The San Antonio Spurs have signed guard Curtis Jerrells from the team's NBA D-League affiliate Austin Toros and immediately assigned him back to the NBA D-League team, it was announced today. The GATORADE Call-Up and assignment are both firsts for Jerrells in his career. The call-up and assignment are the 27th and 32nd, respectively, of the 2009-10 NBA D-League season. With the assignment, Jerrells joins Erie BayHawks guard Blake Ahearn as the only players to have been called-up and assigned in the same season.
Jerrells has appeared in 43 games, all starts, for the Toros this season, averaging 20.7 points (6th in the NBA D-League), 5.6 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 39.9 minutes. He has scored in double figures 40 times, notching six games of at least 30 points. Jerrells has led the team in scoring on 13 occasions and assists 33 times. For his efforts, Jerrells was named NBA D-League Performer of the Week twice during the season.
-Via D-League press release.
As far as I can tell, ShamSports essentially "called" this call-up by writing the following earlier today:
Baylor graduate Jerrells did not get drafted, yet was able to secure a $75,000 guaranteed contract from the San Antonio Spurs to attend their training camp. It had initially been announced that Jerrells had signed with the Pistons, but San Antonio's improved amount of guaranteed money won them the day. Despite the money, Jerrells never really had much of a chance of making the Spurs roster, which therefore meant that they spent $150,000 (after tax) on a player that they knew wouldn't play for them. The reason for this is obvious; it is not in any way coincidental that Jerrells later signed with the D-League and was immediately assigned to the Spurs affiliate (which they own), the Austin Toros. Essentially, they kept him in house and expanded their roster. They technically had no claim to him, but they had him where they wanted him, and where they had the inside track on his progress and abilities. And that's surely the aim of signing anyone. It's not illicit; it's shrewd.
However, when the Spurs needed some ten day contract guard help midseason, they instead opted to sign Cedric Jackson and Garrett Temple, not Jerrells. This was a genuine eye opener. All that manipulation of the system to get the player where you wanted for when you wanted, and then you didn't want him. Bizarre.
My assumption is that another NBA team decided they wanted Jerrells, but the Spurs didn't want to lose him, so this whole "we'll pay you a lot more than we have been to keep playing for our D-League team and learning our system" thing occurred.
In other news, it's awesome and I want things like this to happen more.
For what I thought of Jerrells following his last game, check here.