Cory Joseph has spent his first two seasons out of college bouncing around between the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA and the Austin Toros in the D-League. As Joseph heads into the third year of his contract, though, it’s somewhat of a make-or-break season for the point guard as he will be trying to get his option picked up in year four.
As Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News pointed out in an article regarding Joseph, the Spurs aren’t much on defining roles for their players, but Joseph will certainly be competing for backup point guard minutes behind Tony Parker.
Over these two seasons, Joseph has played in just 57 career regular season games. In that time, he’s averaged 3.2 points, 1.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game, but has shot just 40.6 percent from the floor and only 25 percent from three-point range, a definite drawback in the Spurs’ offense. Essentially, Joseph has never been a Parker-type player and has served more as a game-manager when given the opportunity. In that niche, though, he has certainly been successful.
Though it may not be flashy, a game manager might be all that the Spurs are looking for from their backup point guard in the upcoming season. Spurs blog Pounding the Rock reported on what they saw at the Spurs’ team scrimmage this week and one of the things that they noted was San Antonio running quite a bit of offensive sets starting with their big men in the high-post.
Guys like Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter are solid passers and working with them in the high-post is a smart option for them, but it’s also a move that could benefit Joseph. With the offense being run through the high-post, it’s not necessary for the point guard to have to be making plays. In fact, what the Spurs need when they’re running those sets is a game-manager which, as I’ve already said, is right in Joseph’s wheelhouse.
Joseph, even if he does emerge as the Spurs backup point guard, isn’t going to see big minutes playing behind an All-Star like Parker. However, if the Spurs do run their offense through the high-post like they showed in that scrimmage, Joseph could be the guy best suited to lead the reserve unit. Whether that gets his option picked up, I don’t know—but it’s a start.
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