right & shows some promise, but in the meantime, the ball is in Brewer’s court, then on to the FO’s court. The bottom line, one of the following scenarios, I think, will play out. ONE: Get Brewer & drop Novak. TWO: Not get Brewer & get Temple instead. THREE: Get some mystery guy. FOUR: Go to the D-League & get someone (Cousins, perferably). FIVE: Keep Novak. So now we wait with baited breath! Ain’t this FUN Spurs fans?! GIT ONE 4 THA THUMB!

  • PHXSpur

    Azubuike isnt healthy. not fully recovered from knee surgery, he cant help us this year

  • http://www.bpifanconnect.com Alix Babaie

    PHXSpur
    March 1st, 2011 at 1:08 pm its a testament to the planning and foresight of the front office. God is a superstition

    Wow, someone doesn’t have a sense of humor and on top of that, is booking their ticket on the hell express when they cash their chips in. ;)

  • TheRealKman

    San Antonio makes sense for Brewer. Boston has a logjam at the 2/3 positions and why would he want to play for the “little brother” when big brother is knocking on the door.

  • Syd

    @ jwalt

    While I generally agree that Brewer, if he ends up coming to SA, ought not be treated as the second coming, I can’t let the Bogans comparison go by without some comment:
    Brewer is unlike Bogans in several important respects
    -he is young and can run for days.
    -he is extremely athletic and can play above the rim.
    -he is 6-9 with a an impressive wingspan that allows him to smother wings who are smaller than him and at least annoy taller ones (read: Durant, Nowitzki, Odom)

    Bogans had none of that on his resume.

    As an aside, while Brewer doesn’t know the Spurs system, he’s a Western conference guy who has spent lots of time guarding most of the players listed above and others we’d see in the playoffs. That’s not something to dismiss.

    Having said all that, I have a sneaking suspicion that Cuban will make keeping Brewer away from the Spurs a priority. He has the available money and the competitive motive to do it. I’d be surprised if we get him. Please Spurs F.O.- surprise me.

  • Greyberger

    Brewer supposedly talking to ‘nearly a dozen teams’ according to Yahoo’s Woj.

    There are also reports (boo) that he’s already committed to playing for a team, and that team is the Celtics.

  • Mike

    @greyberger

    I’ve seen that too, but last I saw from a more reputable source was that he narrowed his choices down to Boston, Dallas, and SA. Fingers crossed that those reports are just overzealous Celtics fans.

  • SAJKinBigD

    @Syd: I completely agree with your final sentence. I really wanna be surprised. Hopefully the opportunity here will sway him more than the money there, because he won’t get as much burn in D as he will in SA, and with the renown the coaching staff here has for improving players, he should be jumping at the chance to float down the Riverwalk this summer… ;)

  • SAJKinBigD

    Another thing… Is Boston the NY Yankees of the NBA? Gluttonous talent-hoggers?

  • DBAGuy

    PHXSpur
    March 1st, 2011 at 1:08 pm “its a testament to the planning and foresight of the front office. God is a superstition”

    k Mr. Phoenix, go spread your atheistic views somewhere else. Clearly some of us do believe in God. If God is a superstition to you, it is merely from your point of view. For some of us, God is more real than any physical manifestation.

    Also this isn’t a religious blog, it was only form of speech. Man, atheists for not believing in God, sure like to claim he doesn’t exists. Thats like someone re-iterating the non-existence of the boogie man, totally stupid.

  • Hobson13

    I just listened to a Marc Stein report and he confirmed that Brewer has narrowed his choices to Boston, Dallas, and SA. He also stated that Boston has a ton of depth at the 3 with Pierce and Green so SA and Dallas are likely better options. Bottom line: Stein said it was a coin toss on who Brewer would pick.

  • SAJKinBigD

    We’re all Spurs Fans here (except for the occasional punk-Lakers fan). Let’s keep it civil, folks! Amongst ourselves anyway, despite our faiths or beliefs. :D

    I AM praying for Brewer to choose the Spurs, though. :)

  • zainn

    Man i hope the spurs get brewer boston already just got troy murphy. theyll be too stacked. i hope garnett allen and pierce don’t go talk to him themselves like they did wallace that would completely kill our chances. Also, did you see on espn they listen contenders and tehy didnt mention the spurs. i know it was for sportsnation writers only with their own cities but they didnt even mention the spurs or put a not on bottom to apologize for it. most the comments are linked to not putting the spurs, but i might boycott the espn nba news for a while…
    http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/post/_/id/6171212/are-nba-contenders-no-1

  • SAJKinBigD

    @Hobson13: I’m listening to Stein right now on ESPNDallas… He’s such a Mavs-homer, though. It really bugs me… He’s good, but his opinions are so often colored by his old job.

