Ian Mahinmi's Playing Time, McDyess Hurting
The Spurs recently assigned swingman Malik Hairston to their Development League affiliate in Austin, hoping to find him more playing time there than he could get in San Antonio.
They would have liked to do the same with third-year center Ian Mahinmi, but the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement prohibits it.
Players cease to be eligible for the D-League two seasons after signing an NBA contract. Mahinmi squandered all but 10 minutes of his second season while on the injured list with a variety of ankle woes.
Popovich said before Saturday’s loss at Memphis he would like to see the rule changed, perhaps to award an injury waiver to young players such as Mahinmi who lose a full season to factors beyond their control.
This isn’t a bad idea at all and many fans have been wanting to see more of Mahinmi to see if he can consistently provide the kind of effort he did against the New Jersey Nets on January 10th when he put up 15 points, nine rebounds, an assist, and a block in 21 minutes of action. He has played just over 19 minutes total since then, both in losing efforts to the Bobcats and Grizzlies. I think the guy has talent and his injury certainly derailed his progress, but it’s going to be difficult to work him into the rotation with Bonner coming back from injury soon and DeJuan Blair’s emergence. Not to mention McDyess and Ratliff’s veteran presence being needed at times.
Speaking of McDyess:
Forward/center Antonio McDyess was unavailable Saturday after suffering a pinched nerve in his neck Friday in Charlotte. He will be listed as day-to-day.
I don’t think this will be a big issue, but it could lead to a little more playing time for Ratliff and Mahinmi in the next game or two.