San Antonio Spurs: Contingency Plans for Boris Diaw
March 19, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) moves to the basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Most expect Boris Diaw to spend the remainder of his career with the San Antonio Spurs. However, if he leaves for free agency, what are replacement options?
Rumors already persist that Pau Gasol is on the move from the Los Angeles Lakers. He is anxious to play with a contender in order to have one more shot at a ring. If the price lines up, the Spurs would be an ideal spot. He’s an even better scorer than Diaw, can run the floor, does not shrink on defense and even has developed some passing ability. San Antonio would love to have that next to Duncan and Kawhi Leonard in the front court.
His athleticism has waned somewhat the past couple seasons but Josh McRoberts overcame that with energy, rebounding, defense and passing prowess to help the Charlotte Bobcats reach the playoffs. The San Antonio Spurs will need him to be more consistent but his experience and intelligence will become welcome assets if Diaw does leave.
He didn’t get much love during his time in Cleveland but Spencer Hawes still managed to make his share of plays. San Antonio won’t like his limited defensive game but he’s very big, has many different ways to score and accepts his role without argument be in the starting lineup or on the bench. His superior scoring and rebounding numbers would be an improvement over Diaw.
What made Boris Diaw so valuable to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals was his athleticism on defense and his ability to pass the ball. Drew Gooden was an overlooked key player for the surprising Washington Wizards, posting good points and rebounding numbers but really making his statements as a hustler who used athleticism to play tough defense. It’s not clear if he can pass the ball since he doesn’t do it much, but he’s a grinder and has proven coachable.