With an aging core that includes veterans Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, the San Antonio Spurs decided that it is time to go young. That is, signing free agent small forward Sam Young, who is expected to add depth to their already deep wing rotation in San Antonio.
According to Shams Charania of RealGM, Young and the Spurs have agreed to a contract after the 6-foot-6 guard-forward explored options with the Sacramento Kings and New York Knicks in the offseason.
Young was drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2009 as the 36th overall pick. He also had stints with the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers in his 5-year NBA career.
The Spurs lost no. 1 back-up point guard Gary Neal to free agency in the off-season but have reloaded their second stringers after signing sweet-shooting guard Marco Belinelli and Young.
Young is expected to be the fourth guard-forward for the Spurs behind Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Manu Ginobili. While both Leonard and Green are young and in the prime of their careers, the Spurs are expected to give Ginobili limited minutes to preserve him for the postseason.
The 28-year-old Young averaged 18.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pittsburgh Panthers in college.
In the NBA, however, he has yet to find consistency on offense and is now known primarily as a defensive stopper. In the 2013 NBA Playoffs with the Indiana Pacers, he was matched-up against the likes of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
The Spurs front office, particularly head coach Gregg Popovich, is known to develop unknown and unheralded players and turn them into legit starters or even star players.
The most recent projects are Leonard, who was drafted 15th overall in the 2011 draft, and Green, who was the 46th overall pick in the 2009 draft. Both are now part of the core for the Spurs and major contributors for the team.