[Note by Scott Schroeder, 03/29/10 9:04 AM CDT ] UPDATED: I have received confirmation that Gee is indeed signing with the Spurs.
Alonzo Gee will sign with the San Antonio Spurs for the rest of the season along with non-guaranteed deal for next season to secure the rookie's rights over the Summer as well as for vet camp next year, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations.
Gee's second 10-day contract with the Washington Wizards expired Sunday, meaning the team had the option of either signing Gee for the remainder of the season or letting him become a free agent. They've apparently chosen option B, even though he started in their last two games.
I'm utterly and completely surprised that Washington declined to keep the potential-laden forward (especially after coach Flip Saunders said they'd keep him), but I'm not at all surprised that the Spurs have re-added the 6-foot-6 rookie who scored 19 points in his first NBA start as soon as they were able.
I say "re-add" because, albeit not officially, Gee was a member of the Spurs organization with the Austin Toros from the time the D-League club drafted him in November until he was called up to the Wizards for his first 10-day contract on March 7th - and they've been interested in him since he played for their Summer League team in Vegas.
This move, in my opinion, seems very similar to the move the Spurs made when they signed Gee's Toros' teammate Curtis Jerrells for the season last week. Toros coach Quin Snyder (and his staff) has spent nearly an entire season developing and grooming Gee to fit the Spurs system, so now that the Spurs have the chance to keep Gee in-house for an extended look over the Summer, it seems almost like a no-brainer - he knows the system, is filled with potential and the Spurs only have six players with guaranteed contracts for next season.
While the Rio Grande Valley Vipers have been more talked about given that they're the first team to try out the new hybrid affiliation, the Toros have essentially been doing the same thing since the Spurs bought the Toros in the Summer of 2007.
The 30-16 Toros have an excellent coach, run the same system as the parent club, and have produced quite a few NBA players - Jerrells, Marcus Williams, Keith Langford and DerMarr Johnson were all called up from the Toros to the Spurs and Malik Hairston, Ian Mahinmi, Anthony Tolliver, Blake Ahearn, Darius Washington and James White have all been assigned to do some developing with the Toros from the NBA club.
The Spurs/Toros conglomeration has also done a great job with the Summer League recruiting. This past Summer, the Spurs Summer League team employed NBA players George Hill, Ian Mahinmi, Malik Hairston, DeJuan Blair (Spurs) as well as Gee and Antonio Anderson (called up to Oklahoma City). The Spurs also brought in two players that have received votes in our D-League call-up rankings this season (Romel Beck, Donell Taylor). It's pretty impressive that they were able to bring in eight players with legitimate NBA prospects for the upcoming season, but speaks volumes of how prolific their talent evaluation/development system is run.