I saw this tweet when I woke up on Friday and couldn't help but roll my eyes.
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
Oh boy. Here's a list of all the things I like about Corey Maggette:
1. He is not Sam Young.
2. His last name is fun to say, especially if you're a small child.
Alright, so it's just those two things.
More dumpster-diving from the Spurs in the free agent bin. Zwerling also tweeted, incidentally, that Gregg Popovich was interested in Mike Bibby who had to decline an invite to camp because of a heel/foot injury, which... huh.
Perhaps I gave Pop too much credit in my post about the Young signing. My new working theory is that something snapped in that Game 6 loss to Miami in the Finals and our superfluous G really may have lost his mind.
Anyway, let's stick for now to the topic at hand -- Maggette. Did you know he's been in the league for 14 years and actively participated in 827 games in the regular season? Also, those 827 games comprise 98.6 percent of all NBA games he's played in, which is an oh-so-clever way of pointing out that Maggette, 33, has averaged fewer than one playoff game per season over his career. For comparison's sake, 17.7 percent of Manu Ginobili's games have been in the playoffs.
The good news, though, is that Maggette did perform rather well, with a .178 win shares-per-minute average and that was, let's see just... oh. Seven years ago. Well at least he's clutch.
Maggette, a career .324 three-point shooter (with a spectacular .238 mark last season for Detroit) complements his awful shooting from long range by also being an atrocious defender, with a "I'll let you score then you let me score," philosophy straight out of the 80's. Only it's been more like "I'll let you score and then you'll foul me," throughout his career as Maggette's best asset since he's come into the league has been his propensity to get to the line like he's a star. I suppose that could be a valuable thing to have for a bench unit that often struggles to score, especially when opponents take away Ginobili's dive man in the paint on the pick-and-roll.
Throughout his career Maggette's teams have played equally well -- that is to say, poorly -- with him on the floor or without him. His offensive rating is a net -3.6 when he plays and -3.7 when he sits. So there you go, Maggette is the perfect default on your standard lottery team. The alpha to Sam Young's omega of crappy small forwards you don't want or need.
Yet, somebody has to backup Kawhi Leonard and it's not like we can expect Ginobili to be available for 82 games. Like it or not, the Spurs are gonna keep one of these meh merchants. In fact, they've supposedly gone so far as to work out Josh Howard, and I loathe Josh Howard.
Personally, my top choice would be, believe it or not, another Frenchman in Mickael Pietrus, though he probably wouldn't be convinced to come on for the minimum and a 11th man role. He's not the headiest of players - not by a long shot -- but he can stick a corner three and has some decent defensive chops. He also worked out for the Spurs and rejected a training camp invite from them when they refused to offer him any guarantees, according to RealGM.
My second choice, surprisingly, would be a name from the past and a fellow who failed in his first stint with the Spurs, and one whose reputation is mud in the league currently. That's right, none other than Hedo Turkoglu. Is he soft as Alan Greenspan's landing? Without question. Has he lost his passion for the sport? Almost certainly. But he can still handle the ball, shoot it a little and create offense as a backup. He's seeking a buyout from the Magic at the moment after that he'll probably go to the highest bidder, probably overseas. It seems a long shot, but if Turkoglu feels at all that he'd like to win one ring before he calls it a career, maybe he'd be intrigued by a return to San Antonio.
Yeah, it's not gonna happen.
In the end it's just as well they're going to sign and keep somebody we won't like. With DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal both gone, the roster was getting painfully thin on whipping boys. I mean, Matt Bonner can only shoulder so much of that load and Tiago Splitter has those puppy dog eyes that makes you feel so bad for whacking him across the nose with a rolled up
newspaper magazine towel. So go ahead, Spurs, sign whoever. Somebody has to be the villain, even on a roster of heroes.
Seriously though, not Howard.