What Should the Spurs Do If Tim Duncan Retires?

By George Middleton

The million dollar question for the Spurs organization, is whether Tim Duncan will retire? It’s

May 2, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) guards San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) in the first half of game seven of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

simple if Duncan returns, the Spurs will contend, if he doesn’t they can be in trouble. Duncan averaged 13.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2 blocks this season.

Lets take a look at the scenarios.

If Duncan returns, the Spurs will come back with a healthier Tony Parker and an improving Kawhi Leonard. Leonard’s emergence as a player can be key in the return of Duncan. Leonard has quickly become the focal point of the Spurs offense which allows Duncan and Parker to save energy throughout the season.

In the playoffs Leonard once again took another step like last season, despite not playing well the last two games offensively. He averaged 20.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.

With Duncan returning the Spurs will certainly be a contender, as they will have as deep of a roster as any team in the league. Expect a deeper run than this seasons which had them losing in a classic seven game series against a strong Los Angeles Clippers team.

Now on to the bad, “what happens if Duncan retires?”

With a hole at the center spot with an injury prone Tiago Splitter, the Spurs will have no talent in the front court if Duncan retired. According to a report on NBC Sports the Spurs may look to trade Splitter. The Spurs must look at a few prized free agents if Duncan or Splitter aren’t back next season.

There is quite a list of bigs that can opt for free agency: LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, DeAndre Jordan, Brook Lopez, Greg Monroe, and Al Jefferson.

Aldridge who is as offensively dominant as any big in the league is from Texas, which makes it interesting to see if he leaves a talent Blazers team. Any team that adds Aldridge immediately becomes a threat to at least win many games, in the Spurs case they will certainly be contenders.

Many of those players are likely to stay on their respective teams, but a few players that can leave are Lopez and Monroe. Both players have been part of many trade rumors over the past few months and maybe their teams are moving on without them. Either player is a big addition, particularly Lopez as he is a true center, someone that the Spurs have lacked since David Robinson.

I believe Duncan will come back as he doesn’t want to end his career with a first round exit in the playoffs. Expect the Spurs to add another solid big man to help Duncan down low.

Next: Spurs Top Free Agent Targets