Feb 3, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis (23) during the second half of a game at the New Orleans Arena. The Spurs defeated the Pelicans 102-95. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Davis is getting that look of a future superstar. Looking ahead. could the San Antonio Spurs scheme to make a run at him in free agency?
Departures of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili leave front court in doubt
Things are largely set in stone for the Spurs as far as the 2014-2015 season goes. Their Big Three remains intact, specifically with the returns of aging stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. However, beyond is a different story. Both players are very near retirement and it puts the San Antonio front court under a good deal of stress in regards to long-term security. This has led to many believing the team would gear their financial plans around restocking it in NBA free agency at some point in the near future. The question is who do they go after? Kevin Love is expected to get traded to Cleveland where he will eventually sign a five-year extension to play with LeBron James. So what else is there?
Davis becomes restricted NBA free agent in 2016
The answer may depend on whether the Spurs are willing to stay patient. Outside of Love, the front court options for 2015 aren’t great. Lamarcus Aldridge is an option but he’s approaching 30 and seems interested in working out a new deal with Portland. Marc Gasol is another but he likes it in Memphis. The options get worse from there. On the other hand, if San Antonio keep their salary cap free until 2016, they may have a chance to lure a truly big fish in Anthony Davis.
The New Orleans Pelicans big man is blossoming into the star everybody expected him to be ever since he came out of Kentucky. Already an elite defender with long arms and athleticism, his time with Team USA is showing how far his offensive game has come. There can be no doubt teams are already looking ahead two years to when Davis becomes a restricted free agent since most would expect the Pelicans to exercise their team option next season. At that point, the Spurs will be able to make an aggressive offer to the native Chicagoan, who will just be turning 23-years old.
The allure of playing for Gregg Popovich would certainly appeal him since the Pelicans haven’t had a winning season since 2011 and haven’t won a playoff series since 2008. Nevermind the fact the franchise has never even played in a Finals. If any team can pry Davis away from the Big Easy, it’s the Spurs.