Drew Eubanks

Spurs Notes: Final Roster Spot, Eubanks, McDermott, Walker

There appears to be a three-way competition for the Spurs‘ final roster spot, writes Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. The team has 17 players with guaranteed contracts, and it looks like the decision will come down to forwards Luka SamanicKeita Bates-Diop and Al-Farouq Aminu.

Samanic, 21, was taken with the 19th pick in 2019, but hasn’t established himself in San Antonio, playing just 36 games in two seasons. The Spurs have an October 31 deadline to pick up his option for 2022/23, but they may decide to part with him before then. Coach Gregg Popovich gave Samanic a start in Friday’s preseason game, and McDonald described the results as “mixed.”

“He hasn’t played very much, so his is more of a confidence game and understanding what it takes to be a player,” Popovich explained.

Bates-Diop, 25, signed a two-year, $3.5MM contract before training camp began, but only this season is guaranteed at $1.7MM and he has been slowed by a hamstring injury. Aminu, who was acquired in the DeMar DeRozan sign-and-trade, is owed $10.1MM this season in the final year of his contract. Knee injuries have limited him to 41 games over the past two seasons and he recognizes that he has an uphill fight to make the roster.

“That’s your whole life,” he said. “You go to one camp and maybe there are 100 guys. Even from high school, everyone is competing. We understand the business of whatever the case can be.”

There’s more from San Antonio:

  • Drew Eubanks‘ place on the roster appears secure, even though the Spurs could easily afford to unload his $1.76MM salary, McDonald adds. Eubanks has steadily improved throughout his three seasons with the organization, and Popovich recently called him “a poor man’s Dave Cowens.”
  • Free-agent addition Doug McDermott feels suited to the Spurs’ new offensive philosophy, which is based on movement with fewer set plays, McDonald notes in a separate story. The 29-year-old is with his sixth NBA team, and San Antonio is counting on him to boost its outside shooting. “The system is great because it’s a lot of random basketball, and that’s what my game is built for,” he said.
  • Popovich is enjoying the challenge of coaching young players after so many years of having a veteran team, tweets Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. The coach also praised the progress of Lonnie Walker, saying he has added game-related knowledge to his athletic skills (Twitter link).

Southwest Notes: S. Brown, Mavs, Louzada, Eubanks

Rockets wing Sterling Brown was jumped outside of a club in Miami late on Sunday night, according to Shams Charania and Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who say Brown was hit in the head with a bottle and required medical attention into Monday. Brown, who was admitted to a local hospital early Monday morning, suffered facial lacerations in the incident and was discharged later in the day, per Charania and Iko. The 26-year-old didn’t know the assailants.

While Brown was ruled out of the Rockets’ game on Monday in Miami, that was the fifth straight game he has missed due to left knee soreness, unrelated to Sunday’s incident. It’s not clear whether the attack will push back his potential return date at all.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • The Mavericks have fired director of player personnel Tony Ronzone, sources tell Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. It’s unclear when the dismissal occurred, per Townsend. However, Ronzone was accused of sexual assault in 2019 and that allegation became public last year. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, the Mavs fired Ronzone after learning new information related to that allegation.
  • While signing draft-and-stash prospect Didi Louzada to a rest-of-season contract will benefit the Pelicans from a cap perspective, allowing them to fill their 14th spot while remaining out of tax territory, John Hollinger of The Athletic questions whether the 2019 second-rounder is ready for the NBA. Louzada, 21, has struggled with his shot in Australia’s NBL and signing him now will make him a little more expensive in 2021/22, when New Orleans will likely be up against the tax line once again.
  • Several members of the Spurs‘ young core are thrilled to see big man Drew Eubanks thriving in an increased role lately, writes Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News. Eubanks has averaged 10.6 PPG and 9.2 RPG in just 19.8 MPG in his last five games, including his first career start on Saturday. “He’s out there killing it,” Keldon Johnson said after Eubanks put up 13 points and 13 rebounds in Saturday’s win. “I can’t be any happier for Drew. He works so hard.”

Southwest Notes: Lonzo, Valanciunas, Eubanks, Terry

The offensive output of Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball on a given night this season often dictates the team’s overall performance, according to Scott Kushner of the Times-Picayune. The Pelicans are 5-1 when Ball scores at least 16 points in a game. When he scores fewer than 16 points, New Orleans sports a 2-9 record.

“It’s absolutely huge,” Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy said of Ball’s contribution to the club. “I mean he’s got the ball in his hands, controlling the action. When he’s taking care of the ball, making good decisions, and, obviously, knocking down shots, our offense is going to be a lot better.”

