June 2, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) tries to keep control of the ball under pressure from San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard and forward Stephen Jackson (3) during a playoff game at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Thunder defeated the Spurs 109-103 Mandatory Credit: Beth Hall-US PRESSWIRE
The San Antonio Spurs had a quiet offseason even for their standards. It’s the lack of exogenous additions that lead many to believe the offseason was a bust. But there is value in locking down key players for market value or lower.
It’s not exciting, sure. It was an effective use of resources and capital, though, and it elongates the brief championship window while not severely delving into the luxury tax. There is no shame in that.
Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops doled out a C to the Spurs in his offseason report cards, which is the worst mark of the division other than Houston Rockets who received a D+.
Enter the season with a four-game losing streak, which no one would have predicted when they had a 20 game winning streak and were up 2-0 on Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals. They have been perhaps the most static team in all of the NBA during the offseason, which is to be expected when you had the kind of season they just had (despite the disappointing ending).
If they learned one thing against OKC, it is that they need a rim protector. If DeJuan Blair can bring them a decent one, they’ll do it. Free agents Tim Duncan, Patty Mills and Danny Green were retained, and the only new face is French guard Nando DeColo, who is profiled in this EuroRookies column. They would have liked to bring over Eurostash stud prospect Erazem Lorbek, but he opted to sign a three-year deal with Barcelona. The Spurs picked up Lorbek’s rights in the George Hill trade with Indiana two summers ago.
Say what you might, San Antonio didn’t do anything to eliminate their chances of winning a title. Being static won’t increase the chances of beating Oklahoma City or Los Angeles but it’s not a guarantee that the other end of the spectrum would have done so either.
Why not be safe?