Sandro Mamukelashvili

Spurs Notes: Wembanyama, Mamukelashvili, Branham, Graham

Victor Wembanyama‘s remarkable rookie season is officially over, tweets Andrew Lopez of ESPN. Wembanyama is listed as out for right ankle injury management on the Spurs‘ report for Sunday’s finale with Detroit.

After being the most anticipated draft pick in 20 years, the French big man made a powerful impact during his first NBA season, averaging 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and a league-leading 3.6 blocks in 71 games. Lopez notes that he’s the first rookie to reach those numbers since blocks became an official statistic 50 years ago.

Coach Gregg Popovich indicated before Friday’s game that Wembanyama could be held out on Sunday, according to Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News, and that was before he played 37 minutes in a win over Denver. The Spurs have been careful with their prized rookie recently, resting him on the second night of a back-to-back last week.

“I know this has been in the air,” Wembanyama told reporters Friday night. “I mean, I felt it’s been in the air for some weeks, but I’m always going to fight to play.”

There’s more from San Antonio:

  • Sandro Mamukelashvili is making a strong case for a new contract, McDonald notes in the same piece. The backup big man wasn’t used much early in the season, but he has taken advantage of opportunities presented by injuries and is averaging 10.4 points and 10.1 rebounds over the past seven games, including a season-high 21 points on Friday. Mamukelashvili signed a one-year, minimum-salary deal after becoming a free agent last summer and is eligible for restricted free agency this offseason. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, but I love being here,” he said. “I love being around the guys, connecting with them, learning, growing. I’m looking forward to the future and if it’s here, I’ll be very happy.”
  • Malaki Branham missed Friday’s game with concussion symptoms and won’t play Sunday either, McDonald adds. The second-year guard was struck in the head during Wednesday’s game at Oklahoma City.
  • Teammates were thrilled for Devonte’ Graham after his game-winning shot in the final second to beat the Nuggets, McDonald writes in a separate story. It has been a difficult season for the 29-year-old guard, who only appeared in 12 games before the All-Star break, but Popovich has been impressed by how he has remained sharp and has served as a leader for his younger teammates. “He busted his ass all year long,” Popovich said. “He was always ready. I’m sure he didn’t like (not playing), but he was always there for his team.”

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Mamukelashvili, Collins, Brooks

The Grizzlies will be without 13 of their 15 standard contract players when they take on the Lakers on Friday (Twitter link via Memphis Commercial Appeal’s Damichael Cole), epitomizing an injury-mired and disappointing season.

Memphis dealt with long-term injuries to almost everyone on its roster and continues to cycle through 10-day contract hardship players to see what sticks. Two-way players have started over 50 combined games for the team that has seen an NBA-record 33 individual players suit up this year.

That leaves the Grizzlies, a team that is widely expected to be a playoff contender at full health, in a unique position this offseason. Players like GG Jackson and Vince Williams proved themselves as valuable young rotation pieces, while others like Jake LaRavia and Lamar Stevens are shouldering big minutes down the stretch. But with the likes of Luke Kennard, Marcus Smart and Desmond Bane set to return from injury next season, the Grizzlies will have crucial decisions to make.

Cole writes about the Grizzlies’ wing rotation logjam, noting that if you factor in Yuta Watanabe (player option), Ziaire Williams and John Konchar, the Grizzlies have nine wing players to account for next season. Some sort of movement on the roster, either by way of trade or waiver, would need to take place to balance the rotation.

Cole says that all signs point to the team picking up Kennard’s $14.7MM team option next season, but ponders whether the team could trade Ziaire Williams, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. The Grizzlies have shown a tendency to trade players in the final years of their deals, like Steven Adams and Tyus Jones, as well as former first-rounders on rookie contracts, such as David Roddy.

