San Antonio Spurs: 2019 Impending Unrestricted Free Agent Decisions
The San Antonio Spurs don’t have a ton of free agents to re-sign this offseason, but their decisions on these players will determine what their team looks like next year.
After a 2018 offseason where the San Antonio Spurs underwent more roster turnover than they ever had throughout the Gregg Popovich era, this summer is looking like it will be much quieter.
Unless the Spurs trade Patty Mills or package their draft picks together to trade for a big name player, San Antonio will likely bring most of their roster back next season and try to improve on this past year’s campaign.
While it may be a bit boring, the Spurs thrive on continuity and this new era of players will get another offseason to gel together after many of them were struggling to learn the new system this season.
Luckily San Antonio doesn’t have a ton of impending free agents to take care of this summer, but who they decide to re-sign could have an effect on the minutes of their young players in 2019-20 and who they target in free agency this offseason.
Here are the four Spurs with expiring contracts this summer, and we’ll examine whether San Antonio should re-sign them this offseason:
Next: Donatas Motiejunas
The San Antonio Spurs waived Pau Gasol this spring to clear some cap space, and it opened up a roster spot for their push toward the postseason.
The front office decided to use that spot on Donatas Motiejunas, who had previously spent some time in the NBA but was putting up some outrageous numbers in the Chinese league this season.
Motiejunas was only paid a little less than $70,000 for his efforts in San Antonio, and he simply provided some insurance if one of the Spurs’ rotational big men went down with an injury.
The 28-year-old Lithuanian didn’t really see the floor outside of garbage time as he appeared in three games during the regular season and five games during the Spurs’ first round series.
Donatas has already essentially Tweeted a goodbye letter to San Antonio fans, which makes it look like he has no plans of coming back next season.
I think the Spurs will take a big man or two in this year’s draft and probably rely on Chimezie Metu or Drew Eubanks to take Motiejunas’ spot next season.
Next: Quincy Pondexter
The Spurs signed Quincy Pondexter to a one-year, $2.17 million deal last offseason to provide some veteran leadership and add some three-point shooting prowess to the bench.
Unfortunately, Pondexter didn’t provide much value on that contract as he only played 5.5 minutes per game this season with a vast majority of his playing time coming in garbage time.
Pondexter has had a checkered injury history throughout his NBA career, and he’s now on the wrong side of 30 as he enters unrestricted free agency again this season.
The former Washington Husky may have brought some of that veteran leadership to the Spurs’ locker room this season, but his lack of production on the court would make it very hard for San Antonio to justify bringing him back on next year’s team.
Pondexter is another player the Spurs can shed from last season’s roster to clear the way for their influx of young talent.
Next: Dante Cunningham
The logic behind signing Dante Cunningham to a one-year, $2.5 million deal was very similar to the Quincy Pondexter contract.
Gregg Popovich likes to have reliable veterans on his bench, and Pop thought he was getting one in Cunningham.
Unlike Pondexter, Cunningham played a meaningful role for the Spurs at points throughout the season and he actually started 21 games while San Antonio was dealing with a ton of injuries during the early portion of the year.
The Spurs will be looking to upgrade from Cunningham this offseason as he is now 32 years old and won’t factor in to the future of this franchise.
Hopefully San Antonio can pick up a better player than Cunningham with a minimum contract in free agency this year, or at least someone with more upside than Cunningham has at this point in his career.
Next: Rudy Gay
More from Air Alamo
- Spurs show remarkable poise against Bulls, unlike many fans
- Devin Vassell is the latest in the Spurs’ collection of silent assassins
- San Antonio Spurs: 5 Players to avoid in any LaMarcus Aldridge deal
- Is Gregg Popovich hiding Luka Samanic as a secret weapon?
- San Antonio Spurs News: More DeRozan trade talk from Chris Haynes
Rudy Gay is really the only one of the Spurs’ impending unrestricted free agents that was in the rotation all year long.
Gay had an up-and-down season, but ultimately he has a skill set that no one else on the current roster has with his outside shooting, playmaking, and ability to defend opposing wings at a pretty high level.
There has been some discussion about whether San Antonio should bring Gay back next year, but it should be a pretty easy decision for the organization.
The Spurs can either re-sign Gay using his Early Bird Rights, or that money that they would pay him under that rule would essentially go to waste as they will be operating over the salary cap in 2019-20.
Whether you like Rudy or not, San Antonio doesn’t really have the resources to replace him this offseason and they would be losing a key player if he decides to sign elsewhere.
Want your voice heard? Join the Air Alamo team!
While it likely won’t take this much to re-sign him, the Spurs can offer Gay up to $17.7 million this offseason. San Antonio should do everything in their power to make sure he’s in a Spurs uniform again next season.