Wiry, old NBA veterans only get signed by championship contenders nowadays.
Need some evidence? Take the fact that the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics were all allegedly making a play on a 12-year pro who has averaged only 7 points and 4 assists while playing roughly 20 minutes in the last two seasons.
Given the circumstances, has the Mighty Mouse made the right move in signing with the Spurs? Tony Parker is battling injury problems. With Brent Barry also injured, Jacque Vaughn and Manu Ginobili have been left with the keys to the offense. Manu is naturally a swingman and his valuable aggressiveness is limited when he starts the offense from the top of the key. Vaughn is a solid defender and knows the Spurs offense but he hasn’t scored since his second child was born.
Stoudamire gives the Spurs a left-handed point guard that can hit the long ball and stretch the court for Timmy Duncan. Unfortunately, if they had held onto Beno Udrih, they would not have encountered this problem.
Let’s run through the other places Stoudamire could have landed on.
In Cleveland, Stoudamire would have teamed up with another Damon. Interestingly enough, Damon Stoudamire’s game is exactly what Damon Jones’ game is at this point in their careers. Stoudamire is a little more versatile but certainly only marginally. He is definitely not enough of an upgrade to throw a couple million at for the year.
The Phoenix Suns would not have improved with Stoudamire. He would have been sipping lemonade during games with Sean Marks and Alando Tucker.
The team in Dallas does not need Stoudamire unless they are truly looking to move Devin Harris. It’s crowded enough at the point with Harris, Jason Terry and the ubiquitous Jose Barea. Besides, if Mark Cuban wants to make his team older, he would go with a crazier move like Latrell Sprewell.
The Boston Celtics would have made sense for Stoudamire. Going to the City on the Hill would not only have helped the 5’10” guard’s stature, it would have given him an opportunity to start. Regardless of how much TNT in-game commentators love Rajon Rondo, I highly doubt the Celtics are in love with him. The man is turnover prone, he cannot hit a jump shot and, unlike Jacque Vaughn, he has no kids to show for himself.
In Stoudamire’s first three games with the Spurs, his minutes have been hovering around 20 minutes. That will bump up just a bit until Tony Parker returns. But once TP returns, Stoudamire will essentially be getting free San Antonio court-side seats. Holla, Jared Sichting!