The San Antonio Spurs are one of the best teams in the NBA in terms of signing free-agents that are relatively unheralded and turning them into value role players in the system of head coach Gregg Popovich.
On Saturday afternoon the Spurs inked free-agent power forward Jeff Pendergraph to a two-year contract, per Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski. The 26-year-old Pendergraph spent last season with the Indiana Pacers and played an extremely minor role, appearing in only 37 games and playing just 10 minutes per game. He averaged just 3.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.3 blocks per game on 48.4 percent shooting.
For his three years in the league, Pendergraph has played just 96 total games and played only 9.2 minutes per game. Moreover, he has averaged only 2.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.3 blocks per game on 52.4 percent shooting. Needless to say, Pendergraph hasn’t a wildly successful run to start his NBA career.
However, with Tiago Splitter re-signing with the Spurs, Tim Duncan piling on the years and having to play limited minutes, and Boris Diaw being as enigmatic as he is, San Antonio is undoubtedly in need of another big man to play minor minutes in their rotation.
Though Pendergraph doesn’t have the ability to take over games or anything, he does have the ability to come in and play relatively solid defense, not turn the ball over egregiously, and help out on the boards. Inserted into Popovich’s system, Pendergraph can definitely play a valuable role to give Splitter and Duncan rest. The Spurs have found value in free agency time and again; there’s not really any reason to expect the Pendergraph signing to be any different.