Spurs to Call-Up NBA D-League's Larry Owens for 10-Day Contract
Saturday night, the Spurs went ahead and made the decision to call-up Larry Owens (photo, with ball) from the NBA D-League's Tulsa 66ers, a source told FanHouse, to once again come in line with the league's mandate of having at least 13 players on each team's roster. Draft Express first reported on Twitter that Owens was a call-up candidate of the Spurs.
"Larry Owens has been a staple for what the 66ers stand for the past two seasons," 66ers head coach Nate Tibbetts said. "He comes to work every day to improve and he is truly a professional. Everyone in Tulsa is excited and proud of him."
Owens, a 6-foot-7 forward out of Oral Roberts, has amassed averages of 14.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 73 career regular season games in the D-League. His best D-League performance may have come in his eight playoff games last season, however, as he averaged 18.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks while making 13 of his 28 shots from three-point territory while leading the 66ers to the championship series.
Though Owens' statistics aren't the most gaudy, and his last two games where he scored just eight points on nine shots aren't going to impress most fans, the work Owens has put in over the past two and a half seasons certainly makes him deserving of a call-up -- especially in the Spurs system.
Owens is probably best as a wiry defender that is able to defend both forward positions in the D-League, but he also seems comfortable in every facet of offense as he can both finish strong on the drive or shoot from beyond the arc. He's also become the perfect complementary player on a team that has included three NBA Draft picks this season -- Cole Aldrich, Latavious Williams and Ryan Reid -- as well as Zabian Dowdell, the first call-up of the season.
Most importantly for his call-up chances, however, might be the fact that Owens' 66ers have a league best 17-6 record and continued winning even without Dowdell as they are currently on a nine-game winning streak. As former D-League coach Bob MacKinnon mentioned last year, winning is one of the most important things when NBA teams look to call-up a D-League player.
Since Owens wasn't at the 66ers game Saturday night, he could be in San Antonio in time for the Spurs game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday evening, though that has yet to be confirmed.