MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 12: Derrick Byars #4 of the Miami Heat poses during media day at American Airlines Arena on December 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
The San Antonio Spurs have had an extra spot on their roster for the last couple of weeks and, heading into their final two games of the regular season, they've finally decided to use it. The Spurs, owners of the NBA Development League's Austin Toros, have decided to sign Derrick Byars (on his 28th birthday, no less).
Byars, a former second round pick and venerable D-League veteran, was with the Miami Heat early this season before returning to Bakersfield. The lengthy 6-foot-7 swingman averaged 15.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 25 games for a loaded Bakersfield squad this season.
It's an encouraging call-up after Tuesday's less-than-stellar signing of Xavier Silas by the Philadelphia 76ers. Hopefully he gets a chance to showcase his talents and, not to toot my own horn or anything, but this is a signing I've been advocating over the last couple of months.
Bakersfield Jam wing Derrick Byars was listed in this spot last week and, since he hasn't faltered and no top prospects have entered the league ablaze since that report -- though teammate Trey Johnson is certainly an NBA talent -- Byars will remain here once again.
Byars' shooting percentages aren't as good as they typically are, but the 6-foot-7 swingman is showing signs of what made him an NBA Draft pick not all that long ago. His talent has never been put into question, but it seemed in the past he may have been caught up in putting up big numbers in order to stand out. This season, though, he's focused on being a better basketball player ... and it's shown, too, as Bakersfield is 12-6 with him in the starting lineup as the 27-year-old focuses on picking his spots on offense while using his NBA body to play solid defense.
Byars has played a total of 15 preseason games since being selected with the 42nd pick in the 2007 NBA Draft with the Philadelphia 76ers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, but Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns will be an opportunity for his first regular season action.
Solid signing of a solid person by a solid franchise. I like it.