With a second-round exit from the playoffs, and the rumors of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili possibly retiring, where do the San Antonio Spurs go from here? Better believe they will be competitive as ever come next season.
With the disappointment of being eliminated in Round 2, there should be optimism regarding the future as the Spurs slowly put the pieces in place to remain competitive for a long time.
Sure, the Spurs became just the fourth team in NBA history to win at least 65 games in the regular season and fail to win the championship. But as Tony Parker said over and over throughout the team’s historic regular season, none of the regular-season victories mean anything if it can’t win a title.
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In what could have been the Spurs’ worst loss in playoff history against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6, the Spurs showed their fight and clawed back to only lose 113 to 99. From that game, Head Coach Gregg Popovich could not be more proud of the heart the team showed in the second half.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the way we played in the second half tonight,” Popovich said. “They really showed their character. They didn’t hang their heads. They busted their fannies, and did as well as they possibly could.”
They could be doing it for quite a while, too, particularly the young core of LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green alongside the 33-year-old Parker. All four of their deals run at least through the 2017-18 season, with Leonard’s contract extending through 2018-19. All but Parker have a player option for the season following when those deals expire.
April 7, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kyle Anderson (1) shoots the basketball during the first half against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Spurs 112-101. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
To join those four you can add promising youngsters such as Kyle Anderson and Boban Marjanovic, should he return.
New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry sums it up when talking about the success of San Antonio. Gentry joked back in March that “for 10 years that the Spurs’ championship window is closing.” But, many would disagree, as year after year, San Antonio remains in serious contention for titles as it brings in a few new role players as they phase out others.
Rumors have already started and have linked the Spurs as possible options for a handful of players. Pau Gasol and Mike Conley have already been rumored with the Spurs.
No matter what the future holds for Duncan and Ginobili, the Spurs will always find their way to compete for a title.