Free Agent Recap Dilemmas for the San Antonio Spurs
By Andre Key
The San Antonio Spurs have had a very eventful offseason so far. Although they have been linked to numerous free agents, each scenario has brought with it some dilemmas.
The Spurs meet with Kevin Durant on Saturday in the Hamptons. This is probably the longest shot they’ll be swinging for this summer, but make no mistake they will swing hard. The Spurs can promise stability, a great winning franchise, and clear enough salaries to offer Durant a max deal. The dynamic of the team will look different, but that’s exactly what you want, because they simply cannot roll out the exact same roster as next season and expect to advance in the West.
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A trio of Durant, Aldridge and Leonard is enough to give any team in the NBA the sweats.
This could be a glitch in the Spurs’ plan, even after trading Serge Ibaka. The Thunder are planning on pursuing the Hawks’ unrestricted free agent center to continue to beef up their roster enough to convince Durant that they have more than enough to win a championship. They’ve already began looking for suitors to take on the salaries of Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler. If the Thunder are able to get Horford on board, it’s going to be hard to compete with a top notch roster, and the most money offered possible.
Even if the Spurs intrigued Durant, R.C. Buford’s hailed genius will be challenged this year more than any other.
This one is still up in the air as it was the first day. The Spurs aren’t the only team Conley will consider, and it has been reported he still has concerns, since Tony Parker is still with the team and has a big role. It’s probably more of a concern out of respect for Parker, but he has already told coach Popovich that he would take a step back and play any role given to him if the Spurs decided to sign another point guard. To be exact, the Spurs drafted a point guard Dejounte Murray, signed an undrafted point guard in Ryan Arcidiacono, and are looking to sign Conley as well. They are all younger, faster guards than Parker, and the Spurs are looking to make sure they are covered at this position.
The Spurs are reported to have high interest in Gasol this summer. Not only is his skill-set almost tailor made to fit the way the Spurs play, but he has been linked to be interested in San Antonio months ago with his brother Marc Gasol recommending the Spurs to be his team of choice.
Gasol is 35 years old, so he doesn’t fit the youth criteria, but with his solid rebounding and passing, the ability to hit mid range shots and even occasional three pointers, as well as his experience playing team ball on a championship team is invaluable.
Once again the Spurs will have to get creative, but it’s hard to believe that Gasol won’t be a top priority if they strike out in the Durant sweepstakes.
Dwyane Wade has been linked to having his team reach out to the Spurs to gather feelers on how they would feel about signing him if he were to leave South Beach. Wade will likely appear to be interested in the Spurs until the Heat come up with a number that he’s comfortable with. This is one scenario that should be looked at with no expectations, because this is Wade’s tactic for negotiations, and something he has done before. Using other teams as leverage is transparent enough to not bother entertaining the thought, but if it were ever possible, Wade would be a great addition next to Kawhi Leonard on the perimeter.
These are the biggest free agent names linked to San Antonio. The Spurs have a complex cap situation after Tim Duncan picked up his $5.6 million dollar player option. Marjanovic has been extended a qualifying offer, and the team has informed Boris Diaw that they would like for him to return next season.
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Whatever happens, we will see some creative shuffling, or some massive fails coming to the Spurs very soon. Keep your fingers crossed for the former.