  • TheRealKman

    Wizards just bought out Al Thornton. Maybe the Spurs might change direction. Thornton is the better athelete and has more of an offensive game than Brewer. Either would be a nice addition.

  • Hobson13

    SAJKinBigD
    March 1st, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Yeah, you’re right. However, it makes me think the Spurs really have a chance at Brewer since we know Stein is probably overstating the Mavs chances. I mean look at the Mavs roster. How the hell is Brewer going to get playing time when Peja is starting, Marion is getting big minutes, and Deshawn Stevenson is hardly playing? In the current Mavs situation Brewer would be at best the 3rd SF and maybe even 4th behind Stevenson. To me it just doesn’t make sense for him to go to either the Mavs or the Celtics, but maybe that’s just me being a Spurs homer…

  • rob

    Brewer’s agent is Happy Walters who is also DeJuan Blair’s agent.

    Ironically enough…he’s also Stoudemire and Chandler’s agent.

  • SAJKinBigD

    @Hobson: I really think he will choose SA – for playing time, if nothing else. There’s a REAL opportunity for him instead of most likely being the 4th SF as you said. So it boils down to does he want the cash or does he want PT and a better chance at an NBA RING?

    @TheRealKman: Thornton? Hmm… I’ll have to think about that one…

  • SAJKinBigD

    I knew Brewer and Chandler shared an agent. The 9-noon guys here in Dallas mentioned it today as a reason he would sign here. Speaking of Mavs-homers…Ben and Skin definitely fit the bill, but that’s to be expected. Why can’t I find decent SA sports-talk except during Spurs games (WOAI – which I can actually pick up here during games)?

  • TheRealKman

    Head to Head stats Brewer vs. Thornton

    Career 3p% FT% RPG ASP PPG
    Thornton 0.294 0.74 4.3 1.2 12.4
    Brewer 0.313 0.700 3.3 1.8 9.1

  • SAJKinBigD

    Are those career or this season?

  • rob

    @ Hobson13

    “How the hell is Brewer going to get playing time when Peja is starting, Marion is getting big minutes, and Deshawn Stevenson is hardly playing?”

    That’s just it. The only place Brewer could manage to get significant play time is with the Spurs. Combine that along with looking to place greater value in self stock…Brewer’s best choice of destination would be the Spurs for future contract considerations.

  • DorieStreet

    This is a game where I want to see everyone defy the “bench/role players play poorly on the road” line. Hill is capable of handling this; the start of the 2008-09 season and this time last year filling in as a starter should have him revved up to keep this team rolling on through this tough stretch of games. Step up time for the rookies—they want a role in keeping the Spurs on top.

    50 wins in 60 games—let’s go get it!!!!

  • Bentley

    According to mysa.com, the Spurs made their pitch to Brewer through Gregg Popovich. So that should speak to how much we want this guy.

    I hope Pop was very convincing…

    http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2011/03/01/spurs-talk-to-brewer-now-what/

  • TD = Best EVER

    OK about this Brewer thing – Our FO has to get off their butts and do some old fashion recruiting here…. Send the guys some hot girls or champagne or something. Its like College. Boston, Dallas, Etc are the Duke’s/Carolina’s of the world and every top recruit is rumored to be going there. SA is like Texas, we have been damn good the past 10 years but have to out work other teams to get top talent. We just don’t have that perception they do, but thats cool. As long as we get Brewer(top talent) who cares if we have to work a little harder.

    But just read on a reliable site that The Cavs of all people might claim Brewer off waivers. If so all teams will loose out on the bidding for Brewer.

    And speaking of bidding, what’s the freaking point of having a cap and a luxury tax if you can just keep writing checks. I mean at this rate over half the NBA would have played for Boston/Dallas over the last 10 years.

  • Mr. Robinson

    I have always thought Brewer would be a perfect fit with the team if he can spend some time with Chip England on his threes. This guy is a very good one on one defender with length and athletic ability. We need this guy and he needs Pop.

    I believe Pop can get the most out of this guy to develop him where others have failed. With the supporting cast the Spurs have he has a great chance to succeed.

    If he chooses another team it will be more of a loss to him in the long run than us.

    I also think he is going to be a Spur if it was reported correctly that he already has a deal in place with a team. The only team that is left that can keep their mouth shut is the Spurs. The Boston media is all over the Celtics and Cuban just likes to hear himself talk so I think it is a good possibility he will be a Spur.

    If only reported correctly.