James Anderson heading back to Austin, Steve Novak being called-up

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The Spurs front office was busy on Monday. Actually, I don’t know how much paperwork is involved in these dealings, but I assume there’s some.

On the officially official front, the Spurs assigned James Anderson to the Toros again. It’s the second time this season that they’ve assigned Anderson to the D-League, they are allowed to do it one more time.

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have assigned rookie James Anderson to the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.  This is Anderson’s second assignment to the Toros this season while rehabbing from a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right footwhich he was diagnosed with on November 11.

Anderson, a 6-6, 215-pound guard, was originally assigned to Austin on January 26.  He appeared in two games for the Toros, averaging 14.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.0 minutes.  He shot .556 (10-18) from the field, .444 (4-9) from three-point territory and .714 (5-7) from the free throw line.  Anderson was recalled by the Spurs on January 29 and saw limited action in three games.

As the press release says, Anderson hasn’t seen a lot of time with the big club since returning from injury. But with three not that great teams coming up in Detroit, Toronto and Philadelphia (I’m trying to be polite), it’s curious that he wasn’t kept around for some garbage time action on the Rodeo Road Trip.

And in not-yet-official team news, it appears the Spurs are going to call-up Steve Novak to replace Larry Owens, whose second 10-day contract came to an end.

It looks like the Spurs are going to use a series of 10-day contracts to fill out the 13th roster spot for the time being, using health and rest to dictate who to sign. With Anderson back, sort of, keeping Larry Owens around wasn’t quite a priority.

So instead, the Spurs go with Novak for 10 days to provide cover for Matt Bonner’s knee bruise that has yet to heal. But according to Tim Griffin of Spurs Nation, Bonner was subject to his toughest stress test since the injury, so he could be ready to come back soon. You know, maybe in about 10 days.

  • Flavor

    ^^^Hahaha… like that last line (You Know, maybe in about 10 days). It always seems like the Spurs give more than enough time for their players returning from injury… Which is a good thing.

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  • idahospur

    What I wish to see on Spurs.com:

    The Spurs have announced their newest contest of “Be-a-Spur-for-10-days!” The prize includes getting paid for 10 days minimum NBA-scale, free travel and expenses for 10 days, opportunity to sit on the bench for games, and free Spurs apparel with your name and number of choice (as long as the number has not been retired or is in use by a current player). Please enter the drawing within the next ten days and be willing to commit to the team for the next ten days afterwards. You may win another ten days if the Spurs decide to not pick another winner. If you lose, don’t feel bad because their will be another pick in 10 days!

  • ITGuy

    @idahospur
    that’s cool.

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • BarbosaSamosa
  • Flavor

    @ idahospur!!! love it.

    I wonder how much these 10 day contracts are just a by-product of the “league minimum 13 players?” Does the FO think they don’t really need another one and only do these 10 day contracts to scout future talent and follow the rules? Whats up with that…

  • SAJKinBigD

    This is an interesting move considering the next few opponents… I want Neo up with the Big Show, not down in Austin. I wonder what the motive is.
    IIRC, Novak was with the Mavs earlier this year, wasn’t he?

    @idahospur: Nice idea! I’d figure out a way to manage it if I could!

  • Jacob

    Mmmmm I’m hungry! Lemmie slide off to tha kitchen for a footwhich and a pickle.

  • rob

    Some how they keep skipping over my name in those 10 day contract offers. :)

    Now’s your chance Novak (er.. Bonner2)

  • Titletown99030507

    @Idahospur, Damn that was funny! Nice.

  • Titletown99030507

    @rob, Its probably because they keep picking mine first, but then throw it out after they read my height on the application.

  • rj

    not really seeing the reasoning behind this other than to get anderson in better rhythm. maybe he needs to play some 30+ minutes in austin. manu needs rest and with eastern dregs of the nba coming up this week, this could have been an ideal situation to do so by giving anderson minutes.

  • rob

    @Titletown

    lol. Lets just say mine is probably because they would want more youth.

    @Idahospur

    Great stuff. :)

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  • spursfanbayarea

    http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2011/02/07/novak-will-be-spurs-latest-13th/
    Why is there a picture of Brian cardinal when they are talking about Steve Novak? Who is their editor over there? Do people even check what they write or post in newspapers anymore? I can understand a blog, but a professional newspaper should be more careful in their publications. Bloggers sometimes get disrespected by journalists, but seems like 48moh bloggers are more professional and knowledgeable about the spurs than the SA newspaper.

    On another note this signing seems to indicate that bonner is still a few days away. This allows the spurs to have 13 players as required and then flip flop out novak and bonner when bonner is healthy. Also they can then bring back anderson for the 12th roster spot. And then another set of ten day contracts to the flavor of the month. Maybe a G.Temple sighting again.

  • junierizzle

    Ha. I’ve actually always liked NOVAK. He can hit the three. He’s always at the end of the bench though. I think if given the chance he can become a great shooter.

    I guess it doesn’t matter though. It looks like he’s just going to be a seat filler, again.

  • rob

    @ spursfanbayarea

    “Maybe a G.Temple sighting again.”

    GT is on his second 10 day with the Bucks. Nothing note worthy as of yet in his performances, but I always thought he was going to be one of those finds the Spurs always seem to land.

    After his injury in summer league he just didn’t seem to be able to get back to how he performed at the end of last season.

