With the Kawhi Leonard trade, the San Antonio Spurs are entering a new era.
The San Antonio Spurs have had eras marked by great players since the franchise moved from Dallas to San Antonio in the 1970s. It began with James Silas and moved to “The Iceman” George Gervin era in the late 1970s to the early 1980s. After Gervin’s retirement, the Spurs shifted into the David Robinson years followed by the “Twin Towers” era with Tim Duncan that led to two titles in 1999 and 2003. With Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in the fold until 2016, San Antonio captured three more championships.
Now, in the aftermath of the Kawhi Leonard trade, the Spurs are entering a new era. In the trade with the Toronto Raptors they acquired guard DeMar DeRozan, a four-time all-star coming off averaging 23 points per game and shooting 45.6 percent last season. Center Jakob Poeltl also came in the trade. In two years with Toronto, Poeltl averaged 5.4 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and shot 64.1 percent from the field.
DeRozan will not be the only all-star caliber player on the roster next season. Last year after signing an extension, LaMarcus Aldridge became the Spurs’ most reliable offensive player with Leonard sidelined. Aldridge averaged 23.1 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game, and shot 51 percent. He was also named to his sixth NBA All-Star game and All-NBA Second Team.
With both players now in San Antonio, it begs the question: Is this a new era led by DeRozan and Aldridge? Both were once franchise players for other teams and will now attempt to coexist as the Spurs continue to move on from the “Big Three” years. With Kawhi gone, Parker now in Charlotte and Ginobili’s future unclear, San Antonio is entering a season with more questions than answers for the first time in a while.