The Spurs will use up a portion of their bi-annual exception (worth $1.9 million this season) by signing De Colo. Interestingly, Barcelona offered more money than San Antonio according to the report.
This time, for sure: Nando De Colo will take the plunge. After three seasons of steady progress in Valencia where he won the Eurocup in 2010 and played in the Euroleague in 2010-2011, a Northern (1.95 m, 25 years) is committed to two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs who ‘were drafted in the 2nd round in 2009.
He will sign in the coming hours a contract of 2.8 million. Requested by FC Barcelona, who proposed conditions exceed the Spurs, the back of the Blues chose to join Tony Parker and Boris Diaw with whom he will form a “Big three” French in southern Texas
(An aside: timvp of Spurs Talk speculated about the Spurs front office intentionally raising Erazem Lorbek’s price to decrease their ability to retain De Colo as well. Don’t put this kind of savvy move past the Spurs front office.)
Using their BAE essentially means the salary cap “apron” for the 2011-12 season will act as a “hard” cap meaning the Spurs will not be able to exceed the estimated $74.3 million mark. If that’s indeed the case, that signals to me that San Antonio will provide a somewhat significant role for De Colo this season.
Currently — and this just my estimate that is probably off by quite a bit — but the Spurs are dangerously close to the apron at about $71 million after factoring the Duncan, Diaw and Mills’ contracts. (Caveat: This is assuming, of course, that they indeed used their BAE on De Colo.) The BAE also cannot be used in successive years meaning San Antonio will not be able to use it next season.
Regardless, this will probably be the Spurs team we’ll see come training camp with a few minor alterations. There’s still the possibility of the Spurs putting together a couple of appealing sign-and-trade options — of which Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair, Matt Bonner and Tiago Splitter could be potentially involved. But I wouldn’t expect much in the coming weeks.