With the 59th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs selected guard Marcus Denmon from the University of Missouri. However, Spurs fans have yet to see him stateside as he was sent to France to develop his game while playing for Élan Chalon.
That was then, this is now.
Denmon will be showcasing his talents in Vegas this week with the Spurs Summer League squad. It will be a chance for Spurs fans (and coaching staff) to see how far he has come but before then, Denmon reflected on his time overseas in an interview with Sports Radio 810 WHB.
“Well, when I was drafted that was always the plan for me to go to France by the San Antonio Spurs. A lot of people thought I didn't make the team or I got cut or different stuff like that but the Spurs are really strategic in what they do. They let me know the night I was drafted that it was just a contract situation so I went to France my first year as a rookie and played over there.”
In 20 games Denmon averaged 12.9 points, 3 rebounds, 1.7 assist and 1.4 turnovers in just less than 32 minutes. But after 11 preseason games, what they call friendly games, Denmon broke his fifth metatarsal in his right foot causing him to need surgery.
“The first game of the championship season I broke my foot and it was ironic because it was actually against Tony Parker’s team and I went back to San Antonio and the Spurs did my surgery. Now I’m back to 100 percent. It was a surgery that the Spurs think I’ll never have any complications with that foot again.”
After coming up with a 2-0 series loss to the 2013 French League Champion JSF Nanterre, Denmon was announced as part of the 2013 Spurs Summer League team where he has his sights set on making the team and finally playing in the NBA.
“I’m back with the Spurs and I’ll be playing Summer League here coming up in the next couple weeks. This year will be a lot more contract focused; I look forward to going in and competing this year. Lord willing I’ll be playing with the Spurs and have my talents here in the NBA.”
The Spurs (as of now) are stacked at the guard position. From Tony Parker to the newest Spur, Marco Belinelli, it might seem Denmon could be a victim of a numbers game if he wants to join the team next season. However, with Gary Neal a free agent (as of now), Denmon says he feels he can take Neal’s place on the team but also admits Neal is a role model.
“Still in the end Gary Neal’s contract is up and we’re not exactly sure what’s going to take place but there’s defiantly opportunities to play and opportunities to get on the roster this year. That’s what I look for and something I plan on doing. Gary Neal was defiantly a key piece in what they did this year and with his contract being up it’s something you got to pay attention to and work on things that you may be able to contribute to the team for next year. “
In the end, Denmon will have to impress if he wants an invite to training camp. As said before, the roster, as it stands now, if heavy with guard players. Denmon has paid his dues and in Vegas, it might be his time to shine. Besides, it is at the Summer League where his role model was discovered by the Spurs.
The Spurs will begin Summer League play on Friday when the take on the Charlotte Bobcat at 9:00 PM on NBATV.