McClinton Packing Boots With the Spurs

UM's beloved sharpshooting guard is off to San Antonio after being drafted 51st overall

It's a good thing Jack McClinton was unwanted out of high school, abandoned at Siena, and not projected highly in the draft.  He'll need to rely once again on his scrappy work ethic to make a go of it with four-time NBA champs San Antonio, who drafted him 51st overall last night.

It was no doubt a roller coaster of a night for the former Hurricane, who watched the draft with family in Maryland.  He was projected from late first round to not at all, and rumors swirled, from the Knicks purchasing the 29th pick for $3 million to acquire him to the Heat using a second round pick to keep him home. 

None panned out, and he was happily snatched up by the Spurs -- just the 17th player drafted in University of Miami history.

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It was a great draft night for San Antonio, who had no first round picks but made a lot from a little picking up Pittsburgh's DaJuan Blair, McClinton, and French player Nando De Colo. 

Blair could easily be the steal of the draft after late-breaking concerns about his knees shockingly pushed him out of the first round; McClinton ought to be a nice scoring threat off the bench for the Spurs.

But here's the catch: much of a player's future is determined by where he's drafted. And the Spurs already have Jacque Vaughn, Roger Mason and George Hill.  With concerns about his ground game, is it possible McClinton could beat one of the vets out for a roster spot? 

Spurs GM R.C. Buford thinks so, calling him “the best defender we worked out” during draft preparation.  Buford sees McClinton as a specialty player -- Eddie House with better defense. 

“I’m going to continue to work hard and prove the critics wrong," McClinton told the San Antonio Express-News. "I belong in that league. Nothing’s going to stop me from getting to where I want to go.”

And by 7 a.m. Friday morning, he was right back on the job: "The early bird gets the worm," he twitted. ".. im (sic) up .. running getting in tip top.... lets work.... u know the slogan!"

Janie Campbell is thankful the Spurs are no longer boring. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.

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