The San Antonio Spurs do not have an ideal cap situation entering 2018 free agency.
The San Antonio Spurs were set to have seven free agents this summer, but with Danny Green’s $10 million opt-in and Rudy Gay’s opt-out, it somewhat cleared up the situation. Joffrey Lauvergne is the last of the Spurs’ free agents with a player option.
Bryn Forbes, Davis Bertans, Kyle Anderson and Tony Parker will all hit the open market, however, albeit in separate situations; the former three are restricted free agents, while Parker is unrestricted. That’s a handful of qualifying offers to potentially make and decide on bringing back a former franchise cornerstone.
Of course the Spurs can bring in outside options in free agency, but it will be difficult, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. He noted how the organization will enter the summer “right at” the salary cap, due to the $11 million in restricted free agent holds. It will take the movement of other contracts to make room.
San Antonio will enter free agency right at the salary cap when you factor in the $11 million in restricted free agent holds. The Spurs would have to unload contracts to create room this summer, namely the $16.8M Pau Gasol contract and the $10M owed to Danny Green.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) June 25, 2018
Green’s $10 million, if he declined the player option for 2018-19, would have opened up some space, but still not much breathing room. So, it will take the renouncement of contracts, including Parker’s, to give the Spurs some flexibility; this might be easier than making a trade, but would the Spurs let go of their 17-year veteran?
If someone’s salary must go, then it points towards Pau Gasol’s $16 million. After using his opt-out clause in 2017, the Spurs re-signed him to a three-year contract, with a partially guaranteed salary for the third season. Taking on a $16 million salary might require added draft pick compensation from San Antonio, so that’s a task itself, just to give them room in a chaotic free-agent period.
The Spurs have salary exceptions to use in free agency, but that will take them over the cap, and it’s not much money — $8.5 million (mid-level) — to offer players, anyway, with the rise in money and years. That’s the best they can do, but will anyone sign?