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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Articles tagged: San Antonio Spurs

DeMar DeRozan shares funny story about his Spurs jersey selling out

DeMar DeRozan is the star of the show in San Antonio now that the Spurs have traded Kawhi Leonard, and he embraced the role by scoring a game-high 28 points in his team’s season opening win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. And now, there’s not a DeRozan jersey to be found.

How quickly did DeRozan’s new jerseys sell out in San Antonio? Let’s just say even he couldn’t get one for his own mother.

We’re guessing the Spurs can make some sort of special arrangements for DeMar’s mom, but that gives you an idea of how loyal fans are in San Antonio. Rather than jumping ship with guys like Leonard, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili gone, they’re throwing their support behind their new leader.

Some remarks Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made before the season indicate he already has a great relationship with DeRozan. If DeMar keeps playing the way he did in the opener, the fans will be just as fond of him.

Spurs announce PG Dejounte Murray suffered torn ACL

Spurs logo

San Antonio Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray made big strides in his second NBA season last year and was expected to take on an even bigger role going forward, but those plans will have to wait after the 22-year-old suffered a serious knee injury.

Murray left Sunday’s preseason game against the Houston Rockets, and the Spurs announced on Monday that an MRI revealed he tore his ACL.

The timeline for Murray’s return is uncertain, but he likely won’t be able to play at all during the 2018-2019 season.

Murray was the Spurs’ starting point guard for the majority of last season, averaging 8.1 points and 21.5 minutes per game. His emergence is one of the reasons Tony Parker fell down the depth chart and decided to leave San Antonio, and we had Murray listed as one of our 10 breakout players to watch heading into next season. With the Spurs getting younger and DeMar DeRozan now in the mix, the injury to Murray could not be more disappointing.

Spurs hoping Manu Ginobili joins team’s coaching staff

Manu Ginobili

The San Antonio Spurs lost another key franchise cornerstone this offseason when Manu Ginobili announced his retirement, but they are hoping the four-time NBA champion is still very much a part of the team going forward.

On Monday, Gregg Popovich revealed that Ginobili joined him and the Spurs’ other coaches on the team’s coaching retreat last week. While no official announcement has been made in regard to Ginobili joining the staff, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says Pop and the organization are “eager to accommodate him.”

After he announced his retirement over the summer, Ginobili made it clear he has no intention of severing ties with the Spurs or the San Antonio area.

“My kids have already started school, and while I’m in town, I’ll be close to the team and the franchise,” he said, via ESPN’s Michael C. Wright. “I can’t help anymore by taking a charge or with a steal, but I’ll try to contribute somehow. I appreciate all my teammates, the staff and all the people in the team. I want the best for the Spurs. If I can help, I will do it with pleasure.”

Ginobili may not be ready to commit to a full-time coaching position, but it would be a surprise if he does not help the Spurs in some capacity. Heck, one of his own sons has already given him a great reason to stay around the team, so it’s a good bet that the relationship will continue.

Rudy Gay not concerned about predictions Spurs will miss playoffs

Rudy Gay

The San Antonio Spurs have not missed the playoffs in more than 20 years, but there are many questions surrounding the team this offseason after Kawhi Leonard was traded. As far as Rudy Gay is concerned, those questions will be answered emphatically.

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas recently listed the Spurs’ win total for next season at 43.5. San Antonio won 47 games last year, and Gay wants to remind everyone that the Spurs hit that mark despite Leonard missing basically the entire season.

“Why were we expected to be so much better last year? Because Kawhi may have come back?” Gay said this week, according to NBA.com. “He didn’t, and we were still a playoff team, really a couple of wins away from being a third or fourth seed in the West.”

Gay, who appeared in 57 games in his first season in San Antonio last year, noted that the Spurs always seem to exceed expectations under Popovich. If they fail to win more than 43 games, that would likely mean missing the playoffs for the first time since Popovich’s first season with the team in 1996.

The addition of DeMar DeRozan should give the Spurs a boost, especially when you consider that Leonard was basically a non-factor last season. Gay praised DeRozan for having a “chip on his shoulder” like the rest of the team, and that’s almost certainly how Popovich wants it.

No one is predicting that the Spurs will contend for a championship in the Western Conference, but the 43.5 win total is probably a bit low.

Spurs’ statements are not very kind to Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard

You don’t have to read between the lines to deduce that the San Antonio Spurs aren’t exactly sorry to see the back of Kawhi Leonard.

In their various statements announcing Wednesday’s major trade that sees Leonard move to the Toronto Raptors, it certainly looked like the Spurs were doing the bare minimum to recognize Leonard on his way out the door.

First, there were the graphics from the team’s official Twitter account, which looked to give the other player moved in the deal, Danny Green, a bigger, more prominent thank you font-wise.

In their official statement announcing the trade, the Spurs didn’t list any of Leonard’s personal accomplishments with the team, instead simply rattling off his career stats in a single sentence.

This isn’t necessarily unprecedented, but it’s still a pretty clear indicator of what the team thinks of Leonard and how he’s carried himself throughout this process. It looks like his new team could have a difficult time with him too.

Details of Kawhi Leonard-DeMar DeRozan trade revealed

Kawhi Leonard

The Spurs have agreed to a trade with the Raptors that will send Kawhi Leonard to Toronto and DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Raptors will get Danny Green in addition to Leonard while the Spurs receive DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 first-round pick.

The trade doesn’t sound like a bad one for either side, but there is obviously a ton of risk involved for Toronto. It is basically a known fact at this point that Leonard wants to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes a free agent next summer, and reports have said he has no desire to play in Toronto. The Raptors are obviously hoping they can convince Leonard to stay like the Oklahoma City Thunder did with Paul George, but that will not be easy.

Fans are convinced that Leonard has no intention of re-signing with the Raptors after next season, and that has resulted in some hilarious reactions on social media. If Toronto ends up losing Leonard next summer when they had DeRozan under contract for at least two more years and an actual chance to sign him to an extension, they’ll likely regret the Leonard trade.

Twitter reacts to Kawhi Leonard being traded to Raptors

Kawhi Leonard

The San Antonio Spurs have agreed to a deal with the Toronto Raptors that will see NBA All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan swap teams, and fans seem quite surprised.

All indications have been that Leonard is adamant about signing with the Los Angeles Lakers when he becomes a free agent next summer. If that’s the case, the Raptors are taking a huge risk by trading DeRozan for an arguably less reliable star that may be only a one-year rental. The general consensus from the Twitterverse seems to be that Toronto is making a mistake.

Multiple reports have indicated that Leonard has no desire to play for the Raptors, but they are obviously hoping they can change his mind over the course of a season like the Oklahoma City Thunder were able to do with Paul George. In the rare event that Leonard does find a way to get the trade to fall through, it seems like the Raptors will have their hands full trying to make amends with DeRozan.