The Athletic’s Kelly Iko and John Hollinger explore a similar topic, with Hollinger expressing that he expects Memphis to trade Kennard or decline his option in an effort to dodge the tax. The pair also discuss the fact that the Grizzlies hold a lottery pick and explore potential free agent options the team could look to sign.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Spurs big man Sandro Mamukelashvili is playing a prominent role in the rotation as of late, including starting two of San Antonio’s last three games. As Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News writes, Mamukelashvili has become something of a favorite for coach Gregg Popovich, who has played the Georgian forward 20 or more minutes in his last five games. He has been on a rebounding tear over that stretch, pulling down 9.8 boards per contest, including a career-high 16 on Tuesday. “He’s like a perpetual motion kind of thing,” Popovich said. “He’s moving all the time, with or without the ball. Sometimes I think he doesn’t know exactly why, but I love his movement and his IQ. He knows how to play.” Mamukelashvili will be eligible for restricted free agency after the season.
  • After a disappointing start to the season, Spurs center Zach Collins is determined to finish the year in a strong fashion, according to Tom Orsborn of San Antonio Express-News. Collins lost his starting job after 20 games during a shooting slump, but it looks like he has regained his form from beyond the arc as of late. He shot 42.9% from three in March and has made 33.3% of his outside attempts through five games in April, a big improvement from the 29.3% he shot from October to February. “He’s becoming a real pro, a consistent player who we know what we can get from night after night,” Popovich said. “He’s a good competitor. His skills are improving, his understanding of the game is improving, and he’s getting more confident.” Collins is under contract with San Antonio for two more seasons.
  • Dillon Brooks has been thankful for his season with the Rockets but said he wants to be more like himself next season, writes Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen. According to Feigen, Brooks would like to be a more physical defender next year. “I don’t want to stir the pot too much, but I feel like the NBA restrained me from playing that type of game,” Brooks said. “But I’ve got to be on a ‘I don’t care’ mentality and just deal with what comes with it.

Southwest Notes: Spurs, Mamukelashvili, Pelicans, Mavs

Gregg Popovich is the only active NBA head coach who also holds the title of president of basketball operations. But when he was asked on Tuesday about the Spurs‘ offseason plans and whether Victor Wembanyama‘s strong rookie season would accelerate the club’s rebuild, Popovich didn’t offer any real hints, per Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News (subscription required).

“I don’t pretend to know what we’re going to do,” he said. “We have a lot of possibilities ahead of us, whether it’s money in the bank or draft picks or being creative trade-wise. All those things are on the table. But aren’t they for every team? I don’t know why we’re any different. We’re just younger.”

There has been some speculation that Wembanyama’s rapid development might make the Spurs feel more urgency to build a competitive roster around the rising young star, but Popovich made it clear that he and general manager Brian Wright aren’t feeling any pressure from team ownership to make win-now moves.

“If your organization is unable to understand that rebuilding takes time, then you just never get there,” Popovich said. “We’re fortunate because we’ve always had under the leadership of the Holt family the ability to do what we think has been best. So we’re always grateful for that.”

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Spurs big man Sandro Mamukelashvili got a rare chance to play a rotation role on Tuesday vs. Houston, logging double-digit minutes for just the second time in the past two months. After recording six points, five rebounds, and three assists in 11 minutes, Mamukelashvili earned praise from Popovich for his performance. “Sandro was exceptional,” Popovich said, per Orsborn. “He moved well without the ball. He pursued rebounds. He was really good for us tonight.” The 24-year-old will be eligible for restricted free agency this summer.
  • The Pelicans have quietly emerged as one of the NBA’s best teams since the calendar turned to 2024, according to Danny Chau of The Ringer, who suggests they’ve flown under the radar in part because their stars have been merely very good rather than transcendent. Buoyed by excellent depth, New Orleans has a 20-11 record since January 1 and the team’s +7.9 net rating during that time is comfortably the best mark in the Western Conference.
  • Tim Cato of The Athletic poses four burning questions that he believes could define the rest of the Mavericks‘ season, starting with which of the team’s players can be relied upon in the postseason. As Cato details, Dallas has leaned on reserves like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Maxi Kleber a little less as of late, with Dante Exum taking Hardaway’s place as the first player off the bench.

Southwest Notes: Morant, Mamukelashvili, McCombs, Mavs, Doncic

Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant made his dramatic return to the team on Tuesday following a 25-game suspension, hitting a game-winning bucket at the buzzer to lift Memphis past New Orleans. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Morant originally suggested to run a play for Jaren Jackson Jr., a plan teammate Desmond Bane rejected upon seeing Morant amid a 30-point outing.