  • Miggy

    Appears to me we are definitely going for broke on this East coast swing of the rodeo road trip. I only hope we can seal up home court advantage sooner than later.

    Still believe Tiago will be starting and Blair will be the beast off the bench come playoff time a la Manu.

  • Tyler

    @ junierizzle

    “Ha. I’ve actually always liked NOVAK. He can hit the three. He’s always at the end of the bench though.”

    In Novak’s defense, he did have Mike Dunleavy as a coach….

  • justin-ray

    ok……

  • Robinson

    I think spurs is missing a big man in the middle, I don’t know why they don’t recurit a big man, only the topest man is duncan and splitter, another is 6-7 blair…..

  • spursfanbayarea

    @rob
    Most likely it seems that bucks wont keep him around for the rest of the season. That would coincide pretty well with the end of the current 10 day for novak. The 13th player is not really going to bring us an impact player. But if we are to bring in someone, there is a small benefit of bringing in someone who knows the system and can play a few spot minutes for a few games here and there. Personally I would like them to bring in big guys since I think we are pretty well off in the back court. Another good thing with going with the 10 day contracts is it gives the spurs flexibility incase anyone gets bought out and can be helpful. Like a troy murphy if he becomes available.

  • Ryan

    With all due respect, while I’d like to see a lot of the 2nd and 3rd string get some playing time over these next 3-4 games, assuming these are an automatic W is foolhardy. We still need to show up for these and play like the 42-8 team we are.. regardless of the opponent. Pull something like we did in Sacramento and then we can talk about developing prospects.

    As for the Anderson move, this looks like exactly what it should look like… the team just throwing a body in there for fill-in’s until Bonner can come back. While I think Anderson should get some playtime, I pretty sure its a lock that he isn’t going anywhere over the summer and I’m sure the team wants to keep him fresh especially when we’re already pretty deep (or at least the way the team tends to play it) at the 2-3 position. What better way then play him in Austin some? Makes sense.. Actually, whats even better is that they can work on Anderson some in the D-Leagues and maybe we can see more plays for RJ through this East Coast swing.. Two birds with one stone if you ask me.

  • clint hill

    The problem with this reasoning is that Austin doesn’t have a game ’til Thurs and will only play 4 in the next 14 days. Doesn’t sound like much of an opportunity to get in shape to me, especially when you consider the back-to-backs the Spurs are facing and the need to get some rest for Manu.

  • SAJKinBigD

    @clint hill: +1

    That’s what didn’t seem to mesh right in my mind. And Neo hasn’t looked slow or like he’s favoring the injury still. I just don’t get it.

  • Nick

    The Sixers are playing decently as of late but I guess they’re still a “not that great team”

  • Daniel T

    It seems like Bonner might be ready to play, which would remove him from the inactive list. If so, then whoever is the 13th player won’t even have the chance to suit up unless it is in the dleague. They aren’t allowed to assign Novak to the Toros as he has more than 2 years in the NBA, so if they want to take an actual look at him and suit him up that means someone else would have to be inactive for the Spurs. Anderson they can at least have playing for the Toros.

    It could be that while they’d like to get Bonner back on the court, they might still be concerned that once he tests it he won’t be able to play the minutes he was previously putting in. They’ve likely also anxious about having the option of a 4 that can shoot 3′s, which Novak can do if Bonner’s not ready. Novak could also theoretically put in time at the 3 position if Bonner is fine.

  • SAJKinBigD

    @Daniel T: That explanation actually makes sense to me. And reassures me somewhat. :) Novak was fairly solid here in Dallas for the Mavs – obviously he didn’t blow ‘em away, but he didn’t get a lot of opportunity.

  • Titletown99030507

    @rob, lol. good one.

  • Titletown99030507

    Does anybody know if the Toros system is like the Spurs system? If so good move on Anderson, but what I want to know if it is, then why didn’t they send Tiago to Austin so he could get in game shape let alone learn the frickin system after he came back from injury? He could be at the same point of the curve as everyone else. It would have served him well to learn how to play NBA style ball and rules instead of sitting and piling up DNPs. But oh well I guess they’re making him do it the hard way.

  • Titletown99030507

    @SAJKinBigD, I think he’s getting the Tiago treatment. No other explanation. The guy has lot of upside I’d just assume they’d play him right away. Its really interesting that Pop waits till the team is up 20 points and in the last 3 -4 min of the game to put one developing player in to get some burn. I’ve noticed this quite often since the season started. Wow I guess he does care about the record. (not that they’ll actually loose putting in one developing player)

  • Daniel T

    Tiago actually only has had 2 DNP. While he’s had a number of other low minutes game, he is averaging over 11 minutes per game. Those games where he didn’t get much time had the possibility of him getting more minutes, particularly if any of the other bigs had gone out injured. While he could have been assigned to Austin for conditioning and work on the system, he’d have been playing against a totally different class of bigs.

    The Spurs now have a healthy 13 players on their roster. Only 12 can suit up. Whoever doesn’t has a zero chance of getting into the game. Anderson will briefly be the 13th man so that Novak can have a legitimate chance to make a contribution, so he might as well be playing in Austin. If anyone gets hurt during Novak’s tryout, Anderson likely will be back. In ten days if Anderson has played well he’ll likely be back and on the active roster, and the Spurs will have to decide who they will pay to be inactive.

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