The San Antonio Spurs have been one of the best teams in the NBA when it comes to successfully using the Development League to their advantage. On Friday night, they took advantage of the squad run by Brad Jones once again, deciding to call-up their D-League team's point guard while getting rookie Cory Joseph more seasoning with the Austin Toros.
The Spurs plan to sign dynamic guard Justin Dentmon to a 10-day contract, according to a league source. San Antonio traded for the former Washington Huskies standout prior to the season and it's paid off pretty well.
The 6-foot guard was averaging 22.9 points and 5.3 assists while shooting 42 percent from beyond the three-point arc prior to sitting out Friday night's game in anticipation of the call-up.
San Antonio has been pretty thin at the point guard position ever since T.J. Ford -- now a Toros assistant coach -- was forced to retire due to injuries. It got worse on Friday night, however, as starting point guard Tony Parker didn't dress due to tightness in his hamstring and Patty Mills is still officially unable to join the team due to visa issues.
It's surprising that it took so long for Dentmon to earn the call-up, but he's been fighting the "shooting guard in a point guard's body" issue for a couple of seasons. That changed as of late, however -- especially judging from nearly identical reports I recently received from scouts on his play this season.
Justin Dentmon - I know he is small, but with his shooting ability and craftiness he puts a lot of pressure on defenses. I like him as a scoring PG even at the NBA level.
Justin Dentmon - dynamic scorer/play maker, a bit undersized for his skill set but changing peoples minds.
For those interested in seeing for themselves, the team put together a longish highlight reel of his play thus far this season as well:
The one downfall, at least from the perspective of your's truly, is that he turns the ball over quite a bit (3.89 per game this season -- though his turnover percentage is a bit more manageable 13.25). When factoring in the reason for some of those turnovers is just because he's been relied upon to do quite a bit in the Austin offense as a scorer, those issues should be squelched a bit upon his NBA debut.
The Spurs have games both Saturday and Sunday and, if Parker's forced to miss any time, there's a good chance that Dentmon could get some playing time in the midst of San Antonio's back-to-back-to-back. He should fit right in better than most options, too, considering he's already been in the system.