For whatever reason, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich no longer has any use for under-sized power forward DeJuan Blair. After he was stolen in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft, Blair burst too the scene with incredible footwork in the paint and a knack for scoring, especially over taller, longer defenders. Those days seem like decades ago now as Blair is barely playing 14 minutes per game. Thus, the former Pittsburgh standout now finds himself on the trade block and rightfully so. A team like the Spurs has the talent and cushion in the Western Conference to experiment with the market.
The real question everyone keeps asking is what can the Spurs get in return for Blair? Well, a younger Tim Duncan would be nice, but that’s not going to happen. However, San Antonio could fill a small voice in its roster by bringing in some true point guard depth. The only point guard on the roster besides Tony Parker is Gary Neal, but the latter is more of a scorer than a distributor, which puts pressure on the Spurs to leave Parker in the game too long, especially with all the health issues plaguing Manu Ginobili.
The Spurs need a pure point guard who can find the open man in traffic and occasionally make a shot when needed.When Parker comes off the floor, Ginobili usually assumes this role, but his age and injuries keep him from being a solid option in the playoffs. That’s when the Spurs typically begin to ride Parker like a thoroughbred, which will lead to premature aging problems for him if it continues.
That doesn’t San Antonio needs a Jason Kidd, either. Sure, the Spurs are trying to win now, but adding another “nursing home player,” as Dallas Mavericks fans call them isn’t going to help in the long run or the short run, for that matter. But maybe a guy like Jerryd Bayless, DJ Augustin or Sebastian Telfair could be good just to fill a few minutes and distribute the ball to the Spurs’ shooters and big men.
Again, Neal can handle the ball, but he’s looking to score. So this new point guard would be a third-stringer, if you will. He’d just be there for breathers and situations in which the Spurs needed to move the ball instead of score quickly, which has become their new identity in recent years.
It could definitely work. Blair is obviously expendable at this point and the players listed above aren’t exactly getting a ton of minutes with their current teams. Of course, this is all just wishful thinking and Popovich probably has something entirely different in mind, if anything at all. Either way, Blair’s time in San Antonio is almost up. It has to be, right?