While the 2013 NBA free agency is abuzz with talk about the Dwight Howard and Josh Smith signings, the San Antonio Spurs have made a quiet, under-the-radar move, picking up forward Jeff Pendergraph, who most recently played for the Indiana Pacers. While Pendergraph’s numbers certainly don’t jump out at you, there are a few reasons why signing Pendegraph could pay dividends for San Antonio.
Pendegraph could give the Spurs something they have lacked in recent years: an athletic, long forward off the bench. Pendegraph stands at 6-foot-10 and has a 7-foot-1 wingspan, and he can run the floor well. This type of mobile, athletic forward is something the Spurs have not really had recently, other than Kawhi Leonard. Pendegraph will allow San Antonio to match up better with teams that like to go small and not give up as much athleticism as Boris Diaw or Matt Bonner would give up.
Although Pendegraph has never had a shot at consistent minutes, his production in limited time is quite impressive. During games in which Pendegraph played between 10-20 minutes last season, he averaged seven points and five rebounds. He is an efficient scorer who shot 48 percent from the field and an excellent 91 percent from the line last season. His offensive game is still developing, but he has showcased nice touch from midrange, and he finishes strong at the rim. He has the potential to be a solid back-up for San Antonio and the likely replacement for DeJuan Blair. I think the Spurs have made a nice move.
The Spurs are notorious for having everything they touch turn into gold, turning league rejects into productive role players — Danny Green is the most recent example — and Pendegraph has the potential to fit the same mold.