Corey Maggette will be joining the Spurs for training camp. Great locker room guy, could provide needed scoring, esp. w/ Pop's rest methods.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) September 26, 2013
The Spurs have been linked to Maggette in the past but their paths never crossed until now. Maggette, 33, was with the Pistons last season but barely got to play. Lawrence Frank's decision to not use him probably had to do with the Pistons prioritizing the development of their young players, but Maggette was confused by it at the time. To be fair, in the games he did play he struggled mightily, averaging 14 minutes and five points per game. Despite the circumstances, Maggette remained professional through the ordeal and stayed in shape.
There is plenty of reason for skepticism. Players that rely on athleticism, like Maggette did in his better years, don't tend to age well. There's a reason he's still available at this point. His defense has always been average at best and he doesn't have a consistent outside shot -- two requirements for low usage wings in the Spurs system. He has barely played the last couple of seasons and the fact that he's willing to take a non-guaranteed contract speaks volumes about his standing as a player around the league.
That being said, I have to say I like this invite. Maggette could have something left, as he put up decent numbers in his previous stops with the Bucks and the Bobcats, and his ability to rebound the ball and get to the free throw line set him apart other available wings. He has a lot of miles on that body but he is just 33 and could find a niche off the bench for the Spurs as long as he's willing to work his way into playing shape and is fine with having a small role. Defensively, he'll likely struggle - at least initially - but ideally the Spurs would use him sparingly, and he has always showed the ability to make an impact in short bursts.
This doesn't seem like the type of move that the Spurs have tried recently but when you think about it, Maggette has a lot of similarities to Stephen Jackson. He was, in fact, better per minute than Jackson was in 2010/11 before he joined the Spurs. Maggette presumably wouldn't bring any of the baggage Jackson brought, is younger and should be much more amenable to play a reduced role. I can't say whether or not I believe Maggette has a chance of making the team before he actually shows what he can do but if he can be the version of himself he was a couple of years ago, that's not a bad fit.
Whether Young or Maggette can make the final roster, the Spurs seem to be looking at veteran small forwards to back up Kawhi Leonard, which should be good news for fans that worry about Kawhi's tendinitis. Teams can carry up to twenty players through camp and the Spurs only have sixteen players on their roster, counting Young and Maggette. So I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple more invites being extended, probably to younger players that can be allocated to the Toros after being cut. When further details emerge, we'll bring you updates.
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- Spurs reportedly sign Sam Young
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