Curtis Jerrells traded to New Orleans Hornets
According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, theÂ San Antonio Spurs have traded Curtis Jerrells to the New Orleans Hornets for a second round pick. This is a good trade for both teams, and one with a backstory.
The backstory works in a couple different ways.
Dell Demps, current general manager of the Hornets, was an assistant GM with the Spurs last season. One of hisÂ responsibilities in San Antonio was oversight of the Austin Toros, the Spursâ€™ farm team. Curtis Jerrells was one of two Toros projects last season â€” the other was current Spur Alonzo Gee. Â Suffice to say, Dell Demps is familiar with Curtis Jerrellsâ€™ game.
As I recently pointed out,Â Curtis Jerrells has used this preseason to prove that he is an NBA player. The Spurs, unfortunately, are already three deep at point guard, featuring a depth chart of Tony Parker, George Hill, andÂ Garrett Temple. Additionally, because of financial reasons, theÂ Spurs plan to keep no more than a fourteen man roster â€“Â the Spurs may only keep thirteen players. Trading Jerrells brings the roster to sixteen, with James Gist and Marcus Cousin playing flotsam to the otherâ€™s obvious roster jetsam.
Assuming the inevitable departure of Gist and Cousin, this trade may have brought the Spurs’ roster down to aÂ financiallyÂ acceptable size. It also gives the Spurs flexibility in the event of a trade or waiver wire acquisition.
Initial reports say the Spurs will get a second round pick for Curtis Jerrells, but details are not known. If this isnâ€™t some sort of bogus conditional draft pick, the Spurs have done well. Otherwise, they have simply dealt their former front officeÂ compatriotÂ a solid. There is reason to believe the former, however.
Rumors suggestÂ Curtis Jerrells already had a contract lined up with Partizan Belgrade,Â in the event he was cut by the Spurs. This, and the possibility that Jerrells may not have come to New Orleans via the waiver wire, may have motivated DellÂ Demps to move on Jerrells. The Hornets are woefully thin at point guard with combo guards Willie Green and Mustafa ShakurÂ tenuouslyÂ holding down reserve point duties. Curtis Jerrells is a minor but worthwhile acquisition for the Hornets.
Finally, this is a great deal for Jerrells. Jerrells has spent the last 18 months transforming himself from an undersized shooting guard to an NBA-worthy point guard. As a Hornet, Jerrells ought to receive a decent amount of playing time relative to his status as a developing NBA player. The Spurs simply did not have the available minutes toÂ accommodateÂ his growth.
In short, this trade is a rare win for all involved. The Spurs, Hornets, and Jerrells are all better because of this. And, strangely, this may be the first noteworthy score for the Austin Toros. This, of course, depends on the nature of the second round pick the Spurs acquired in this deal, but the Toros have finally produced something of tangible value for the Spurs. Hooray for Austin. Â Good for the Spurs, Hornets and Jerrells.