In David Aldridge’s weekly Morning Tip column on Monday, he broke down the NBA offseason, ranking the 30 NBA teams by the quality of their offseason, irrespective to projected win-loss records (hence the Wizards ranking above the Thunder). Aldridge ranked the Spurs 11th.
”Duncan was either going to retire or re-sign in San Antonio, and he opted for the latter, so the Spurs’ franchise can continue operating for the next three years. As long as Duncan is around, and still the lynchpin to everything that franchise is about, no matter if he’s not the MVP-level player he was, the Spurs have a chance. So they quickly brought back the other members of the band to play on yet again, like Diaw and Green. Why wouldn’t they? With a deep and resourceful team, they had the league’s best record in the regular season and were two games away from the Finals when Oklahoma City suddenly found its legs.
But the Spurs will come knocking again. De Colo, a 2009 pick that spent the last three years playing in Europe, signed a two-year deal in San Antonio and will play right away, likely to join the ranks of others like Manu Ginobili who supposedly come out of nowhere but who have been in the plans for years.”
A rankings related tangent: While I respect Aldridge’s basketball opinion a lot more than my own, I don’t see how he can rank San Antonio below the Los Angeles Clippers. San Antonio’s offseason isn’t good enough to be mentioned in a footnote but, by sheer contrast to the curious addition of Jamal Crawford, it makes a whole lot of sense. The Clippers signed a one-dimensional scorer, who doesn’t actually score well anymore, while blocking Eric Bledsoe in the rotation. That wasn’t their only move but they didn’t do enough to warrant inclusion into the top 10.
San Antonio simply decided: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Not only did they mend the fences and hopefully string together another season where they overachieve or improve internally, they took advantage of the free agency market on their own players — or lack thereof. Securing Duncan, Diaw, Green, De Colo and Mills for about $20.2 million this season is an understated, yet sensible, use of their limited budget. In other words, they made the best of their options that didn’t include amnestying Matt Bonner or trading Stephen Jackson.
On De Colo: His much anticipated arrival in the NBA will be an interesting thing to watch this season and the fact that a prominent NBA blogger feels the need to mention the unproven international guard gives me yet another reason to expect good things from him.
Aldridge also mentioned why Tony Parker’s performance will be imperative this season, a fact that every Spurs fan cannot forget. This team is heavily reliant on their talented 30-year-old point guard and not the dawdling, consistence dominance of Tim Duncan.