San Antonio Spurs 2019 Cheap Wing Free Agent Targets
By Andrew Ites
The San Antonio Spurs should be looking to add wing depth in free agency. Here are some affordable options that they could be targeting this summer.
Outside of Rudy Gay, the San Antonio Spurs didn’t have many reliable wings on their roster last season.
Davis Bertans had his moments, but Gregg Popovich has never been able to fully trust his talented Latvian forward. Quincy Pondexter and Dante Cunningham only saw the floor in garbage time by the end of the season, and the rest of the players on the roster were either guards or big men.
Luckily there are a lot of multi-talented wings in today’s NBA, but they are becoming more and more coveted each year.
I still think there will be some wings on the open market that will be available for the Spurs considering their financial limitations this offseason.
We’ve already looked at some of San Antonio’s options in the $9-10 million range, which is the expected value of the non-taxpayer Mid-Level Exception this year.
But the Spurs may choose quantity over quality and add a couple of rotational wings with that available money.
If Pop and R.C. Buford decide to attack their weakness that way, here are some potential unrestricted free agent targets at the wing position:
Next: Rodney Hood
Rodney Hood has been a polarizing player who has run extremely hot and cold thus far in his career, but he may have graduated out of this cheaper tier of free agents with his performance this postseason.
After scoring 11.2 points per game in 26.3 minutes with a true shooting percentage of 54.5% during the regular season, Hood has busted out for 16.2 points per game in similar minutes with a ridiculous true shooting percentage of 73.8% in Portland’s series with the Nuggets.
We know those type of numbers aren’t sustainable for Hood, but it may entice an NBA team to be convinced that he has finally turned the corner in his career.
When I originally made this list of possible free agent targets, I thought Hood’s next contract would be in the $4-5 million per year range but now I’m not so sure about that after he’s showed out in front of the entire league.
If Hood’s value rises to the $9-10 million a year range, I’d be willing to let someone else give him that kind of contract this summer.
Next: Thabo Sefolosha
If the San Antonio Spurs are looking to add a veteran wing on a one-year deal to make a push farther into the playoffs next season, Thabo Sefolosha may be their man.
He’s probably not able to play more than 15-20 minutes per game, but Sefolosha is still capable of playing lockdown defense when he’s on the floor as he ranked fourth among small forwards in defensive real plus-minus last season.
After Dejounte Murray went down with a season-ending injury, the Spurs didn’t have a go-to defender to slow down a hot wing player. Thabo can be a defensive specialist in that vein on a short-term contract, and he can stretch the floor a little bit with his ability to hit three-pointers at a decent rate.
Sefolosha isn’t the sexiest option in free agency, but he still does his job extremely well and San Antonio can put him in the right situation to succeed.
Next: DeMarre Carroll
DeMarre Carroll is coming to the end of a monstrous four-year, $58 million contract, but he will be available for a much lower price this offseason.
Unfortunately Carroll has had some injury issues over the years and he’s on the wrong side of 30, but that could make him an incredible value for a Spurs team that is only looking to sign a free agent to a one or two year deal before they have some more financial flexibility in a couple of years.
Carroll is still an above-average shooter (36% career three-point percentage), and he’s able to defend at a high level for short spurts if the Spurs can manage his minutes.
If Carroll comes at a reasonable price this offseason, which I am expecting him to, he could be a wise investment if the Spurs strike out on some of the bigger name free agents.
Next: Jabari Parker
I’ve been sort of smitten with the idea of Jabari Parker getting the chance to develop his skills in San Antonio, and I even thought that the Spurs should make a low-cost move for him at this year’s trade deadline.
Instead, Washington pulled the trigger on a Jabari trade and they were pleased with the results when Parker scored 15 points per game in 27 minutes while grabbing 7.2 rebounds and maintaining a true shooting percentage of 58.7% during his time with the Wizards.
If Jabari can keep up that sort of efficiency that he showed during his stint in Washington, he could be an extremely useful player in San Antonio.
Parker would need to learn how to play some defense to get minutes under Gregg Popovich, but Pop has shown an ability to get the best out of players on that end of floor throught his historic coaching career.
There’s no doubt that Jabari has the talent to be an effective player in this league, and I’d like to see if the Spurs’ system could get the most out of him.
However, I’d be hesitant to spend the full non-taxpayer Mid-Level Exception on him with some of the other talent that will be available.
If the Spurs can get Parker to agree to a $4-5 million deal, I think it could pay off big dividends for them.
Next: Jeff Green
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Jeff Green is probably the biggest name to make the list, considering he was the number five overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, but that doesn’t mean he should be expecting big money this offseason.
Green has played one one-year, minimum contracts in each of the past two seasons with Cleveland and Washington, and he should get a similar deal again this summer as he will turn 33 years old next season.
Green still has the potential to be a very useful when his outside shot was falling, and it did last year with the Wizards where he shot 34.7% from downtown.
While he has great size and movement skills at 6’9″, Green has always been an underwhelming defender throughout his career.
However, Rudy Gay was thought of the same way on that end of the floor before he came to San Antonio, and he’s excelled in Gregg Popovich’s defensive scheme.
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It would be worth a $2.5 million gamble to see if Jeff Green could turn it around as well with the Spurs.
Check out our other lists of potential free agent targets: