NBA Rumors: Aging Mickael Pietrus Won't Help Injury-Riddled Spurs

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistNovember 20, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 07:  Mickael Pietrus #28 of the Boston Celtics reacts against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on June 7, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs have spent the last few days at less than full strength, and it's looking even more serious after Stephen Jackson broke his pinkie in their game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday.

Jackson, only the second-biggest broken finger news of the day after Kyrie Irving's broken index finger was announced, will be out of action for the next four to six weeks, leaving the Spurs without one of their most important players.

In addition to Jackson, San Antonio has been without Kawhi Leonard, the team's rampaging sophomore, as he was held out of the past two games with tendinitis in his right knee, and is expected to miss at least another week. 

With just those two guys on the sidelines, San Antonio is missing a combined 18 points per game and nearly 10 rebounds. The biggest effect, of course, is the sudden lack of flexibility in San Antonio's lineup, something they build their strategy from.

Along with the injuries to Leonard and Jackson, Gary Neal had missed two games recently, and Manu Ginobili's back problems held over into the season and still seem to be bothering him a bit.

Naturally, the Spurs are going to have to look for someone who can come in and play from the wing with Leonard and Jackson out for an extended period of time and a few other important players deal with nicks and bruises.

According to Marc Stein, that player might end up being Mickael Pietrus, who most recently played with the Boston Celtics:


Hearing Spurs do have interest in Mickael Pietrus -- natural w/2 other Frenchmen on roster -- but Pietrus still seeks more than NBA minimum

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) November 20, 2012


Pietrus would join fellow Frenchmen Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Nando De Colo, so there's obviously a connection there. The only problem is, I'm not so sure how much the aging Pietrus has left in the tank to help a team like the Spurs.

It seems the best San Antoino could get out of the nearly 31-year-old Pietrus at this point would be as a spot-up shooter, but even he has never been a good enough shooter in his career to be considered for a spot-up role with the Spurs.

Pietrus' career three-point percentage stands at just under 36 percent, which is good for an everyday player who garners quite a few minutes, but for a guy who is going to come in for a few minutes a quarter just to shoot, it seems a bit low.

What's worse, however, is that Pietrus shot just 33 percent last season with the Celtics as a guy who was at best a fourth option on the floor. I'm not sure how much folding him into the rotation would help the team at this point.

I think the problem that muddles up the Spurs' situation is that there aren't too many other options, short of dipping down into the D-League.

San Antonio specifically needs someone who is of a size to play either the shooting guard or small forward spot, a position that isn't really that diverse on the free agent market at this point. If they don't go for Pietrus, the only other options would be Ike Diogu, who is too big, or Lester Hudson, who is too small.

Otherwise the free agent market is topped out at Kenyon Martin, Delonte West and Chris Andersen, none of whom fill the role that the Spurs need to plug for the next few weeks, and possibly beyond.

If Pietrus is just a stop-gap for the small forwards they have dropping like flies, then he might be a decent decision, but if they've got a long-term role in mind for him, it might be a bad decision.

Of course, this is the Spurs we're talking about, and no other team has salvaged players quite like they have over the years.