Spurs could have a rare opportunity this offseason and they should not take that for granted. Rumors floating around the NBA hoop line are that the Spurs, among their top priorities of keeping Duncan and Ginobili for one more year, are adding another veteran big man to compliment The Big Fundamental. This is HUGE news, if in fact they can pull it off.
I don’t like to get ahead of myself especially before the NBA Finals even start, but it’s an interesting topic to ponder especially if in fact this next year will be Duncan and Ginobili’s last year. Don’t forget, they still are the 5 time NBA champions and the defending champions until a new king is crowned come June 4th. Regardless of the fact that they were dealt a devastating blow to a very emotional rollercoaster of a ride in a Game 7 first round matchup, they have to keep their chin up and move forward to prepare for next season.
So last time, I discussed the Spurs offseason priorities that need to be addressed if I was R.C. Buford.
Nov 28, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) tries to get past Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) during the first quarter of the game at the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
Obviously all of them surround their main players in Tim Duncan and Ginobili’s retirement status and Kawhi Leonard’s max contract. But besides those priorities, the other concern is and should be acquiring via trade a solid center to help the Spurs post issues. I mean this is all the fans want the Spurs to do, now it is a whole other discussion if they are indeed going to do that. With that said and done, the 2 centers that should definitely be on the Spurs radar this offseason are LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol.
LaMarcus Aldridge. As a Spurs fan, I actually prefer LaMarcus over Marc Gasol and I’ll tell you why. LaMarcus is a very versatile forward who can play the 5. Drafted in 2006 and entering his 8th year with the Trail Blazers, LaMarcus still has a lot of game left and will be an automatic All-Star if he goes to the Spurs. A dangerous combo of Duncan and Aldridge can actually become the second coming of Duncan and Robinson. More than anything, it will be the perfect torch to pass down to Aldridge once Duncan’s inevitable retirement approaches. Averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds, he is still in top notch shape and has a very consistent perimeter jump shot to add to his post game. I think he can space the floor with his post presence while setting up perimeter shooters. On top of that, his isolation game is superb and can drive in one on one while stepping back if he decides to nail the jump shot instead. His overall game is worth the risk alone, let alone being the future power forward of the Spurs if they do decide to pull the trigger. Definitely something to think about if I’m R.C. Buford.
Marc Gasol. Drafted in the 2007 draft class in the 2nd round, 48th pick by Lakers and then traded to the Grizzlies, Marc has played his whole 6 years in the league with the Memphis Grizzlies. I would love to see Marc in a black and silver jersey. I think he fits perfect into Pops system. His tough grit style of play is perfect for his post moves and can attract the double team to dish out to the Spurs perimeter shooters. I think he can also pick up fast and contribute right away. Last year he was averaging 17 points per game and 8 rebounds. I think those stats will fit in perfectly playing alongside future hall of famer, Tim Duncan. The only problem would be, same for LaMarcus Aldridge, is to find a way to acquire him via trade. They would have to give up a combination of either Mills or Green and Splitter or maybe even both. If the Spurs can somehow manage to get him through a trade and keep Mills, I will call that a very successful trade for the Spurs offseason.
So who should the Spurs consider? Whoever they do decide, should they take that huge risk of losing valuable role players via trade to acquire LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol? I think this a move that will definitely gain some momentum come July, but in reality until then let’s just take this step by step and hope for their big 3 to stay intact. Along with Leonard’s supposedly max contract, the big 3, obviously Ginobili and Duncan, should be their main priority. Gasol and Aldridge will definitely be Spurs offseason topics, but not for a while and not until free agency begins July 1st.
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