Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters, including Josh McDonald of San Antonio Express-News, that Nando De Colo‘s request for San Antonio to move him to a better situation was the impetus for GM R.C. Buford to trade him to the Raptors last week. Popovich says Buford was working to accommodate De Colo’s wishes for some time (Twitter links). Here’s more from San Antonio:
- Popovich said in the same session that he isn’t feeling very anxious about what free agents the Spurs could add, per Mike Monroe of San Antonio Express-News (Twitter links): “R.C. and the boys are doing their due diligence but there’s nothing there we’re super excited about.” The Spurs have been linked to multiple players on the buyout market, but haven’t landed any to this point.
- Austin Daye, whom the Spurs acquired in the De Colo trade, tells Vince Ellis of Detroit Free Press that turbulence with the Pistons during his few years in the league helped him mature: “I saw a lot of things usually a lot of first-year guys don’t see, second-year guys don’t see—guys getting into it with coaches and stuff like that and all type of different stuff going on. It was tough when guys didn’t want to go to shootaround and all that stuff,” says Daye. “I kind of had to grow and mature as a player and as a person. I think I was able to do that my third to fourth year. Just be mature, come into work every day and beat somebody out for their spot. Just earn your minutes as best you can, instead of expecting stuff.”
- Daye hopes to make enough of an impression for the Spurs to guarantee the final year of his contract next season, worth $1.1MM. He wants a chance to succeed like other Spurs reclamation projects have. “Look at what happened to [Danny Green]. He wasn’t playing at all in Cleveland, never sniffed the floor when he was there. He came into this system and the system really helps players like that. It helps players with perhaps a special skill-set or maybe even one skill-set,” says Daye. “I think it’s a great chance for me—I don’t think it’s the last chance for me. If that’s what they’ve been saying, that’s what they can think. I know I’m a good player in this league, I know I can play in this league.”