Digging for Answers with DeJuan Blair

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Currently projected to be taken by the Nets at #11, DeJuan Blair seems beyond the Spurs’ grasp. But that didn’t stop the organization from interviewing Blair on Wednesday night. I spoke with Blair earlier this afternoon and asked him, given current projections, why a team with the 37th pick took the time to interview him.

“I guess they just wanted to get to know me.” I poked and prodded a bit more, hoping he might reveal some hints about the Spurs alleged plans to move up in the draft, but Blair, who is excessively easy-going, didn’t bite.

I decided to press Blair about his height. (Earlier today the NBA released the Combine participants anthropometric results. Blair measured 6′ 5.25″ without shoes.) He cited his toughness and heart as counterbalances. I told him his 7’2″ wingspan doesn’t hurt either (although Blake Griffin is over 3 inches taller than Blair, Blair’s standing reach surpasses Griffin’s by an inch 1/2).

Blair went on to compare himself to former undersized forwards such as Charles Barkley and Larry Johnson, the latter being a particularly apt comparison. Blair is nothing if not a banger. In fact, weighing in at 276, he is the heaviest player at the Combine. And from the looks of it, all 276 of those pounds are pure muscle. As my mother always says, “You couldn’t shoot a twelve gauge through him.”

Blair is an excellent example of the conundrum the Spurs are currently facing. We are in a strong position to trade our current expiring contracts for a higher draft pick. But, given how thin this year’s draft crop looks, it hardly seems worth it. Enter Blair: Given his quick post moves, instinctual sense of positioning, and general aggressiveness, he seems like a great pick. But a second glance at his measurements is enough to pull any GM’s finger off the trigger.