"With the 59th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs select Marcus Denmon..." I don't really know what he said after that, because my mind had frozen. Marcus Denmon???
That undersized guard from Mizzou? As a died-in-the-wool Longhorn fan, I have been exposed to Denmon for quite some time. He seems like a slightly less controlled or disciplined Gary Neal. Why, Spurs, why? No slight on Denmon, but man, another small shooting guard? Am I wrong that Neal already has that role filled? Or might we be moving him this offseason? Draft Express has Denmon's best case scenario as another Eddie House. I'd love for that to pan out. Unfortunately, he's likely not inciting a lot of excitement from the fan base upon his entry to the club, assuming he makes the club.
Here's my real turmoil about the pick. If we wanted a center, Henry Sims of Georgetown and Robert Sacre of Gonzaga were there. Power forward? Drew Gordon of New Mexico, JaMychal Green of Alabama, and Kevin Jones of West Virginia were available. Even a reserve point guard with good potential could have been had in Scott Machado of Iona. But we wanted a shooting guard, because Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, and Gary Neal aren't enough. I know, I know, it's likely that Green or Neal or both aren't back next year. But I wish they would be.
Now that I've vented, let's remember we have the best front office in sports and take a quick look at who they think ought to be a Spur.
He is a quality shooter, and that's for real. He has legit NBA three-point range and deeper. He shot 41% from deep last year. He is an excellent free throw shooter, having shot nearly 90% his senior year with the Tigers. I do like that. He also increasingly showed ability to drive to the basket and finish acrobatically on occasion. How much he is able to do that against NBA front lines remains to be seen. However, the man averaged 18 points and 5 assists in a very good Big 12 basketball league last year, while sharing the ball with another draft prospect, Kim English.
Defensively, Denmon works hard, but his size limits what he can do against bigger guards. Under Pop's tutelage, with Marcus' existing mindset of prioritizing defense, I have little doubt we will squeeze his absolute best defensive potential out of him. One outstanding attribute is his penchant for taking care of the ball. He averaged about one turnover per game. I like that too.
Many of you will dissect Marcus Denmon's game and potential throughout the days to come, so for now, I'll summarize this by simply stating that I wouldn't have taken him, but I'm not entirely disappointed. I've learned to be occasionally frustrated by ultimately pleased by our brilliant leaders as they've constructed one of the best dynasties in history. Therefore, I believe that there's at least a good chance that this latest addition will prove to be a needed addition. Whether that means Gary Neal is on his way to other pastures or not remains to be seen. Then again, free agency and trade deadlines lie ahead. A lot remains to be seen.