He told me, ‘F–k no, you get the ball,’” Morant said after the victory. “So at that point, I pretty much just had to lock in and go deliver. And I did.

For the Grizzlies, Morant’s return led to the end of a five-game losing streak for a team that stumbled to a 6-19 record before his 2023/24 debut.

It felt different out there, having our guy back, our leader,” Bane said. “He does so much for us on the court, of course, but the spirit and the energy and all that that he plays with is infectious. … I ain’t surprised at all. I’ve seen him do a bunch of crazy things. I’m not going to say I was expecting something like this, but I knew he was going to be himself.

In a separate story, The Athletic’s Kelly Iko details Morant’s return to play, writing that communication and comfort between Morant and the organization were built up in his absence. Still, in order for the Grizzlies to jump back into the picture of Western Conference contenders, it’ll take maturity from Morant, Iko opines.

He’s been awesome outside of not being able to play in games,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said last week. “He’s taken every opportunity to be with his teammates. He’s really leaned into the team a lot — off-court stuff, leadership role he’s taken. The voice, he’s Zooming in during games talking to his teammates, connecting with them after the game and on plane rides.”

Morant made his return in front of a Memphis crowd that featured his father, Tee Morant, and best friend, Davonte Pack.

That kid ain’t did nothing to nobody,” Tee Morant said. “I feel bad as a father because I want to take all the (blame) for anything he does wrong — give it to me. But don’t do him like that if he doesn’t commit a crime. Everybody writes what they write, but now when y’all see, the proof is in the pudding.

We have more from the Southwest Division:

  • Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would like to play big man Sandro Mamukelashvili more, but hasn’t figured out how to best utilize him, according to The San Antonio Express-News’ Tom Orsborn. “I don’t think he’s a five, but I wonder sometimes can he guard a three or is he big enough to be at the four, or do we just play perimeter players and don’t call him anything,” Popovich said. “All kinds of thoughts go through your head with him. I don’t know if it is because he is European or not, but he moves better than most players, like a lot of the foreign kids do. … he knows how to play.” Mamukelashvili has averaged 7.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 30 games with the Spurs since joining the team in ’22/23, but he’s only averaging 7.6 minutes and 2.5 points in a limited role this year.
  • The Spurs announced Wednesday that the McCombs family is joining the organization’s investor group as its newest strategic partner. The McCombs family has been in San Antonio since 1958 and were part of the original investor group that brought professional basketball to San Antonio in 1973, so this signals a return to the franchise. “Red, Charline and the entire McCombs family mean so much to the Spurs and San Antonio,” said Peter J. Holt, Spurs Sports & Entertainment managing partner. “To see the McCombs family come full circle and officially welcome them back into our investor group is beyond special.
  • The banged-up Mavericks — down two starters and two rotation players — have lost three of their last four games, but Tim Cato of The Athletic writes that they’re learning from their adversity. Some players, like Derrick Jones Jr., have been pleasant surprises and are continuing to earn more opportunities, while others, like Grant Williams, haven’t lived up to their billing, Cato suggests. Cato also notes that the team has been leaning on star Luka Doncic heavily, as he’s played 40 or more minutes in four of Dallas’s past seven games.
  • It’s going to get worse before it gets better for the Mavericks on the injury front, as Doncic is out for Dallas’ Friday game against the Rockets, according to Marc Stein at Substack (Twitter link). He’s dealing with a quad injury.

Spurs Notes: Collins, Wemby, Sochan, Mamukelashvili, Jones

After starting the first 20 games of the season for the Spurs, center Zach Collins came off the bench for the first time this fall in Friday’s loss to Chicago. While many players would view it as a demotion to be removed from the starting lineup, Collins says he understands why head coach Gregg Popovich made the move and suggested he’s on board with it, per Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News (subscription required).

“Having more firepower coming off the bench is always going to help us take some relief off the starters,” Collins said. “Hopefully this spacing-wise will work a little better.”

Popovich said after the game that he “absolutely” intends to stick with this lineup change at least in the short term, so Collins will have to get used to playing with the second unit. After a strong showing on Friday that saw him put up 12 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists in 23 minutes of action, the big man told reporters that it’s just a matter of adjusting mentally to the new role.