There’s more out of the NBA’s Southwest Division:

  • The NBA’s coronavirus health and safety protocols continue to keep Grizzlies starting center Jonas Valanciunas unavailable to play with the team, though he has traveled with the club and appeared on the team bench during recent contests, according to Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Valanciunas has been unavailable since January 17.
  • Spurs reserve forward Drew Eubanks recently went through an intense experience with COVID-19, and now seeks to caution others about the risks of the highly variable disease, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. “It can really affect people, and you don’t know how it can affect you,” Eubanks said. The virus has limited the 24-year-old third-year big man to just six games this season.
  • The Mavericks have sent rookie point guard Tyrell Terry to join the Memphis Hustle of the NBA G League ahead of the NBAGL’s Orlando “bubble” season, according to a team tweet. The Mavs’ G League affiliate, the Texas Longhorns, will not be participating in the 18-team 2021 NBAGL season.  Dallas drafted Terry with the No. 31 pick in the 2020 NBA draft out of Stanford.

Southwest Notes: House, Eubanks, Ball, Doncic

Forward Danuel House, who has not played since January 2, returned to Rockets practice on Monday, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets. House missed four games with back spasms, then was placed on the league’s health and safety protocols list. While Feigen adds that Houston will work House back in slowly, the 27-year-old said he expects to be ready to play on Tuesday, Kelly Iko of The Athletic tweets.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Prior to the postponement of the Pelicans-Spurs game on Monday, San Antonio’s Drew Eubanks was ironically removed from the league’s COVID-19 protocols list, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express News tweets. The third-year big man has been out since January 7 due to those restrictions. He has appeared in three games this season.
  • Lonzo Ball may no longer be in the Pelicans’ long-term plans and there’s a real possibility they’ll decline their $14.36MM qualifying offer after this season, which would make him a restricted free agent, Seth Partnow of The Athletic opines. If New Orleans’ season continues to go sour, the franchise would likely prefer to trade him rather than allow the point guard to walk in free agency, Partnow adds.
  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will go to great lengths to keep his superstar Luka Doncic happy, as Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News details. Cuban has expressed interest in playing exhibition games in Slovenia, where Doncic grew up, and Spain, where he played for Real Madrid. The Mavs are confident that Doncic’s youth and talent will help them secure a top-level free agent during the offseason, Sherrington adds.

Drew Eubanks, Two Spurs Staffers Out Due To COVID-19 Protocols

Due to the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, third-year Spurs reserve big man Drew Eubanks and two other Spurs personnel members will not be with the club as it faces off against the Lakers tonight, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press (via Twitter).

In three games this season, Eubanks is averaging a career-high 19.3 MPG. The 6’9″ Oregon State alum has posted 3.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 2.0 BPG for the 3-4 Spurs, while shooting a lackluster 23.1% from the field.

At present, the Spurs and the league have not supplied any other information about tonight’s absences, including the identities of the other two unavailable Spurs staffers, categorized by Reynolds as “members of the Spurs travel party.”

The absences could stem from exposure to someone who later tested positive for the novel coronavirus, or could have recorded a positive or inconclusive coronavirus test result.

Spurs Waive Metu, Re-Sign Eubanks

NOVEMBER 24: The Spurs have officially re-signed Eubanks, per the NBA’s transactions log. According to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link), only the first year of the big man’s three-year, minimum-salary contract is guaranteed. The second year has a partial $500K guarantee and the third year is non-guaranteed.


NOVEMBER 20: The Spurs have waived forward Chimezie Metu, according to a team press release. They’re re-signing big man Drew Eubanks on a three-year contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets.

The three-year deal for Eubanks is worth $5.29MM, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype tweets. That makes the deal a minimum-salary contract.

Metu, a 2018 second-round pick, was never able to establish consistent playing time in San Antonio. He appeared in 47 games over the last two seasons, averaging 2.3 PPG and 1.5 RPG in 5.3 MPG.

Eubanks passed Metu in the pecking order by the end of last season, as Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. The undrafted Eubanks, 23, appeared in 22 games last season, averaging 4.9 PPG and 3.9 RPG in 12.4 MPG. He also flashed some shot-blocking ability, swatting 11 shots in San Antonio’s last seven games during the restart.

Eubanks, a two-way player last season, received a qualifying offer from the Spurs this week.

Suns’ Saric, Spurs’ Poeltl Among Players Receiving QOs

A series of players have received qualifying offers from their respective teams, making them restricted free agents this fall, reports ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). Those players include Suns forward Dario Saric, Suns guard Jevon Carter, Grizzlies two-way guard John Konchar, Spurs big man Jakob Poeltl, and Spurs two-way players Quinndary Weatherspoon and Drew Eubanks.

