Exciting times Australia! Another Aussie is set to join the NBA alongside Patty Mills and Dellavedova's charging towards the draft with terrific play at Saint Mary'sA juicy filled update this week as we have more than the usual Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut to fill you in on...we may have a new aussie joining the NBA party!
SAN ANTONIO SPURS SET TO SIGN ARON BAYNESNew Zealand born and Australian home grown, Aron Baynes, has reportedly signed a multi year deal with the Spurs according to multiple sources. Part of the information swirling around is that it is a multi-year deal which speaks to the potential they see in the 26 year old. The figures are in the $3.5 Million range for 4 years, with the last 2 being a team option. Baynes is currently in the Euroleague averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds and his tough physical play has brought on calls that he's the best big man in Europe. This is following an ever so similar path that current Spur Tiago Splitter took. He was called the best big man in Europe back in 2010, after he won the Regular Season and Finals MVP award with Caja Laboral. Just 2 years on he became the starter for the Spurs and plays alongside future hall of famer Tim Duncan. This is intriguing for Spurs fans as well because life after 36 year old Duncan is getting closer and closer. This move for Baynes is an indication towards the future of the San Antonio franchise because Gregg Popovich and R.C Buford don't hand out multi-year deals to just anybody. They haven't given out a multi-year deal to a big man other than Tim Duncan since Fabricio Orberto (excluding Matt Bonner). This was back when the Spurs were between their 3rd and 4th championship. Tiago Splitter is on a rookie contract as the Spurs drafted him in 2007. Nothing is ever guaranteed in the NBA but it looks like Aron Baynes will have every opportunity and a lot of support to grow under Tim Duncan and become a respectable big man in the NBA.
DELLAVEDOVA LIGHTING UP SAINT MARY'SSetting multiple school records and receiving many individual accolades, Dellavedova is charging towards the NBA Draft with fantastic basketball. The point guard has been a major factor in turning the culture at Saint Mary's college from losing to winning as they now boast a record of 12-3. The coach Randy Bennett couldn't be more proud of the production he has received from Dellavedova saying...
He's as good as we've had. Just look at what he's done. He continues to get better. That's a straight byproduct of his work ethic.Running the Saint Mary's offense has allowed Dellavedova to fill the box score, averaging 17.4 points and 6.7 assists while shooting 47% from the field, 42% from deep and 91% from the free throw stripe. Put some of his outstanding play down to the experience he gained last year at the Olympic games. Facing the always challenging U.S along with other Point Guard generals such as Tony Parker from France. He averaged 7.3 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.8 rebounds starting for Australia with 29 minutes. Keep an eye on Matthew Dellavedova heading into the draft, he could push himself to be a first rounder come June.
MILLS SAN ANTONIO'S X-FACTORWhile Manu Ginobili carried that tag for most of his time with the Spurs he now can't do it every night as he continues to get older. Patty Mills has often been the one to spark a comeback or a breakaway the team from a deadlock. Mills got great minutes when San Antonio was going through their brutal stretch on the road in December but has seen a slight decline early this month. Only because the Spurs have had more time to rest to prepare for games. The Spurs always have their annual rodeo road trip which lasts most of February, no doubt the Spurs will need a dose of Patty Mills when the trip gets rough so expect his minutes to go up there.
BOGUT STILL SIDELINEDThere hasn't been any updates out of Golden State about the status of Andrew Boguts injury. He is still in rehab and it would be killing him not being able to help the Warriors as they look to secure a playoff spot this season. As of late there hasn't been any announcement that Bogut will miss the entire season so until it does maybe we could see Bogut back in March or April. That's about as optimistic as it gets.
It's been a big week for the Spurs and Australian Basketball. The international scouts at the Spurs have kept an eye over some aussie talent the last couple of years and seem to be liking what they see. How long will it be before the other 29 NBA teams catch on and realise Australian Basketball is on the rise?