“I always said when you come off the bench, you don’t have the luxury of starting the game and getting into it fast, getting your body going, getting your mind into the game,” he said. “So you have to stay locked in even though you’re not in the game.”

Here’s more on the Spurs:

  • Victor Wembanyama had a monster night in his first start at center, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game (he had 21 and 20, respectively), according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN. Unfortunately for the Spurs, it wasn’t enough to prevent their 16th consecutive loss.
  • Jeremy Sochan came off the bench for the first time this season on Wednesday before being reinserted into the starting lineup on Friday. Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News says Sochan’s confidence appeared to be shaken after Wednesday’s contest, with the 20-year-old deferring to the coaching staff when asked if he learned something from his time at point guard and whether he wants to keep playing there. Prior to Friday’s game, Popovich said there “is really no point guard” in San Antonio’s starting five, according to Lopez, who notes that Sochan shared ball-handling responsibilities during that game.
  • Reserve center Sandro Mamukelashvili – who hasn’t played much for San Antonio this season, logging 55 total minutes across seven appearances – took advantage of an assignment to the G League this week, McDonald writes. In his NBAGL season debut with Austin on Friday, Mamukelashvili racked up 34 points, 22 rebounds, four assists, and two blocked shots. Mamukelashvili and Charles Bassey are expected to be sent to the G League more frequently to make sure they’re getting regular minutes, per McDonald.
  • Despite the Spurs’ frequent lineup changes (eight players have started at least one game), Tre Jones has been unable to crack the starting five this season after making 65 starts a year ago. That doesn’t mean the team is down on Jones though, according to McDonald (Twitter link), who says the Spurs “really, really like” the 23-year-old as a second-unit point guard for both the present and the future.

Southwest Notes: Hield, Thompson, Mamukelashvili, Marjanovic

With Buddy Hield reportedly on his way out of Indiana, he could be the outside shooter that the Grizzlies need, Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes in a mailbag column. Shams Charania broke the news Wednesday night that the Pacers have agreed to work with Hield’s representatives to find a trade after the two sides were unable to come to an agreement on an extension.

While there should be plenty of interest around the league in Hield, Iko sees him as a great fit in Memphis, considering the need for another wing player and someone outside of Desmond Bane and Ja Morant who can consistently score. Hield also contributes on defense, as Iko notes that Indiana was a plus-2.6 in that category with him on the court last season.

The Grizzlies lost Dillon Brooks to free agency this summer, and there’s not an obvious replacement currently on the roster. Iko adds that Ziaire Williams could have been in line for that role, but he was a huge disappointment in his second NBA season, shooting just 25.8% from three-point range and posting a 15% turnover rate.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Amen Thompson suffered an ankle injury in his first Summer League game, but he’s fully recovered and will be ready when the Rockets open training camp, Iko states in the same piece. The No. 4 overall pick is working with lead assistant Ben Sullivan to improve his jump shot and will focus in camp on how to break down NBA defenses. Thompson was at full speed during a recent scrimmage at the team facility, according to Iko.
  • Sandro Mamukelashvili is looking forward to his first full season with the Spurs after seeing limited playing time with the Bucks to start his NBA career, per Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News. San Antonio claimed Mamukelashvili off waivers in early March and he averaged 23.3 minutes per night in 19 games. “It was hard with Milwaukee to find my spot and to gel,” Mamukelashvili said. “We had a lot of older guys who took me under their wing like a little brother, but here (in San Antonio) everything is more my age. We’re all in the same situation.”
  • Boban Marjanovic‘s new $2.89MM (minimum-salary) contract with the Rockets includes a $1.3MM guarantee, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Marjanovic also waived his right to veto a trade this season, Hoops Rumors has learned.

International Notes: Egypt, Rana, Japan, Cooks, Mamukelashvili

Egyptian national team coach Roy Rana has his team on the precipice of clinching an Olympic berth for the first time since 1988. The African Olympic spot appears to be down to Egypt and South Sudan, with Egypt playing New Zealand next and South Sudan squaring off against Angola in its next matchup.

Rana already led his team to its first win in 29 years thanks to a win over Mexico, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange. The 30-year coaching veteran has been all over the basketball world, coaching everywhere from Toronto Metropolitan University to the NBA’s Kings.

