With about half of the league becoming free agents this offseason, the San Antonio Spurs have plenty of options to fill their big man need.
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has historically liked to keep multiple big men on the floor for most of the game, but this roster doesn’t currently have the personnel to do that next year if they don’t add some depth at the position this offseason.
The Spurs can’t really count on a major second-year jump for Chimezie Metu or Drew Eubanks, and they’ve tended to keep their first round pick in the G League for their rookie year over the past few years so they probably won’t get any immediate help from the draft.
That leaves free agency as the Spurs’ only option to add big man talent that can make a major impact on next year’s team.
Fortunately, nearly half of the league will be free agents this summer and teams have found success finding big men bargains on the open market lately with the best example being Brook Lopez‘s one-year, $3.4 million deal with Milwaukee last season.
It’s unlikely that one of the players on this list will end up being as good as Brook Lopez, but each of them could be affordable options for the Spurs to fill out their rotation for next season.
Next: Ed Davis
Ed Davis has been a solid big man throughout his career, and he put together another strong season with the Nets on a one-year deal in 2019.
Davis averaged 5.8 points and 8.6 rebounds in just 17.9 minutes per game, and he put up a career-high field goal percentage of 61.6% with the Nets.
The advanced numbers loved Davis’ contributions this year as he finished seventh among power forwards in ESPN’s real plus-minus metric and was number one at his position in defensive real plus-minus ahead of Draymond Green. That number isn’t a complete fluke either as Davis ranked sixth among power forwards in defensive real plus-minus in 2017-18.
Davis is an absolute beast on the boards and has always provided a burst of energy as a big man off of the bench. Bringing him in on a less than $5 million deal to share time with Jakob Poeltl at the center position next year would be a solid move for San Antonio.
Next: JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee has succeeded on a series of one-year deals over the past three years with the Warriors and Lakers, and he’s become a legitimate player after years of being featured on “Shaqtin’ a Fool.”
McGee scored a career-high 12 points per game in 22.3 minutes with Los Angeles last season and nearly averaged another career-high with 7.5 rebounds per contest.
JaVale was very efficient near the rim hitting 62.4% of his field goal attempts while stretching the floor vertically as a serious lob threat.
McGee swatted 2 shots per game with the Lakers, but defensive real plus-minus didn’t love his contributions on that end as he ranked 53rd among centers in that metric last season. However, he did rank ahead of Brook Lopez, Enes Kanter, and Julius Randle in that stat.
McGee should be available for a minimum contract again this year. I wouldn’t hate it if the Spurs brought him in to play 10-15 high-energy minutes next year.
Next: Richaun Holmes
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If the Spurs are looking to go cheap at the center position, Richaun Holmes might be their best option.
Holmes could add some athleticism to a Spurs big man rotation that is lacking that trait. He showed off that athleticism with 1.1 blocks per game in just under 17 minutes per contest in Phoenix last season.
The former second round pick scored 8.2 points with 4.7 rebounds per game while shooting over 60% from the floor with the Suns. He also ranked among the top-20 of the league’s power forwards in defensive real plus-minus.
Holmes is only 25 years old, so he could have some untapped potential that Gregg Popovich and the rest of the coaching staff would be able to unlock. While McGee and Ed Davis would likely be one-year options, I could see Holmes earning a multi-year deal from someone this summer.
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He is of a similar age to Jakob Poeltl, and they could team up to make a formidable center duo for years to come if the Spurs want to sign him to a long-term deal.