Spurs Looking For A Point Guard?
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
Follow @Yannis KoutroupisYannis Koutroupis
The San Antonio Spurs’ depth took a hit on Monday as they officially announced that backup point guard T.J. Ford will be out for the season due to spine and neck injuries.
Ford, an eight-year veteran in his first year with the Spurs, is on indefinite leave according to the team but has already told reporters that he plans on calling it a career.
“While this was a tough decision to make, it is what is best for me and my family at this time,” said Ford in a release. “I have been blessed to play alongside wonderful teammates for great coaches and organizations from high school, to college, to the NBA. Regardless of what the future holds, I will carry the experiences, the friendships and the memories with me forever. The support I’ve received from family, friends and the fans has been humbling and I am looking forward to evaluating my professional options following this season.”
Ford signed a one-year contract with the Spurs this offseason. He played in 14 contests, averaging 3.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 14 minutes a game.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who was very caring and supportive when talking about Ford’s decision, recently said that the team kind of falls asleep at the deadline. While partially kidding, the Spurs are traditionally quiet at this time of year. Chemistry is one of their strengths right now and they’re going to be very cautious about tampering with it.
With that said, if they can get a backup point guard to replace Ford at a decent price they will have to strongly consider it. Ford’s injury leaves rookie point guard Cory Joseph, who would be a sophomore at Texas right now had he not elected to leave early, as All-Star point guard Tony Parker’s lone backup. The sharpshooting Gary Neal has seen some time at point guard as well, but he’s much more comfortable playing off the ball at his natural position of shooting guard.
Adding another ball-handling guard could be looked at as a necessity, not a luxury, now that Ford’s season is done. The Spurs have until March 15 to try and trade for one, otherwise they will have to search via free agency and the D-League.
Cleveland Cavaliers point Ramon Sessions and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Raymond Felton are said to be available. However, they would likely prefer to go to a situation where they would start, which would not be the case in San Antonio with Parker locked up to a long-term deal. Former Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas is without a team right now and one of the top unsigned players available. It’s doubtful, though, that the Spurs would consider him based on his troubled past and injury history. They would probably go with the unsigned Earl Boykins before Arenas.