Don’t tell rookie Denmon the odds

LAS VEGAS — Even before he arrived at Summer League, Spurs guard Marcus Denmon knew what he was up against.

The team already has 14 players under contract for the 2012-13 season. The league maximum is 15.

A general studies major at Missouri, Denmon is a good enough mathematician to realize the odds of making the Spurs’ final roster are not in his favor.

“Every time you go out and compete, you’re playing for a job,” said Denmon, the lone member of the Spurs’ 2012 draft class, selected 59th overall.

A scoring star at Missouri, where his 17.7 points per game as a senior ranked second in the Big 12, Denmon hasn’t had much of a chance to make an impression so far in Las Vegas.

In three games, he has averaged 5.7 points and 2.3 assists while shooting 37.5 percent, including 1 of 6 from 3-point range.

Seeing time at his college position (shooting guard) and the position most 6-foot-3 players occupy in the NBA (point guard), Denmon’s focus has been on absorbing the reams of new information coming at him in waves.

It’s a learning process he hopes to continue when the Spurs resume Summer League play tonight against Miami.

“I’m a pretty quick learner,” Denmon said. “I think as you continue to play and learn under a system, your play will continue to elevate.”

Backing up Cory Joseph and James Anderson, two players the Spurs want to force-feed minutes while in Vegas, has limited both Denmon’s time and touches.

Spurs assistant Jacque Vaughn, coach of the summer league squad, has been impressed by Denmon’s willingness to fit into a smaller role than he had in college.

“He hasn’t tried to do too much, but has done enough,” Vaughn said. “Which is a lot harder for guys to understand, especially when you’re fighting for a job.

“The best part is he competes,” Vaughn added. “That’s what I want to see in an individual.”

Based on sheer numbers, the most likely destination for Denmon is overseas, or the Development League.

Holding fast to his NBA dream, however, Denmon refuses to be deterred by math.

“The Spurs drafted me because of the talent they feel I have,” Denmon said. “My job is to hold up my end and just come out and play hard.”

Switch for Green: For the first time in his career, Danny Green came to Summer League as a spectator, and not a player.

Still, even after signing a three-year, $12 million contract to return to the Spurs last week, Green could recall his days as a fledgling Cleveland Cavaliers summer-leaguer hoping to play well enough to impress the right people.

“I know what it’s like to be in these guys’ positions, trying to get a job and make a team,” Green said while watching the Spurs’ loss to the Los Angeles Clippers late Wednesday night. “It’s a lot more comfortable, a lot less stressful, being a spectator.”

Green called his contract, the first guaranteed deal of his NBA career, “a stress-reliever.”

Green is one of three starters the Spurs re-signed in hopes of keeping together a roster that advanced to the Western Conference finals before losing to Oklahoma City.

Power forward Tim Duncan and center Boris Diaw are the others. The Spurs also re-upped with backup point guard Patrick Mills.

“It shows the organization had a great deal of confidence in us,” Green said. “We had a really good team.”

Twitter: @JMcDonald_SAEN

Spurs’ summer schedule

The Spurs’ summer league team has two games remaining in Las Vegas:

Today: vs. Heat, Cox Pavilion, 7 p.m.

Saturday: vs. Mavericks, Cox Pavilion, 5 p.m.

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