Former University of Texas star point guard Cory Joseph was selected with the 29th pick of the 1st round of the 2011 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs following his freshman season with the Longhorns.
While some believed Joseph wasn’t quite yet ready to make the jump to the professional game after an adequate but unspectacular 2010-2011 season at Texas — including myself — plenty of others were convinced he was ready to make the leap.
It’s starting to look more and more like Joseph did indeed leave school too early, and may be one of the first substantial bust draft picks which Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford has endured in some time.
Joseph has bounced back and forth between the Spurs — typically on short 10-day contracts — and their nearby NBA D-League affiliate the Austin Toros, never managing to find a foothold in San Antonio where any minutes he would be able to earn are hard to come by given the depth in the team’s backcourt.
Joseph is a classic AAAA guy to use a baseball metaphor — he dominates in the minors and is too good for that level but not good enough for the big time. In 16 games in Austin this season, he has averaged 19.9 points and 4.8 assists per game but has barely made a mark on the stats sheet when up with the Spurs, with his best performance being a 12 point, three assist night back on October 4th against the Houston Rockets in the preseason.
While I’m not signing Cory Joseph’s NBA death warrant just yet — he may find a better home down the road — it’s time for the Spurs to really consider whether he’s a fit in San Antonio and if they wouldn’t be better served getting some value for him in return now while they still can.
He should have played that sophomore season at Texas.