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Kyle Anderson Impresses While on Assignment with Austin Spurs

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Kyle Anderson was sent down to the D-League to get some minutes with the Austin Spurs and proved to be a key contributor in the Spurs 110-105 win over the Santa Cruz Warriors on Sunday.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Former UCLA guard Kyle Anderson was not the only one that was shocked when he slipped to the last pick in the first-round of the 2014 NBA Draft. He should have been a mid first-round pick after averaging 14.6 points, 8.8 boards and 6.5 assists per game while shooting 48 percent from the floor and three last season at UCLA. The 6'9" forward has garnered the nickname "Slo Mo" for playing the game at a pace that makes Andre Miller look like Russell Westbrook in disguise. Even though he plays the forward position, Anderson possesses all of the tools of a point guard, which are evident by his statistics at UCLA.

As Kawhi Leonard and others have quickly found out, landing in San Antonio as a rookie is a gift, which was what happened to Kyle Anderson. The Spurs are the smartest team in the NBA and understand how to use the unique gifts that Kyle Anderson has as a basketball player. He's only played 92 minutes so far this season for the Spurs, averaging less than a point per game. Even sitting on the bench for the Spurs is a positive, but San Antonio wanted to get their rookie some playing time, so they assigned him to their D-League squad in Austin.

Slo Mo appeared in his first game for the Austin Spurs on Sunday afternoon against the Santa Cruz Warriors and impressed, as expected. He was a key reason why the Spurs won the game 110-105, controlling the game with his own pace of basketball. Anderson played 41 minutes, totaling 18 points (7-of-16 shooting), 11 rebounds and six assists. He only turned the ball over once and even contributed two steals and a blocked shot. That type of stat line speaks to the uniqueness of Anderson's game and a reason why he will be considered a steal for the Spurs when he gets his chance to shine in the NBA.

Most are afraid the Spurs reign at the top of the NBA will come to a close when Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili finally kiss the game goodbye. However, San Antonio is building budding young talent like Kyle Anderson, who will be ready to takeover when Gregg Popovich calls his number.