DeJuan Blair has been in the NBA for four seasons and it's been a bit up and down to say the least. He came in after being passed over until the second round of the NBA Draft and had a strong rookie campaign. His future appeared pretty bright, but things have gone downhill this season.
Blair averaged 20 minutes per game over his first three years, but got only 14 this year. He's still shooting over 50% from the field, but his overall production has, of course, seen a dip with the reduced time on the court. After a career-high 9.5 points per game last season, Blair scored only 5.4 this year. His rebounds, assists, and steals are all down over the past year as well.
Really, it comes as little surprise that Blair wants out. He even admitted that Game 4 in the team's opening series against the Los Angeles was an audition for shopping his services elsewhere when Tiago Splitter went down with an injury. And that's not the first time this year Blair has caused a stir. After not playing in the season opener, he voiced his displeasure on, where else, Twitter.
According to HoopsWorld (and trust me, I almost hate to link to this site with the annoying popups, autoplay ads, etc.), the Spurs have tried to trade him but didn't get the first-round pick they were seeking.
It would have made sense for the Spurs to deal him at the trade deadline. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and plenty of others thought the Spurs would dump him for the best possible deal. There was little chance he was coming back to the team and usually, the conventional thought is you'd rather get something than nothing when a player in a contract year will walk. But the Spurs also have a legitimate shot to win an NBA title this year and my guess is that they'd rather have him for depth ... even if it was only for this postseason.
Don't feel bad for Blair. He's shown enough potential and is young enough that he should draw quite a bit of interest. He'll be playing somewhere next season - just not likely San Antonio.
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