The San Antonio Spurs have been working the phones in their small forward hunt now that the NBA lockout is all but over.
From Caron Butler, Josh Howard to Vince Carter, there is no doubt the Spurs are actively looking to improve the the small forward position as the new season is fast approaching. It also makes it likely the days of Richard Jefferson in San Antonio might be over.
According to SI.com, now Spurs fans can add free-agents forwards Shane Battier and Grant Hill reportedly looking at San Antonio as a possible destination once the season commences.
While Hill himself has said the chances are good that he’ll return to Phoenix, he has narrowed his list down to the Suns, Knicks, Bulls and Spurs with the Warriors, Celtics and Clippers trailing.
Battier’s list still includes Miami, San Antonio, Indiana, Toronto, Memphis, Boston and his former Memphis team.
Right off the bat, Spurs fans would love to see Shane at the small forward position. He is everything what the Spurs are built on. A veteran, lock-down defender, who can guard multiple positions, can hit the corner three-point shot, and has a reputation as a team-first player and of high character on and off the court.
Last season, the 10-year pro averaged 8.6 points, 1.2 blocks, 2.6 assists, 4.8 rebounds, shot 39% from the three-point line, 45% from the field in 30.8 minutes with the rockets before being traded to the Grizzlies in 59 games. While in Memphis, he averaged 5 points per game, 1.4 assists, 4 rebounds, 33% from the three-point line, 42% from the field in 24.2 minutes in 23 games. Not to mention, the Spurs will finally have the “Bruce Bowen” type defender the team has been longing for since Bowen’s retirement and could be a great mentor for rookie Kawhi Leonard.
Shane may not “wow” you with stats but there is not doubting he will do the little things on the court that may mean the difference between a win or a loss.
As for Hill, there is his past history of knee issues but that appears to be a thing of the past. But he does has plenty of mileage on his legs. The 16-year pro finished last season with the Suns playing in 80 games and averaged 17.5 points, 4.3 assists, 6.3 rebounds, shot 48% from the field, 39% from the three-point line in 30.1 minutes.
With Hill he will bring just more veteran experience to an already stacked veteran-laden team with Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. Hill definitely can fill the basket even at this stage of his NBA career, can defend the wing as well and is more versatile than Battier.
Both players present great options for the small forward spot for San Antonio but their current teams might have the inside-track in keeping them on their roster.
What do you have to say Spurs fans? Which player would you like to see in black and silver? Howard, Vince Carter, Maurice Evans, Hill, Battier, Butler or Bostjan Nachbar?