For all the Spurs fans who were in love with CoJo, the Canadian's departure to the Toronto Raptors this summer was bitter-sweet. Cory Joseph got his money this offseason (4 years, $30 million) which was great to see, but it stung to lose such an unselfish and tough player, especially one who proved in the 2014 Western Conference Finals that Thunder forward Serge Ibaka was, indeed, human.
Even so, the July 9th trade for Sacramento Kings point guard Ray McCallum has given the Spurs a viable replacement. Though he will operate mostly as a third-string point guard, there will inevitably be games this year where he will be second or even first in the rotation when Tony Parker sits out due to injury or rest. In order to alleviate concerns and answer questions about Ray Mac, let's look at the tape.
It is clear from this video that Sactown Royalty's Akis Yerocostas was spot on in his analysis of McCallum -- he doesn't appear to be a master of any one trade. McCallum looks to be a good finisher at the rim, particularly in transition. Ray also has some serious hops for a guy his size; dude looks like he's bouncing off a trampoline on some of these dunks. He clearly has an affinity for driving down the left baseline, drawing a defender in and dropping off a nifty pass to a wide open big man. And he has perfectly adequate floor instincts and catch-and-shoot 3 ability, which will be key in the Spurs' system of spacing and movement. All of this is on top of his defensive mindset.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this video is the focus and effort Ray McCallum plays with. Popovich will love that, and so will Spurs fans. He may not be our point guard of the future, but for the price of a future second-round pick, McCallum just might be a steal.