Saric and Poeltl are the most notable names in the group and were also the most likely to receive qualifying offers, since Phoenix and San Antonio will want to retain the ability to match offer sheets on those players. Saric’s QO is worth about $5.1MM, while Poeltl’s is for approximately $4.6MM.

Saric, Poeltl, and the other players who received qualifying offers could accept those one-year contract offers, but will likely try to negotiate new, longer-term deals, either with their own teams or with rival suitors.

The Pistons won’t be extending a qualifying offer to two-way player Jordan Bone, so he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Meanwhile, Raptors general manager Bobby Webster confirmed this week that the club will be making its annual qualifying offer to EuroLeague guard Nando De Colo, per Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link). Currently a member of Fenerbahce in Turkey, De Colo hasn’t played in the NBA since 2014, but would be a Raptors RFA if he wants to return, since Toronto has issued a QO each year since then.

Southwest Notes: Ingram, Popovich, Doncic, Zion

Brandon Ingram had planned to be a Lakers star for a long time, but that changed when Anthony Davis became available last summer. Ingram was part of a package of young talent that was sent to the Pelicans for the star big man, but he has fond memories of his three seasons in Los Angeles, writes Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register.

“I think it’s love from each end, because if it was a bad remark or a negative remark, maybe go back, re-tune something and get better at it,” he said of his relationship with Lakers fans. “If it was a good remark, then I thank them for knowing the game of basketball and the person that I am, and that I was gonna get better. So it’s all love from each side. I still got love for the Laker fans, I still got love for the Duke fans.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Gregg Popovich continues to stress player development even though his Spurs are in the middle of the battle for the eighth and ninth seeds in the Western Conference, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Veteran guard Patty Mills sat out Friday’s win over the Jazz to give time to Keldon Johnson, Quinndary Weatherspoon and Drew Eubanks, none of whom have playoff experience. “This is all about development, I’ve said that from the beginning,” Popovich said. “The young guys, they get evaluated, we see them playing together and we get to determine how valuable they are in terms of the guys we want to move forward with.”
  • The Grizzlies used a lineup change Friday to pick up their first win since arriving in Orlando, Vardon adds in the same story. Brandon Clarke had been replacing injured big man Jaren Jackson Jr., but coach Taylor Jenkins opted to go with Anthony Tolliver. Memphis outscored Oklahoma City by 21 points while Tolliver was on the court.
  • Three ESPN writers look at what to expect from Mavericks guard Luka Doncic as he gets ready for his first NBA playoff series.
  • Zion Williamson is expected to be ready to face the Spurs tomorrow in a crucial game in the playoff race, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Williamson missed Friday’s game, but the Pelicans didn’t list anyone on today’s injury report.

Spurs Sign Okaro White To Exhibit 10 Deal

The Spurs have made another addition to their training camp roster, according to ESPN’s Michael C. Wright, who tweets that veteran forward Okaro White has signed an Exhibit 10 contract with San Antonio. Per RealGM’s transactions log, the Spurs have also officially completed reported deals with Drew Eubanks, Olivier Hanlan, and Jaron Blossomgame.

White, who signed a two-year contract with the Cavaliers during the final week of the 2017/18 season, was waived by Cleveland in August before the team owed any guaranteed money for that second year. Formerly a member of the Heat, White has appeared in 41 NBA games over the last two seasons for Miami, averaging 2.9 PPG and 2.3 RPG in 13.4 minutes per contest.

The Florida State alum, who missed a good chunk of the ’17/18 campaign with a broken foot, talked earlier this year about how he’s still working to mentally get over that injury. It appears he’ll have the opportunity to work on it this fall with San Antonio.

The Spurs now have a full 20-man roster, with 15 players on fully guaranteed salaries, four on non-guaranteed deals, and one (Eubanks) on a two-way pact. However, one of those 15 guaranteed contracts is Manu Ginobili‘s — the club will still need to officially release him at some point after he announced his retirement.

Spurs Will Sign Drew Eubanks To Two-Way Deal

Drew Eubanks, who went undrafted out of Oregon State, has reached agreement on a two-way contract with the Spurs, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Eubanks, 21, played three seasons with the Beavers, averaging 13.2 points and 6.8 rebounds as a junior. He joined the Spurs for Summer League play, participating in both the Utah and Las Vegas leagues.

The Spurs were among a handful of teams with both two-way contracts still available, so one spot remains open a week away from training camp.