Texas Notes: Spurs, Milutinov, Walker, Bzdelik

Barring any surprises, the Spurs‘ starting five for next season appears set, writes Jeff McDonald of The Athletic. Dejounte Murray, returning from a torn right ACL, should take over at point guard, with Derrick White joining him in the backcourt. DeMar DeRozan will move to forward, alongside LaMarcus Aldridge and Jakob Poeltl, who impressed the coaching staff after a midseason move into the starting lineup.

That means, if he returns, Rudy Gay will continue in a bench role, along with Bryn Forbes, who started much of this season. Coach Gregg Popovich wants DeRozan to become more proficient from 3-point territory to make up for not having Forbes as a starter.

“That’s what the league is all about now,” Popovich said. “End of the game, the first thing that you look at is 3-point shooting, and it covers up a whole lot of warts. You can get beat on the boards —  I mean, in one of the games that we beat Denver, they had 28 second-chance points, but they shot horribly, and we shot very well. Game over. It’s not very interesting. It’s not much fun. But that’s the way the league is.”

There’s more NBA news from Texas:

  • The Spurs may be ready to add draft-and-stash project Nikola Milutinov to their roster, McDonald adds. The 26th pick in 2015, Milutinov has been playing for Olympiacos B.C. of the Greek Basketball League, where he averaged 10.7 PPG and 6.8 RPG this season. The Spurs will explore the 24-year-old center’s market value before bringing him to the U.S., and McDonald expects them to let him adjust to the league gradually, just as they did with Boban Marjanovic and Davis Bertans.
  • Kemba Walker appears to be the Mavericks‘ most realistic option in free agency, Marc Stein of the New York Times said in a recent radio interview in Dallas. Stein said the Mavs are “legitimately intrigued” by Walker, and he believes they will get a meeting with him when free agency begins in July.
  • Rockets associate head coach Jeff Bzdelik has found a way to balance basketball and family after briefly walking away from the game last fall, relays Brian T. Smith of The Houston Chronicle. Houston convinced him to return in November and he helped fix the defense after a disastrous start. “He was kind of resolute for a little while,” said Rockets CEO Tad Brown. “Fortunately for us, we were able to wear him down and end up bringing him back. The first thing was always, let’s make sure everything is OK, personally, with he and his family. And then, secondarily, how do we handle this, how do we move forward? But at the same time, he’s a key part of what we do. How do we get him back to (our) family?”
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9 thoughts on “Texas Notes: Spurs, Milutinov, Walker, Bzdelik

  1. david

    As a Mavs fan, i dont know how i feel about Kemba. Yes he is a leader, but he has almost 0 playoff experience. (2 1st round exits under his belt). He will also be 29 getting signed to a $30m+ deal. That kind of messes up bringing more and younger players in to fit around Luka and KP. Kemba and Carlise will also clash probably.

    • The Mavs and Carlisle make good use of smaller guards. I think it would work.

      • processtrustee

        I’m 24 and a top twenty scorer despite being the third option on my team. I’m big enough to bang in the paint at the five and quick enough to get out on the four if teamed with a rim protector. I’ve moved around some but born and raised in Dallas and ready to come home to be part of something special. Who am I?

          • processtrustee

            Lol, but alas no. Julius Randle, best option to build around Doncic and KP IMO.

            • david

              Interesting but KP isnt a rim protector and isnt a great rebounder either. For being 7’3 you should avg more than 7 a game

              • processtrustee

                Really? Two years ago top three shot blockers per game, AD 2.57, KP 2.4, Rudy Gobert 2.3

                • SuperSinker

                  Randle’s not a bad player but he’s kind of a square peg, round hole type in today’s NBA. Idk if he’s skilled enough

  2. x%sure

    Derozan at F, more 3s… Looks like another case of NBA insiders reading an @x%sure post and thinking
    “If random posters are figuring it out, we might as well go ahead and admit it!”
    -+-+-+

    Another Serbian Nikola! (Milutinov.) If Nikola is not a poular name already for Serbians & Montenegrins (same race) it should be– it’s working in the West at least.

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