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Spurs Buyout Market: Andrew Bogut or Luis Scola?

Jan 21, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Luis Scola (4) warms up before the game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Luis Scola (4) warms up before the game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
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Although the San Antonio Spurs stayed “pat” during the trade deadline, Andrew Bogut and Luis Scola are hitting the buyout market. Should the Spurs pursue one of them?

The Spurs, to no one’s surprise, chose to stay quiet during the trade deadline.

However, thanks to the buyout market, some high-caliber role players have become available.

Andrew Bogut was traded from the Dallas Mavericks to the Philadelphia 76ers last week in exchange for Nerlens Noel. Bogut has since made it clear that he wanted a buyout from the 76ers to play with a potential contender.

Bogut’s wish was granted.

Andrew Bogut and the Sixers have come to terms on a buyout, according to league sources https://t.co/k78phXIsVM

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 27, 2017

On the other hand, the Brooklyn Nets are the worst team in the NBA.

While their intent is unclear, one has to assume they want to dedicate playing time to younger players, which is why they decided to buyout Luis Scola.

The Nets just announced the release of Luis Scola, who suddenly joins the buyout market.

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 27, 2017

Brandon Jennings and Jose Calderon have also been given buyouts by the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers, respectively.

Unfortunately, Jennings is likely heading to either the Charlotte Hornets or Washington Wizards, while Calderon has indicated his intent to sign with the Golden State Warriors.

Veteran guard Jose Calderon is on course to sign with the Warriors on Wednesday provided he clears waivers that day, league sources say.

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 27, 2017

While the guards in the buyout market won’t be available, it’s worth taking a look at both Bogut and Scola and the potential talent they can add to the Spurs roster.

Luis Scola

The Nets’ decision to buyout Scola was a mutual decision.

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For the Nets, they open up a roster spot for a potential younger player to fill in and get some quality minutes. In those minutes, this young player can gain some quality experience, and if he plays well enough, can elevate his trade value in the open-market.

For Scola, he gets an opportunity to be a role player on a team that is competing for a championship.

Scola is 36-years old and averaging 5.1 points on 47% shooting, along with 3.9 rebounds. The numbers are far from impressive, but the man is only playing 12.8 minutes per game.

If we average his numbers Per-36 minutes, Scola is averaging 14.4 points and 10.9 rebounds.

It’s also worth noting that Scola was a member of the Argentine National Team in 2004 who won the gold medal and beat the US team. Manu Ginobli was also on this team.

On paper, a Scola signing would make some sense. Unfortunately, the Spurs are pretty loaded when it comes to the front-court. Dewayne Dedmon, Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, David Lee and Joel Anthony are all on the active roster.

Unless the Spurs would willingly waive Anthony, I don’t see how adding another big-man would benefit the Spurs at this time.

Andrew Bogut

If we’re going based on talent alone, Bogut is the best player on the market.

An argument could be made that Jennings has the bigger upside, but his personality is the complete opposite of an ideal Gregg Popovich player.

Andrew Bogut is expected to hold talks with Cleveland, San Antonio, Houston and Boston before choosing his next team, league sources say.

— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 27, 2017

As I mentioned above, the Spurs are loaded in the front-court. However, if the Spurs can add Bogut, they should make the appropriate roster cuts (Anthony) to add him.

Why?

First of all, Bogut is an excellent defensive center. If anything were to happen to Dedmon or Gasol, Bogut could fill in and produce at similar levels.

Unfortunately, Bogut has had his fair share of injuries, and has only played in 26 games this season. In those 26 games, Bogut is averaging 3.0 points on 46.9% shooting, along with 8.3 rebounds and 1.0 block per game.

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Per-36 minutes, Bogut is averaging 4.9 points per game with 13.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

Secondly, and most importantly, Bogut was a member of the 2015 Warriors who won the championship, and the 2016 Warriors who blew a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Some may argue that Bogut’s injury in last year’s finals may have cost them the championship. That speaks volumes to Bogut’s impact on the floor.

As of right now, the Spurs are 45-13, the second-best team in the NBA and the biggest threat to dethrone the Warriors in the Western Conference. Adding Bogut, who was the defensive anchor on that team, will provide insight that can hardly be found around the NBA.

Any advice that can potentially help the Spurs game-plan more appropriately against the Warriors is valuable, especially when you consider the weakness of the Warriors is their depth at center.

Zaza Pachulia and Javale Mcgee are the primary centers for the Warriors, who aren’t exactly the “cream of the crop” at the position. Insight that can lessen their effectiveness is an immediate advantage for the Spurs, who have a plethora of capable centers.

Final Take

Both Scola and Bogut could fit in to the roster IF the Spurs are willing to part ways with Anthony, who was signed a few weeks ago to add depth to the center position.

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  • If the Spurs were forced to pick one, Bogut would definitely be the best addition, both for his defensive capabilities, and his insight into the Warriors defensive schemes.

    The only thing standing in the way between the Spurs and another championship appearance is the Warriors, and the Spurs should create any and all advantages possible to beat them.

    If Bogut decides against the Spurs because playing time would be limited, let’s hope he decides to stay in the Eastern Conference. If Bogut decides to join the Houston Rockets, it will elevate them on the defensive end (their weakness), and make the road to championship for the Spurs that much more challenging.

    Should Bogut decide to sign with the Cavaliers, Rockets, or the Boston Celtics, the Spurs should make room for Scola. He is the proto-typical Spurs European player who has a keen ability to score and pass the ball. In the Spurs system, Scola can be a solid addition that will allow Gasol to gain some extra rest before making a playoff push.

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    According to Marc Stein, these players are projected to clear waivers on Wednesday, making them eligible to sign with other teams.

    The Spurs will host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday at 7:30 CT in their first home game since February 4th against the Denver Nuggets.

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