San Antonio Spurs Free Agency

San Antonio Spurs: Top 3 available buyout candidates

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 19: Markieff Morris #5 of the Washington Wizards drives to the basket during the game against the Houston Rockets on December 19, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 19: Markieff Morris #5 of the Washington Wizards drives to the basket during the game against the Houston Rockets on December 19, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC –  DECEMBER 1: Markieff Morris #5 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on December 1, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC –  DECEMBER 1: Markieff Morris #5 of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on December 1, 2018 at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The buyout market hasn’t been as flush as many expected, but there are still a few players available who could help the San Antonio Spurs secure a playoff berth.

The Rodeo Road Trip has gotten off to a rough start for the San Antonio Spurs, and it has exposed some of their weaknesses as we head into the stretch run of the season.

Their defense has fallen off of a cliff while Derrick White has been sidlined with another heel injury, and the Spurs aren’t getting enough offensive production from their role players to overcome their defensive woes.

San Antonio has an opportunity to improve their roster in the buyout market after some notable veterans have been waived by their former teams.

Assuming Derrick White can come back healthy after the All-Star break, the Spurs’ two biggest weaknesses lie with their big men and a lack of wing depth.

Fortunately, there are some buyout options available at those positions after all of the trade deadline madness.

Next: Omri Casspi

TORONTO, ON – JANUARY 19: Omri Casspi #18 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during the first half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena of January 19, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – JANUARY 19: Omri Casspi #18 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during the first half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena of January 19, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Omri Casspi

The Spurs’ lack of depth on the wing has been a concern all season long, which is why Rudy Gay’s impressive perfomance has been so vital to the team’s success thus far.

Marco Belinelli and Davis Bertans are outstanding shooters, but they are unable to guard the opposition’s best wing scorer off the bench and San Antonio’s overall defense has suffered as a result.

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Omri Casspi isn’t a defensive stopper at this point in his career, but he’s got the type of length to disrupt opposing scorers and he can add to the three-point shooting prowess of the Spurs’ bench mob.

Casspi is available after being waived by the Grizzlies, and he could be a sneaky good signing for San Antonio.

Next: Marcin Gortat

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 28: The Clippers Marcin Gortat #13 and the Hawks’ Alex Len #25 go after a loose ball during their game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Monday, Jan 28, 2019.(Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 28: The Clippers Marcin Gortat #13 and the Hawks’ Alex Len #25 go after a loose ball during their game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Monday, Jan 28, 2019.(Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

Marcin Gortat

As I said earlier, the buyout market is not the place to find game-changing stars. However, Marcin Gortat could help a team like San Antonio who has had issues at the center position all year long.

Pau Gasol finally looks washed up at age 38, and he may not be happy with the Spurs after conflicting reports of a trade request.

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Also, Jakob Poeltl has failed to live up to expectations as a high-energy guy off the bench this season.

Gortat is a solid veteran who is adept at the intricacies of running the pick-and-roll, and I think he’s capable of providing 15-20 minutes at the center position during this stretch run.

Next: Markieff Morris

NEW YORK, NY –  DECEMBER 14: Markieff Morris #5 of the Washington Wizards passes the ball during the game against Jared Dudley #6 of the Brooklyn Nets on December 14, 2018 at Barclays Center in New York, NY. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY –  DECEMBER 14: Markieff Morris #5 of the Washington Wizards passes the ball during the game against Jared Dudley #6 of the Brooklyn Nets on December 14, 2018 at Barclays Center in New York, NY. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Markieff Morris

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I believe that Markieff Morris is the best player on the buyout market by a significant margin.

He would certainly be an upgrade over Pau and Poeltl as a backup big, and he’s capable of stretching the floor by shooting over 36% from three in two of the past three years.

Morris has reportedly been medically cleared to play after a neck injury sidelined him for much of the season, and he could have some fresh legs after missing 23 of the Wizards’ 57 games thus far.

Markieff’s athleticism could help some of the Spurs’ defensive issues as he’s able to switch onto some smaller wing players while also manning the paint along with another big man.

He transitioned pretty well to a bench role in Washington this season, and I think Markieff would welcome the chance to compete for a playoff contender again.

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Next. The San Antonio Spurs and the point guard dilemma

I believe Markieff Morris is more talented than any of the other available buyout candidates, and he’s also a perfect fit for what the Spurs need from that position right now.

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