San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich confirmed Monday that rookie Sidi Sissoko will spend time in the G-League this season to develop on the court.
Sissoko made his summer league debut with the Spurs, averaging 4.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists in seven games against Las Vegas in Sacramento. On July 16, he ended his trip to the desert with his best game: 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The 44th overall pick signed a three-year deal in July after playing last season with the Ignite. He’s highly regarded within the organization and has impressed Popovich.
I love his body. I like his personality. He’s long, strong, aggressive, and quick on his feet, so I think he has a lot of potential to be a great defender. At the same time, we’ll work on his shooting and other things, but he’s also fun to be around. He has lots of energy. He is very happy. He’s a good teammate. I was impressed with him, everywhere.
The 6-foot-7 forward has extensive professional experience having previously played with Iraurgi Saski Baloia in the Spanish Liga Serie B. He has also represented France’s youth teams in several competitions.
Sissoko became a second-round pick thanks to his scoring, passing and defensive abilities with a 6-foot-9 3/4-inch wingspan. He also has great athleticism and had a lot of highlight-reel dunks on the Ignite last season.
The Spurs will work with him throughout the year to get him ready to contribute on a regular basis in the NBA. The team has leveraged its G-League affiliate heavily in recent memory, with great success.
“He needs to play,” Popovich said. “It wouldn’t be wise to put him on the varsity team, so let’s just say, sit there and watch us play, he could play 30 minutes or so in a game and start figuring it out, but we’ll see. He might surprise me. And progress has been much further than I thought.”