“Yeah, I probably don’t [reflect on my path] as much as I maybe used to,” Rana said in an interview with Grange. “But, you know, I do have a real sense of inner satisfaction that I was willing to go for it because a lot of people they’re just not willing to take those risks. Like at 50 I decided to leave [TMU] where I probably could have had a job for life. And I took the plunge and said, I’m gonna go for it. And I feel really good that I was willing to take that risk, and it’s allowed me to live the last four years of my life in a way that I never would have dreamed, and it’s been nothing but positive. It’s been really good.”

While several teams have already qualified for the second group stage of the World Cup, teams 17-32 are still to be determined. Further, Egypt is one of five African teams in competition for a spot in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The match between Egypt and Rana has been a strong one, with Rana first getting the team’s attention for his work during the 2019 U19 World Cup in Cairo while coaching Canada.

“I think everybody knows my history in international basketball,” Rana said. “I got some feedback that Egypt was looking for a coach and started that conversation and pretty quickly started to realize that there was some talent there. I didn’t really know what was going on with basketball in North Africa … other than being there in 2017 — but as I explored it started to really get pretty interesting pretty quickly. You know, it just made sense at the time so I said, hey, why not? I just took the plunge. It’s been an incredible opportunity.”

Egypt’s roster doesn’t feature any active NBA players. However, Patrick Gardner is on the team and is reportedly going to join the Nets for training camp.

We have more notes from around the World Cup:

  • Japan defeated Venezuela 86-77 in the 2023 FIBA World Cup and is now just one win away from qualifying for the 2024 Olympics, according to a piece from ESPN. Japan was led in scoring by Makoto Hiejima with 23 points and current Suns wing Yuta Watanabe, who scored 21 points in a 15-point comeback. A win on Saturday against Cape Verde would clinch a spot in the Olympics for the second straight year for Japan. Watanabe is the only active NBA player on Japan’s roster.
  • The Wizards turned heads last spring when they signed Xavier Cooks, a longtime star for the NBL’s Sydney Kings to a deal. Cooks is now dominating during his time with Australia and is aiming to help the Boomers win the World Cup with his play during the event, ESPN’s Olgun Uluc writes. Cooks is averaging 14.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game for Australia and is impressing with his ability to switch, defend and hustle. “I’m just trying to leave everything on the floor,” Cooks said. The 6’8″ forward is winning over his teammates and coaches with his play, which is evident through their trust in him to run the floor. I recommend reading Uluc’s piece in full, as Cooks gives an insightful look into his play.
  • Another player who found a new home last year, Spurs forward/center Sandro Mamukelashvili is standing out with his World Cup play for Georgia’s national team. In a subscriber-only link, Nick Moyle of San Antonio Express-News takes a look at Mamukelashvili’s performance. The 24-year-old big man put up 21 points and seven rebounds in a loss against Slovenia. The Spurs re-signed the Seton Hall product this summer after claiming him off his two-way contract from the Bucks and then converting him to a standard deal.

Southwest Notes: Brooks, Doncic, Bane, Mamukelashvili

Rockets wing Dillon Brooks recently discussed his offseason and playing for Team Canada in a conversation with Michael Grange of Houston gave Brooks a four-year, $86MM+ deal as part of a complex five-team sign-and-trade.

I’ve been chilling. I’ve working out, making sure I get my body right, keep my body right the whole time so I don’t have no drop off,” Brooks told Grange. “And then just focusing mostly on myself, staying off social media, working on my game, doing what I have to do.”

As Grange writes, Brooks has been a longtime member of the Canadian national team. The 27-year-old is looking forward to competing with his compatriots this month.

Everyone that’s in the building, you came across when you were younger, grew up with or played against or with when you played up (an age group),” said Brooks. “It’s a family environment and everybody is here to win, get better and do something special for the country.”

