In the spring of 2011, Cory Joseph seemed unsure about his plans to enter the NBA Draft after a fantastic freshman season at Texas. Eventually deciding to leave the NCAA ranks, the fringe first round prospect entered his name into the NBA Draft. Fast-forward a few years, and Joseph is now a three year NBA veteran, with the San Antonio Spurs, and a 2014 NBA Champion. However, heading into the 2014-15 season, Joseph is about to embark on the most important season of his basketball career.

Throughout his NBA career, Joseph has struggled to stay on the floor. Averaging career totals of 12.7 minutes per game and 4.2 points, Joseph has yet to take hold of a consistent rotational spot with the Spurs. Entering the final year of his rookie contract this coming season, Joseph is going to be looking to break out on the court. Off the court, Coach Popovich has praised Joseph for his team first and hardworking attitude, but now it’s time for him to shine while playing real NBA minutes. Lucky for Joseph, this year’s regular season will give him just the opportunity to do that.

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With Patty Mills, the Spurs backup point guard from last season, currently out for the foreseeable future due to injury, and Greg Popovich’s tendency to rest Tony Parker from time-to-time, there will be plenty of minutes available for the taking at the point guard position. Likely to be competing with Bryce Cotton behind Tony Parker, it would seem as though the Spurs front-office has already penciled Joseph in as a player who will be playing a large chunk of minutes at the point this season. Expecting Joseph to replicate what Patty Mills was able to do for the Spurs last season might be looking for too much, but this is not out of the question. What Joseph will bring to the table in his playing time however, is a steady point guard who will run the offense, keep turnovers to a minimum, and give his all on defense.

A contract year is always important. A contract year for a player who has yet to truly prove himself in the NBA is vitally crucial. With the opportunity that will be given to him during this season and the significance of the year contractually, Cory Joseph will be out there to prove himself in front of all those who will be judging him in a potentially career defining season.