Few probably paid much notice to the San Antonio Spurs’ low-key signing of big man Jeff Pendergraph this offseason. But as we have learned over the years, the Spurs always seem to find diamonds in the rough, be it Gary Neal, Danny Green, or even Manu Ginobili long, long ago.
Pendergraph has struggled to establish himself in the league up to this point, but he has shown flashes. I believe the Spurs saw something in Pendergraph that could likely result in him being an important contributor in their second unit. Pendergraph could make an impact this season.
Offensively, he provides hustle, rebounding, and has a decent touch from midrange. At 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, he runs the floor well and is pretty athletic for his size. The Spurs will likely use Pendergraph in the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop a lot with the second unit, like Tim Duncan does with the starters.
If he is able to consistently knock down his mid-range jumper, the floor will open up for Marco Belinelli and Manu Ginobili to make plays. In this way, Pendergraph could become quite valuable for the Spurs’ bench offensively.
Defensively, Pendergraph is average as a post defender who needs to work on fouling less, but the Spurs already have a number of exceptional post defenders, so this will not be much of an issue. He does, however, possess good lateral quickness, meaning he can defend in space quite effectively. He is a solid if not spectacular defensive rebounder.
Overall, Jeff Pendergraph has a well-rounded game that compliments the other Spurs bigs nicely. After a bit of work perfecting his jump shot and learning the Spurs’ philosophy, he could be a valuable role player with the team this season.