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Spurs newsletter: How DeMarre Carroll debacle will cost team, SA’s ‘Tankathon’ and lottery outlook

(Spurs newsletter Gregg Popovich image)
(Spurs newsletter Gregg Popovich image) (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – We’re still in the middle of the All-Star break, but that has not stopped the Spurs from making headlines. Welcome to this week’s KSAT.com Spurs newsletter.

The Spurs and DeMarre Carroll finally parted ways after a disastrous stint for the veteran forward. Carroll played in only 15 games for San Antonio after he was signed to a 3-year deal in the offseason.

To make matters worse, the Spurs reportedly took a $6.8 million cap hit this season and possibly another $6.1 next season. Carroll likely paid back some of the money, but the Spurs are still taking the brunt of a bad deal.

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Gregg Popovich never gave a clear reason for Carroll’s lack of playing time except to say Carroll had worked hard, but the minutes have not been there. Carroll recently told the Express-News he just did not “jell” with Popovich. Thus ends a bizarre situation.

The Spurs will resume the Rodeo Road Trip Friday at Utah. The website Tankathon currently has the Spurs with the 20th toughest remaining schedule in the league. Memphis, the team currently in the eighth seed, has the most difficult.

According to the site, the Spurs would have only a 1 to 1.4 percent chance to get a top-4 pick in this year’s draft lottery. At this point, it would make sense for San Antonio to try and make a run to the playoffs.

If you have questions or comments about the newsletter, hit me up at rmarquez@ksat.com.

POP SOUND OF THE WEEK: A throwback to when Pop joked he would only vote for Tim Duncan to get into the Hall of Fame based on how Tim did as an assistant. MORE HERE.

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Spurs franchise value nearly reaches $2 billion

ROUND BALL ROUNDTABLE: What happened with DeMarre Carroll in SA, and will it affect future free agents who may think about coming here?

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You have to remember that signing DeMarre was a last-second free agent move during the offseason after the fiasco involving Marcus Morris, who backed out of the two-year offer given to him by the Spurs. All Pop said it was a new system and minutes were hard to come by for Carroll. In the end, the only solution was a buyout.

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I think Pop only wanted one player with big hair. Haha, just kidding. For some reason, Carroll just didn’t jell with Pop’s way on the court. He wasn’t given much of a chance to adjust, but I guess Pop saw enough in Carroll’s very limited minutes and put him at the end of the bench.

I think this will make other free agents think twice about coming to SA. Carroll is a veteran 3-and-D guy, a swingman who rode the pine. It’s not a good look at all. Honestly now that Tim, Tony and Manu are not playing, I feel it will be tough for the Spurs to attract top free agents.

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It appears DeMarre Carroll got just caught up in a numbers game and was pushed to the end of the bench. It makes one wonder if the Spurs just signed him as a knee-jerk reaction to losing Marcus Morris. If he was going to make an impact, it should have been early in the season, but you can’t do much with someone who just played in 15 games. It also wouldn’t be surprising for Pop to let a guy go who just isn’t happy here, and feels he needs to move on to get some playing time, even if it is in Houston.

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This was bizarre because Carroll seemed like a guy who could fit in seamlessly and be a solid veteran presence. The time for him to make an impact was early when Beli was struggling and Lonnie wasn’t getting regular minutes, but I don’t feel he performed well when given the minutes back then.

This combined with the Marcus Morris mess may cause free agents to think twice about San Antonio, but if Dejounte, Walker and the younger guys can ultimately be winners, that would be attractive to future players.

Follow us on Twitter or tweet us your Spurs questions to: Greg at @GregSimmonsKSAT, Larry at @LRam2, David at @DAVIDKSAT or RJ at @KSATRJ

PLAYER SOUND OF THE WEEK: USC retires DeMar DeRozan’s jersey. “I can’t even say how much this means to me, for my daughters to be able to witness this.” FULL STORY HERE.

DeMar DeRozan holds his daughter Mari DeRozan and acknowledges applause while attending a USC game on Feb. 15, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
DeMar DeRozan holds his daughter Mari DeRozan and acknowledges applause while attending a USC game on Feb. 15, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

OFF COURT STORY OF WEEK: Patty Mills went home during the All-Star break to donate supplies and offer resources to Australian wildfire victims. Here’s his Twitter link with more information. (Editor’s note: Patty, like Tim who did this for the U.S. Virgin Islands...is just a badass dude.)

(Images of Patty Mills in Australia via Mills' Twitter account.)
(Images of Patty Mills in Australia via Mills' Twitter account.) (KSAT)

POWER RANKINGS PULSE:

ESPN.com: 18th...ESPN’s Power Index give the Spurs only a 16 percent chance to make the playoffs

CBSSports.com: 19th...says LaMarcus Aldridge appears to have come alive for Spurs

NBA.com: 18th...more interesting numbers on the defense suffering without Aldridge, and the Derrick White-Dejounte combo

SPURS SCHEDULE LOOK AHEAD:

Feb. 21: at Utah

Feb. 23: at Oklahoma City

Feb. 26: vs Dallas

KEY GAME/MATCHUP OF WEEK:

One of the Spurs best wins before the break was at home against Utah without Aldridge in the lineup. They generally play the Jazz well, but shutting down Rudy Gobert and containing Donovan Mitchell will be a tough task. If they can steal another road game and get the Dallas home game then maybe there is a chance they can make a run.

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The most interesting Spur in the world, or former Spurs player, is Manu Ginobili, with Boris Diaw a close second. What has Manu been up to? Well...Manu has not been very active on social media so here’s a throwback pic and Twitter link of Manu’s first All-Star game appearance in 2005. He’s accompanied by Tim Duncan! MANU. FOREVER.

(Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili at 2005 NBA All-Star Game via Twitter.)
(Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili at 2005 NBA All-Star Game via Twitter.) (KSAT)

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