Spurs sign center Gorgui Dieng, who was recently waived by Grizzlies

The San Antonio Spurs have signed center Gorgui Dieng.

Dieng, 6-10/250, spent the first half of this season with the Memphis Grizzlies before being waived on March 26. In 22 games, he averaged 7.9 points, 4.5 rebounds in 1.3 assists in 16.9 minutes while shooting .519 from the field. Dieng appeared in 39 games over parts of two seasons in Memphis, averaging 7.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 17.7 minutes after he was acquired by the Grizzlies from the Minnesota Timberwolves on Feb. 6, 2020.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Dieng holds career averages of 7.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 21.8 minutes in 537 total games played. Selected in the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft (21st overall) by the Utah Jazz, he was dealt to the Timberwolves on draft night and spent his first six-plus seasons with Minnesota.

A native of Senegal, Dieng won the 2013 NCAA Championship in his final season as a junior at the University of Louisville.

Dieng will wear No. 7 for the Silver and Black.

The Spurs roster now stands at 17 players.

Warriors trade Marquese Chriss to Spurs

The Golden State Warriors have traded center Marquese Chriss and cash considerations to the San Antonio Spurs for the draft rights to center Cady Lalanne

Chriss, 23, appeared in two games with the Warriors this season, averaging 6.5 points and 6.5 rebounds before suffering a right syndesmosis ankle and fibular fracture injury on December 26. The 6’9” center appeared in 59 games with Golden State during the 2019-20 season, averaging career-high figures in scoring (9.3), rebounding (6.2) and blocked shots (1.05). A four-year NBA veteran, Chriss was originally selected by the Sacramento Kings in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft (8th overall).

Lalanne, 28, was selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of the 2015 NBA Draft (55th overall). The 6’10” center played four seasons at the University of Massachusetts, earning Third Team All-Atlantic 10 honors as a senior.

The Spurs roster now stands at 16.

Spurs waive LaMarcus Aldridge after two sides reach buyout agreement

The San Antonio Spurs today reached a buyout agreement with forward-center LaMarcus Aldridge.

Aldridge appeared in a total of 376 games for the Spurs and averaged 19.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.25 blocks in five-plus seasons for the Silver and Black. The former Texas Longhorn was named All-NBA twice (2016, 2018) and an NBA All-Star three times (2016, 2018, 2019) while in San Antonio.

Per the San Antonio Express News, in the midst of a season in which he averaged 13.7 points, his least since his rookie season, while shooting 46.4 percent and grabbing a career-low 4.5 rebounds per game, Aldridge nevertheless still has value to championship-contending teams as a complimentary piece. His $24 million salary cap number, however, proved too cumbersome to trade. Spurs players did their best to take a “que sera, sera” approach to what often can be a trying day in NBA locker rooms.”

After originally signing with the Spurs on July 4, 2015, Aldridge became one of six players in San Antonio history to record at least 7,000 points and 3,000 rebounds, joining Spurs legends David Robinson, Tim Duncan, George Gervin, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

Galen Robinson Jr. wins 2020-21 G League Sportsmanship Award

Austin Spurs guard Galen Robinson Jr. has been selected by NBA G League players as the winner of the 2020-21 NBA G League Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award, which honors the player who best represents the ideals of character and conduct as a teammate on the court and in the locker room.

In his second NBA G League season, Robinson (6-1, 190, Houston) averaged 7.8 points, 6.4 assists and 1.38 steals in eight games after being acquired by Austin from the on-site available player pool on Feb. 19. Robinson made an immediate impact by handing out a career-high 14 assists in his season debut, a 122-107 loss to the Delaware Blue Coats on Feb. 21. He also recorded season highs of 14 points and three steals in Austin’s 102-88 win over the Long Island Nets on March 2.

Robinson played 30 games for Austin during the 2019-20 season, averaging 8.1 points and 5.4 assists. He scored a career-best 24 points in a 117-114 win over the Northern Arizona Suns on March 6, 2020. In 38 career NBA G League games, Robinson has averaged 8.0 points and 5.6 assists.

The Sportsmanship Award honors the late Jason Collier, who exemplified the qualities of a great teammate during his career in the NBA G League and the NBA. A 2003-04 All-NBA G League First Team selection, Collier was preparing to begin his sixth NBA season at the time of his death in 2005.

Each participating NBA G League team nominated one player for the 2020-21 Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award. NBA G League players voted for the winner from the list of nominees. Westchester Knicks forward Andrew White III and Long Island Nets guard Shannon Scott finished tied for second place.

Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award Winners

2020-21: Galen Robinson Jr. (Austin Spurs)

2019-20: Ivan Rabb (Westchester Knicks)

2018-19: Gabe York (Lakeland Magic)

2017-18: C.J. Williams (Agua Caliente Clippers)

2016-17: Keith Wright (Westchester Knicks)

2015-16: Scott Suggs (Raptors 905)

2014-15: Renaldo Major (Bakersfield Jam)

2013-14: Ron Howard (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)

2012-13: Ron Howard (Fort Wayne Mad Ants)

2011-12: Moses Ehambe (Iowa Energy)

2010-11: Larry Owens (Tulsa 66ers)

2009-10: Andre Ingram (Utah Flash)

2008-09: Will Conroy (Albuquerque Thunderbirds)

2007-08: Billy Thomas (Colorado 14ers)

2007-08: Roger Powell (Arkansas RimRockers)

2006-07: Ime Udoka (Fort Worth Flyers)

Spurs bringing LaMarcus Aldridge off the bench lately

Spurs forward/center LaMarcus Aldridge has been a supporting cast player for the 18-14 Spurs this season. And lately, he’s been coming off the bench. Via the San Antonio Express News:

Coach Gregg Popovich seems poised to move forward with a small-ball starting lineup that features Jakob Poeltl at center.

That has shifted Aldridge, a seven-time All-Star, to the bench for the first time since his rookie season in Portland.

Just before the All-Star break, the 35-year-old Aldridge returned from a three-week hiatus due to a hip injury to find himself in a new role.

He played in three games as a reserve, then missed the final two contests before the break with a stomach illness.

As such, the sample size projecting how Aldridge might fit with the second unit is small. He scored 21 points in a victory over New Orleans, which perhaps demonstrated the upside of having one of the top 100 scorers in NBA history around to beat up on opposing second-teamers.

How Aldridge adjusts to life off the bench — or doesn’t — will be a fascinating plot point of the Spurs’ second half.

Spurs basketball set to resume after multiple games were postponed

The Spurs get to play basketball again. Via the Express News:

On Monday afternoon, the Spurs who were able to play basketball and allowed by the NBA to be around the rest of the team congregated at the club’s practice facility.

For most in that rag-tag group of 10, it was the first time on a basketball court since Valentine’s Day.

Five players were prohibited from being in the building under the league’s coronavirus health and safety protocols: Rudy Gay, Keldon Johnson, Derrick White, Devin Vassell and Quinndary Weatherspoon.

Leading scorer DeMar DeRozan was in Los Angeles, on personal leave to mourn the death of his father with his family.

The Spurs last played February 14, beating the Hornets 122-110. Their postponed games were against the Pistons, Cavs, Knicks and Pacers. On Wednesday they play the Thunder in Oklahoma City.

Next three Spurs games, two Hornets games postponed

The San Antonio Spurs’ next three games (Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Cleveland; Saturday, Feb. 20 at New York and Monday, Feb. 22 at Indiana) and the Charlotte Hornets’ next two games (Wednesday, Feb. 17 vs. Chicago and Friday, Feb. 19 vs. Denver) have been postponed in accordance with the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols.

The games are being postponed due to four Spurs players testing positive and additional contact tracing for players on both San Antonio’s and Charlotte’s rosters, and in order to ensure the health and safety of players on both teams.

Spurs vs. Pistons game scheduled for Feb. 16, 2021 is postponed

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16, between the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena has been postponed in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.

Due to a positive test within the Spurs and subsequent contact tracing, the team does not have the league-required eight available players to proceed with tomorrow’s game against the Pistons.

Spurs face in-flux Rockets team Saturday

The Spurs aren’t quite sure who will be out on the floor for the Rockets Saturday. Via the Express News:

That scouting report from Thursday night? The Spurs might throw it in the waste basket, although after what happened in their previous meeting with the Rockets, it would be a wonder if anyone not named Keldon Johnson could hit it.

“We will play it by ear and see what they got,” point guard Dejounte Murray said. “We’ve just to be ready to go.”

Their roster in flux because of injury and the relief-inducing trade of All-Star guard James Harden to Brooklyn, the Rockets defeated the Spurs 109-105 on Thursday with just nine players available.

Houston could have more warm bodies for Round 2 today at the AT&T Center. Or the Rockets could be even more short-handed than they were Thursday.

The Spurs are a solid 6-6 so far this season. They’re being led in scoring by DeMar DeRozan at 20.4 points per game, followed by six players who are all averaging between 11.2 and 15.7 ppg.

San Antonio Spurs will continue to play without fans at their home games

The San Antonio Spurs, who on Saturday beat the Raptors in their 2020-21 regular season home opener, will continue to play without fans at the AT&T Center.

“Welcoming fans back to the AT&T Center remains a major organizational priority for all of us,” said Spurs Sports & Entertainment CEO RC Buford. “While we are confident in the plans and protocols we have in place, we are uncomfortable hosting fans at this moment as the COVID-19 numbers and data in our community continue to trend in the wrong direction.”

A team of SS&E officials remain in daily contact with a wide range of local, regional and national officials and public health experts to ensure a safe environment when fans return to the AT&T Center.

“It’s impossible to explain how much we miss seeing and hearing our fans,” said Buford. “We will continue to work tirelessly to do everything in our control to allow us to open our doors to our fans in a safe and timely manner.”