The San Antonio Spurs failed to address their small forward issue in the offseason, but decided to sign free agent Josh Howard to an unguaranteed contract on Friday.
The Spurs’ quixotic search for a backup small forward took a left turn Friday, as the team moved to sign 10-year veteran Josh Howard to a non-guaranteed contract, NBA sources say.
The deal is expected to be finalized sometime this afternoon.
For the Spurs, it is a low-risk move that will require patience if it is to pay off. In fact, there is a good chance the 6-foot-7 Howard will not open the season on the Spurs’ 15-man roster.
Howard was waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves last season after suffering a torn ACL.
Sam Young and Corey Maggette were two candidates for the backup small forward job behind Kawhi Leonard, but both players were waived by the Spurs. Leonard averaged 31.2 minutes per game last season and could very well play more this year. If Howard can recover from his tough injury, he would definitely take some pressure of the rising star.
San Antonio surprised a lot of people when the team decided to buy out Stephen Jackson at the end of last year’s regular season and brought in Tracy McGrady for the postseason run. Without a solid backup small forward, Gregg Popovich has been forced to move some of his guards into the small forward spot, which worked out quite well, but the team clearly lacks depth at the position.