Guard Keith Langford
has been called up to the San Antonio Spurs, making him the 7th call-up of the current D-League season. After playing last season in Lega Due (second division Italy), he started this season with the Austin Toros, averaging 29 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. With Brent Barry
out for the next two weeks, Langford has a chance to see minutes with the Spurs immediately. To make room for him, point guard Darius Washington
has been released.
The Spurs called up Marcus Williams
from the Toros yesterday as well, but had originally wanted to sign Langford instead. Langford had been out the previous 10 days with an injury, and San Antonio needed somebody to step in and play right away, so they were forced to sign Williams. Spurs GM RC Buford went to watch Keith Langford
play against Tulsa, though, his first game back, where they saw him shut down Dallas Mavericks assignee Maurice Ager
. Langford held Ager to zero first half points, and he finished the game 3 of 10 from the field. He also impressed the Spurs with his play on the offensive end against the zone defense of Tulsa, as he played patiently and moved the ball around well against the zone.
Langford turned down many big offers from Europe, opting to stick with his dream of playing in the NBA over returning for another season in Europe. ALBA Berlin offered him $40,000 per month for his services this season, plus the $20,000 D-League buyout, and he also received a $250,000 offer to play the rest of the season with Panionios in Greece. He also had a mid-season offer to play in the Euroleague with Olimpija Ljubljana.
With the deadline for guaranteed contracts in the NBA looming, Langford will have two weeks to prove himself. The Spurs must decide before January 10th if it is worth their while to pay him for the rest of the season, or cut him and allow him to return to the D-League. Both Langford and Marcus Williams
will likely see minutes in San Antonios shallow rotation to prove their worth on the court.
The Spurs own the Toros, and called up both of their D-League players from the team. They acquired the rights to Langford via allocation from the league office, because Langford is from Texas. He also was in training camp with them. Darius Washington
started the season strong for the Spurs, but now finds himself looking for a job. Point guards are in high demand over in Europe at the moment, so Washington will likely have to decide between another trip to play overseas or playing in the D-League and looking for another NBA callup.
Of all the NBA call-ups this season, each D-League player has a previous association with their team except for Jeremy Richardson
. Langford participated in training camp with the Spurs before season, and Williams was drafted by the Spurs before his release at the conclusion of training camp.