Bryce Cotton may be the Spurs’ next hidden gem

Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs have a knack of getting the most out of their 12-man roster, as evidenced by some of their biggest contributors in the 2014 NBA Finals. Patty Mills and Boris Diaw were once considered non-factors, one a towel-waver extraordinaire and the other cut by his previous team and benched by the Spurs early on. Diaw went on to be the deciding insertion into San Antonio’s starting five, while Mills ignited the offense whenever he took to the floor. Now expected to be mainstays, Mills and Diaw are no longer surprise cogs, opening up that slot for another overlooked athlete. And that athlete could very well be Bryce Cotton.

Named unanimously to the All-Big East first team, Cotton’s senior year at Providence was outstanding, with averages of 21.8 points, 5.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds, a 2.41 assist/turnover ratio and a 57% true-shooting clip in 39.9 minutes a game. His stat-sheet stuffing went unnoticed however, namely because of his stature. Cotton stands at 5’11” and weighs in at 163 pounds with just a 6’2″ wingspan. These numbers fall below NBA standards, yet DraftExpress ranked Cotton as the 71st best prospect available.

Cotton went undrafted, but was signed by the San Antonio Spurs to a contract in which he has to impress at Summer League and make the team at training camp to earn a two-year guaranteed deal. One game into his NBA journey, Cotton’s off to a good start.

Cotton came off the bench to play 16 minutes, scoring 12 points on 3-4 shooting from the field and a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. He attacked the rim with vigor and his pull-up jumper was deadly.

He’s still got a long way to go, but Bryce Cotton has shot out of the gates as a potential long-term win for the Spurs. If you need any other reason to believe in Cotton, it’s that the Spurs do, and they’re usually good with this basketball stuff.

David Vertsberger

David Vertsberger cares a little too much about basketball topics that few others discuss and basketball in general, probably. He also runs Brooklyn's Finest of ESPN's Truehoop Network and can be followed on Twitter at @_Verts.