When the Spurs unveiled their roster for the Salt Lake City Summer League, which begins play Monday, fans were drawn to the familiar names. The team’s draft picks from the last two years, Lonnie Walker IV, Chimezie Metu, Luka Samanic, Keldon Johnson and Quinndary Weatherspoon, are at the top of the roster. The team’s head coach is Blake Ahearn, who coaches the Austin Spurs in the G League.
But who are the other 12 players and six assistant coaches? Let’s take a look.
Astute Spurs fans might also recognize the names of the two players who were on two-way contracts with the Spurs last season: Drew Eubanks and Ben Moore.
Eubanks, 22, is a 6-10 center who played three seasons at Oregon State before going undrafted in 2018. He appeared in 23 games for San Antonio last season, averaging five minutes played per contest. He made the most of that time, shooting 57 percent from the floor and 84 percent from the free throw line. He showed potential to be a league-average big man, with a PER of 15 and stats that average to about 13 points and 11 rebounds per 36 minutes in the NBA. Against G League competition, he ranked third in the league in blocks per game (2.6) while displaying better shooting, hitting nearly 65 percent of his shots. He tallied 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in Austin. Lineups with Samanic at the power forward spot would benefit by having Eubanks play at the same time and protecting the rim.
Moore, 24, is a 6-8 forward who has played two pro seasons after four college seasons at SMU. He was on a two-way contract with the Pacers in 2017-18 and appeared in two NBA games, playing a total of 9 minutes. With the Spurs organization last season, he didn’t see NBA action, but he started 35 games for Austin, averaging 12.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. With a 6-11 wingspan, he was considered a sleeper before the 2017 draft, but he went undrafted and now it’s unclear if the Spurs see him in their long-term plans.
Josh Magette is another player who had a cup of coffee in the NBA in 2018. The 29-year-old guard played in 18 games with the Hawks, averaging 2.6 points and 3.2 assists per game in 12 minutes per appearance. He played with the Warriors Summer League team in 2018 and played with CB Gran Canaria last season. As a former NCAA Division II player who’s already 29 years old, he might not get another chance in the NBA. However, he’s a true point guard who’ll probably see plenty of action on a Spurs Summer League team that doesn’t have a point guard among players under contract.
Next up on the list is 6-8 forward Terry Larrier. At the University of Connecticut, he bounced back from a torn ACL to record 13.9 points and 4.8 rebound per game in his final season. He went undrafted in 2018 and played with the Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks last summer. He was poised to participate in the Mavericks’ training camp, but was released after he injured his ankle. At 6-foot-8, he has decent range, shooting about 38 percent from long range in his final collegiate season.
The Spurs’ guard depth will be bolstered by Kenny Williams from North Carolina. The 22-year-old is 6-foot-4 and went undrafted in 2019 after a four-year career at UNC. He was a starter for the past three seasons and won a national championship in 2017. However, he was overshadowed by backcourt partner Coby White, who was drafted number 7 by the Bulls. His championship experience and big-game seasoning fits with the Spurs culture.
The tallest man on the Salt Lake City Summer League roster is Darel Poirier from France. The 21-year-old is listed at 6-11 and 225 pounds. He played with the Capital City Go-Go of the G League last season, where he averaged 9.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He started 32 games, played 20 minutes per game and showed willingness to shoot from long range, making a third of his 48 attempts. Any big man who can space the floor is a prized asset in the modern NBA, so don't be surprised if you hear his name again in a few years.
Texas native Jordan Green played four years at Texas A&M, from 2011-2015. He played with the Spurs in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas last summer, scoring a total of 5 points in 42 minutes. He hasn’t been a big scorer in two seasons with the Austin Spurs, averaging 5 points per game, but the 6-foot-5 guard is comfortable in the Spurs system. We'll see how much that translates to success this summer.
One of the best three-point shooters in NCAA history will add an interesting wrinkle to the team. Travis Bader, now 27, holds the NCAA record for most three pointers attempted and is second in makes. He played with the Austin Spurs in 2019 after playing overseas from 2015-2018. He provided a nice scoring boost off the bench for Austin, adding 9.4 points per game on 34 percent shooting from long range. He attempted 5.1 shots from behind the arc per game, while averaging 24.5 minutes.
Another three-point sniper, Jeff Ledbetter will bring his experience with the Austin Spurs to the Summer League. The 31-year-old guard appeared in 19 games with Austin last season, averaging 13.6 points per game on 35 percent shooting from deep. According to G League blog 2 Ways & 10 Days, Ledbetter left the Austin Spurs last winter to play in Mexico with Cuauhtemoc Manzaneros. He’s back with the Spurs as the oldest player on the Summer League roster.
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The Spurs round out the guard position with NBA veteran Darius Morris. The former second round pick in 2011 is now 28 years old and last appeared in the NBA in 2015. He brings four years of experience with five different teams, featuring 132 appearances and 17 starts. He even started two playoff games for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013. He was one of the leading scorers for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the G League in 2019, tallying 15.2 points per game. Expect to see him in a leadership role on the court this summer. Other playoff teams looking to fill roster spots with veterans on minimum-salary deals will be keeping an eye on his performance.
6-foot-7 forward Jordan Barnett might get buried on a roster filled with other young forwards, but he shows lots of promise. The 23-year-old went undrafted in 2018 and played in the G League last season with the Wisconsin Herd and Fort Wayne Mad Ants. He averaged over 5 points per game in 35 contests.
Last, but certainly not least on the roster is Thomas Robinson. The former blue-chip prospect has bounced around the NBA since being taken with the number 5 pick in 2012. Now 28 years old, the 6-foot-9 forward has all the physical tools, but hasn’t displayed the same ability that made him an All-American at Kansas in 2012. He hasn’t appeared in the NBA since 2017, but can claim five seasons of experience with six different teams. His NBA career stat line shows 4.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in 313 appearances.
Robinson’s situation highlights the reality for most of the players on this roster: They’re probably not going to be members of the San Antonio Spurs during the 2019-20 season. The roster is already close to full. Assuming the team re-signs Rudy Gay, there are only two spots for two-way contracts and one additional roster spot after Luka Samanic and Keldon Johnson officially sign. Quinndary Weatherspoon will probably get one of those three spots, not to mention any potential free agent.
So the rest of the roster is competing for a spot on the 2019-20 Austin Spurs, or to catch the attention of another team, which could offer a NBA training camp invitation or G League roster spot.
Finally, take a look at the assistant coaches. This is a notable list for including two women, neither of which is named Becky Hammon. Hammon will coach the Spurs' summer league team in Las Vegas.
- Mitch Johnson has been an Austin Spurs assistant coach since 2016.
- Matt Nielsen has been an assistant coach with the Perth Wildcats in Australia since 2015
- Edniesha Curry is an assistant coach for the University of Maine men’s basketball team. She is the only woman holding a full-time position as an assistant coach for a men's NCAA Division I basketball team.
- Billy Donovan III has been an Austin Spurs assistant coach since 2017. He is the son of Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan.
- Lorena Infantes Nunez is from Spain. She is the coach of the U17 Chilean Women’s National Team and the Chilean Wheelchair National Basketball Team.
- Tomislav Mijatovic is an assistant coach for Anadolu Efes in Europe.