New San Antonio Spurs guard Ray McCallum told the team's official website on July 13 that playing for the Spurs is "like a dream come true."
Now it can be said: Ray McCallum likes playing for the San Antonio Spurs.
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According to Lorne Chan of the Spurs' official website, McCallum was keeping himself abreast on the various offseason NBA transactions when a phone call from San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford caught him off guard:
"I was a random, unexpected call, and probably one of the best I've ever gotten. Sitting a home watching the offseason unfold, then finding myself thrown into that group of Spurs players, it's like a dream come true.
"I've looked up to the Spurs for a while. It was frustrating to play against the Spurs, because they always found a way to win. They always make that extra pass and close out, and I think I'll fit in well."
The Spurs acquired McCallum in a trade with the Sacramento Kings on July 9. In exchange for him, San Antonio sent a future second-round draft pick to Sacramento, per ESPN's Marc Stein.
Stein adds the Spurs planned to "renounce the rights to (former San Antonio Spurs backup point guard Cory) Joseph" as part of their intention to sign highly-sought power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.
It was apparent McCallum's two-year stint with the Kings was about to end when the team reached a one-year, $10 million agreement with point guard Rajon Rondo last week, per ESPN.
McCallum took over the starting 1-spot role after Collison sustained a season-ending core muscle injury and Ramon Sessions was traded to the Washington Wizards, per Stein.
Rondo and Collison will be the core point guard rotation for the Kings in 2015-16, per ESPN.
With Joseph signing with the Toronto Raptors last week, Chan expects McCallum to fill that void in 2015-16.
For his part, Buford told Chan that McCallum will play a vital role for the Spurs next season:
"McCallum fills a big need. Cory's play and his presence in our group can't be overstated. Replacing Cory's fire, passion and personality as well as 1,500 minutes of really good play was important for us. To go out and get a player like Ray fills a big hole."
Citing SportVU data, Chan says McCallum was one of the league's fastest players. He ran at an average speed of 4.6 miles per hour in games. Only two players -- Spurs players Patty Mills and Cory Joseph -- were faster. They were recorded going at 4.7 miles per hour in 2014-15.
With these, McCallum told Chan he intends to play at a fast pace and do whatever is asked of him:
"Spurs fans will see someone who plays quick, plays fast and does whatever the team needs. I look at the banners here and I love that it's all about winning. I think this is going to feel like home pretty quickly."
The 24-year-old McCallum has averaged 6.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 113 regular-season games for the Sacramento Kings, per ESPN stats.
McCallum will join Aldridge, who agreed to a four-year, $80 million deal with the Spurs on July 4, per USA TODAY's Sam Amick.
Aldridge, who attended nearby University of Texas in Austin, told Spurs.com on July 10 he's also excited to join the Spurs, a five-time NBA champion team:
"To be back in this state means a lot. It's my home. It means being close to my family and having my UT fans back behind me.
"The Spurs really are a family. They have a bunch of good guys that want to win, and the way they play is so unselfish. I'm looking forward to being involved in it. I feel that teams with players who are very close end up winning.
"I'm excited to be part of this great organization, a part of the winning tradition. I'm going to try to make history here."
Aldridge has averaged 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 648 career regular-season games for the Portland Trail Blazers, per ESPN stats.
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