Jack McClinton as Beno Udrih

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Our readers are probably familiar with Jack McClinton’s recent tweets. He explained his release from the Spurs in this way:

bc there was not an open spot 4 me, I asked to be released to pursue my dream elsewhere.Thank u 2 the san an fans for all of your support!

A source close to the Spurs confirmed McClinton’s account of the release, telling me that management has always tried to put players like Jack McClinton–guys with talent but without an obvious place on the team–in a position to succeed. Sometimes this means letting them play elsewhere.

The most interesting part of his remarks was a comparison of the release of Jack McClinton to the trade of Beno Udrih.  Spurs historians take note: Buford and company traded Beno Udrih to accommodate his career, not because they had grown tired of his stints on the injury list.  Looking back, the Udrih to Minnesota trade was an oddball. The Spurs were able to creep beneath the luxury tax threshold by unloading Udrih, a move which saved them a few million dollars once other cap-related triggers were accounted for. And Udrih went on to trick the Kings into paying him way too much money. There is no doubt Beno Udrih benefited from the trade.

The Spurs are sad to see Jack McClinton go, but remain bullish about their training camp roster. The team believes all their invitees are NBA players, and that at least 16 of the players are “roster locks.” And yes, they realize the league only allows a maximum roster of 15. That’s tough luck for someone. No one is quite sure who will leave camp with the just-missed-the-cut badge.

  • http://myspurslink.blogspot.com Robby

    Tim,

    I remember that Udrih was like, “Pop if your not gonna let me play…” so he was traded to Minnesota and on his first game against the Spurs, he led the Timberwolves to victory with him playing very well….

    In my opinion, McClinton needs a year or 2 before contibuting to an NBA team. I could be wrong…

  • http://www.48minutesofhell.com Timothy Varner

    Robby,

    I agree. In fact, I think McClinton should sign a multi-year deal overseas. My 2 cents.

  • http://myspurslink.blogspot.com Robby

    Maybe he could join Gist at Angelico?

  • Rye

    The reality is if McClinton is to turn into an NBA player, he’ll have to be able to adequately play at least some point and show that he can get his shot off against NBA players.

    “16 roster locks”? Does this mean the Spurs would eat a guaranteed contract, such as Haislip, or (gulp) Mahinmi? I’d be surprised, particularly in Mahinmi’s case. The team needs the depth up front, when you consider that the majority of the front court is either old (meaning their minutes have to be monitored) or young( meaning they can’t be entirely sure what they’re going to get).

    Maybe a possible trade? Again, I’d be surprised. The most likely scenario, in my opinion, see’s the 14 guaranteed contracts stay put and Williams (because Bogans is a more proven version of Hairston, plus Williams is a more skilled, versatile, seasoned player, who supposedly can play some point, which depth-wise is a team need) beats out Hairston for the 15th and final spot. Then, assuming Hairston doesn’t catch on with another NBA team, he starts the season with the Toros. If he tears it up down there, maybe another NBA team signs him throughout the season.

  • vikombe

    I understand the rational behind this move but I’m torn by it. Jack McClinton was very successful in Miami, he is definitely a legit talent. His performance in the ACC as a consistent, efficient and prolific scorer proves his got what it takes. I’m sad to see him get cut. I realize I still have at least one more heartbreak down the road, I don’t want to see either Malik Hairston or Marcus Williams get cut. I guess this is the downside to having all this talent get invited to training camp. Does anyone know how integral Marcus Haislip is to the spurs plans?

  • bigtee

    haislip is probably our best chance at guarding quick bigs and shooting bigs like odom and dirk, so timmy doesn’t pulled out of position. I think haislip is a big part of the scheme

  • Zainn

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=13896 great spurs 09-10 preview and yeah I watched haislip play overseas on youtube and he really does look like a faster and younger kurt thomas (no offense to kurt) he really can dunk which really hypes up the game and brings the energy on the court left by the absence of pops mensah bonsu now on the rockets roster. I really liked pops though

  • Bentley

    I’m extremely sad to see him go, its one of those things that I hope we don’t regret later on down the road if he happens to sign with another NBA team and tears it up, but that happened with Turkoglu and Captain Jack, not necessarily in the same circumstance, but still. We still have a heap of talent in training camp.

    I really don’t want to see Hairston or Williams go, hopefully whichever one goes(which is more likely to be Hairston *tears*) will stay with the Toros or at least stay in our organization, but I’m sure there are many depleted teams out there who would be able to use one of those guys.

    If Haislip can bring to the team what all Spurs fans are expecting him too, that’s more than good enough for me. And Mahinmi is just a freak athlete, I really hope he gets some minutes this year. I don’t think he’ll be an immediate factor off the bench or anything, but I think itsb a step in the right direction.

    And Zainn, Pops was pretty awesome, the Rockets have themselves quite a player

  • Tydus

    Robby,

    Udrih never suited up for the Timberwolves. He was shipped off to Sacramento before he even sniffed the Minnesota air. But yeah, he did blow up on the Spurs when he was starting for the Kings.

  • Jones

    I distinctly remember Pop making several derisive comments in the press towards Udrih right before his final training camp with the team, saying something to the effect that Udrih is the fourth string PG until proven otherwise. I believe this comment was in reaction to Udrih reporting what some thought to be a weak injury. I think many shared Pop’s frustration, and with the brief success of Darius Washington as a backup I think the FO felt confident in moving on. I suppose if RC wants to take the high road in how he depicts the rationale behind the trade, then it’s difficult to know otherwise, but I never felt Pop was a big fan of Beno by the end.

  • http://myspurslink.blogspot.com Robby

    Tydus,

    I think you’re right I missed that, he actually played for the Kings instead…

  • zain

    i just hope george hill isn’t traded like udrih to some crappy team and has his way into stardom. Hill has GREAT potential and i think poppovich knows it. He could be an all star in 4 seasons if he has enough minutes

  • Jordan

    Jones,

    I don’t remember the specific instance but Pop did just recently say that he wished he had handled the Udrih situation better.

  • kornbread

    I imagine McClinton’s situation was similar to James Gist’s situation last year. Except in this case, McClinton was not interested in playing overseas, so the only option was to release him.

    If the Spurs can find reliable 3-point threats in some of the new guys, there’s always the chance that a vet could be moved or waived. It should be an interesting training camp.

  • http://spursbrasil.wordpress.com/ Glauber da Rocha

    And now McClinton is on T-Wolves’ camp roster

    http://www.nba.com/timberwolves/news/training_camp_roster_2009_09_27.html

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