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November 5, 2014 Updates
November 4, 2014 Updates

With the deadline for members of the 2011 draft class to reach a contract extension having come and gone Friday, Joseph — the Spurs’ 23-year-old backup point guard — is set to become a restricted free agent in July. He is neither surprised by this development, nor is he daunted by it. “It’s definitely an opportunity for me,” Joseph said. “I can control my destiny, so that’s the good thing about it.” San Antonio Express-News

Nobody is expecting Joseph to put up numbers the way Mills did last season, when he averaged 10.2 points and made a team-high 135 3-pointers as a catalyst for the NBA’s top-scoring bench. Stylistically, they are point guards as far removed from each other as Canada is from Australia. “Patty’s a quick-trigger type of point guard, a shooter,” Ginobili said. “He gets rid of the ball very quick to get it back and shoot. Cory’s more of a traditional point guard, but he plays hard. He’s longer, more size (6-foot-3). He gives you more rebounds.” San Antonio Express-News

As Ginobili and his Big Three teammates Tim Duncan and Tony Parker read the scripts they were told to memorize for Monday’s commercial filming session at the team’s practice complex, they discovered the spots have a new star. “(Kawhi Leonard) is the go-to guy for the punchlines now,” Ginobili said. “It’s a long day, especially after a tough practice like today. But first you have fun while shooting it, and then you see the end product, and you feel proud of it. “It’s a great job they do with the scripts, and they put us in a great spot to perform well and be funny. We all enjoy it.” San Antonio Express-News

If Racer was "actually coordinating its motion" with Belinelli's, then let's thank heaven that the robot only has one "hand" and doesn't know how to dance. I'm sure Comau wouldn't have wanted to deal with a $15,000 (or €11,982) fine just for making a commercial. The robot appears to have performed admirably enough in the shooting competition against Belinelli, who ranked fifth in the NBA in 3-point accuracy last season and has made five of his first eight 3-point tries for San Antonio thus far this season, but for me, Racer's most impressive feature was the ability to throw decent bounce passes. Yahoo! Sports

November 3, 2014 Updates

Delayed by the eye infection of their latest leading man, Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs finally got around to shooting their latest batch of commercials for H-E-B following a long practice on Monday. The Spurs typically shoot the popular spots during the postseason. But with Leonard, whose incorporation last season mirrors his on-court ascent, sidelined for roughly three weeks with a nasty case of pink eye, production was pushed into the regular season. San Antonio Express-News

November 1, 2014 Updates

Only six of the 14 players taken int the lottery beat the deadline and got richer. That means the draft was so-so at best and disappointing at worst. But complicating matters is the smell of big money down the road. Thanks to the new TV deal and the looming labor negotiations in a few years, some players are willing to place bets on themselves and hold out for a few extra dollars. It’s also known as the Kawhi Leonard route. The MVP of the 2014 Finals and 15th overall pick had hoped for a max deal, didn’t get one from the Spurs, and will try the market next summer during restricted free agency. But he was the big exception, and so, we survey the scene for the first-round winners and losers. Winners: Klay Thompson (drafted No. 11): Got four years and $70 million from the Warriors to make a big, umm, splash. NBA.com

October 31, 2014 Updates

“We feel Kawhi is deserving of a max contract, and we are disappointed that something couldn’t get done,” Elfus told Yahoo Sports. “There’s no debating Kawhi’s value. The market has been set. He’s done everything the Spurs have asked of him, exceeded all of their expectations. Coach [Gregg] Popovich has gone out of his way to call Kawhi the future face of the franchise. We have great respect for the Spurs organization, but here, we simply agree to disagree. “There will be no shortage of teams interested in Kawhi’s services next year. There will be a lot of contract scenarios available to us, and we will explore them all.” Yahoo! Sports

When it comes to Leonard, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich walks a fine line. On one hand, Popovich believes -- and wants Leonard to believe -- that he is the future of the franchise. It’s why Popovich frequently responds to questions about Leonard with that very phrase. “You can only talk to somebody so much and if you do it too much, they don’t hear you anymore,” Popovich told SI.com. “Him hearing it from another source, maybe he starts to understand the responsibility that comes with that. It’s not easy to come every night and do what the big guys do. Kevin Durant is expected to do that every night. LeBron [James], Timmy [Duncan]. When he hears it from a lot of sources, I think it helps.” Sports Illustrated

“The different qualities I saw in Tim, in Manu, in Avery [Johnson], I see in Kawhi,” Bowen said. “I would never limit him to being what I was. He’s special. He’s the most complete player on the team right now.” The Spurs expect Leonard’s offensive game to continue to expand. Leonard continues to work diligently with shooting guru Chip Engellend, who tweaked Leonard’s form after the draft and has steadily helped him become more comfortable shooting three’s from all over the floor. Assistant coach Chad Forcier, who works with Leonard to develop an array of moves, including step backs and jump hooks. And Popovich promises to put a few more plays in the playbook for Leonard, mainly in the post, where Leonard can utilize his sturdy 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame to overpower smaller defenders. Sports Illustrated

 

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