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Mavericks guard Luka Doncic banged knees with an opponent in an exhibition game with Team Slovenia, but the Mavs have “no concerns” about the injury, a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPN (Twitter link). As with Brooks, Doncic is suiting up for his home country for the upcoming World Cup, which will take place in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. He exited the loss against Greece as a precaution.
  • Grizzlies guard/forward Desmond Bane, who underwent toe surgery in May, says he hasn’t been cleared for 5-on-5 work yet, but he expects to be a full go for training camp next month, tweets Drew Hill of The Daily Memphian. “I’m not quite cleared to play contact yet, but as far as working out on the court, I feel like my body is in a pretty good spot,” Bane said, per Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Bane signed a massive rookie scale extension this summer that will go into effect in 2024/25.
  • Sandro Mamukelashvili re-signed with the Spurs on a guaranteed one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, but he confirmed he received interest from EuroLeague teams in free agency, according to Pijus Sapetka of “Definitely, I had multiple EuroLeague teams [interested in me], but I want to stay in the NBA,” the Georgian big man told BasketNews. “I want to show everybody that right now, I am an NBA player. European doors are never closed, and I love watching EuroLeague. I know how good the competition is. … Right now, my head is straight to the NBA to show everybody that I can be an NBA player and that I belong to this league.”

Contract Details: Cissoko, Temple, T. Antetokounmpo, More

The three-year contract that No. 44 overall pick Sidy Cissoko signed with the Spurs is guaranteed for the first two seasons, but not for the third, tweets Keith Smith of Spotrac. It’s worth the minimum in all three years, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Because the Spurs still had a little cap room available, they signed Cissoko using that room instead of the second-round pick exception, Smith notes, so the third year is simply non-guaranteed instead of being a team option.

That will give San Antonio more time to make its third-year decision on Cissoko — instead of having to exercise or decline an option by June 29, 2025, the team will pay him a $500K partial guarantee if he remains under contract through July 6 of that year, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tells Hoops Rumors. Cissoko would receive his full guarantee if he hasn’t been waived by the start of the 2025/26 regular season, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Here are a few more details on recently signed contracts:

  • Garrett Temple‘s one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Raptors is guaranteed, per Doug Smith of The Toronto Star (Twitter link). That means Toronto has 15 players on guaranteed standard contracts, with Jeff Dowtin and his non-guaranteed deal potentially on the outside looking in unless one of those 15 players is traded or waived.
  • The one-year, minimum-salary contracts signed by Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Bucks) and Sandro Mamukelashvili (Spurs) are also guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned. Milwaukee now has 15 players on guaranteed standard contracts, while San Antonio has 18 and will need to make some roster moves before opening night.
  • Duane Washington‘s training camp contract with the Knicks includes Exhibit 9 language but doesn’t feature an Exhibit 10 clause, Hoops Rumors has learned. That means Washington can’t have his contract converted into a two-way deal and wouldn’t receive a bonus worth up to $75K if he’s waived by New York and ends up playing for the Westchester Knicks.

Spurs Re-Sign Sandro Mamukelashvili To One-Year Deal

JULY 27: Mamukelashvili’s new contract is official, the Spurs announced in a press release.

JULY 1: The Spurs are re-signing forward/center Sandro Mamukelashvili, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that the Georgian big man will be receiving a one-year, $2MM contract. That means he’ll be receiving the veteran’s minimum.

After spending four college seasons at Seton Hall, Mamukelashvili was selected 54th overall in the 2021 draft. He spent the majority of his first two NBA seasons on a two-way contract with the Bucks, but his playing time was very limited at the NBA level — he averaged 3.2 PPG and 2.1 RPG on .439/.345/.750 shooting in 65 games (9.6 MPG) from 2021-23.

Milwaukee waived the 24-year-old in March, and he was claimed by the Spurs, who converted his two-way deal into a rest-of-season standard contract.

As Tom Orsborn of The San Antonio Express-News writes, Mamukelashvili impressed the Spurs down the stretch by averaging 10.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG and 2.4 APG on .453/.343/.692 shooting in 19 games (seven starts, 23.3 MPG). Head coach Gregg Popovich seemed particularly fond of the former second-round pick, Orborn adds.

He is athletic, he’s got size, he’s European, which makes me love him right off that bat because I think those guys are unbelievably well-coached and overall understand the game better than most of us here,” Popovich said. “He moves without the ball, he shoots it pretty well, he can pass, he’s got good speed. I like everything about him.”