The San Antonio Spurs needed to add pieces to their frontcourt in order to improve on last season’s first round playoff exit. Less than an hour into free agency, they have made two moves to address the lack of depth in that department.
According to Shams Charania, the Spurs and forward DeMarre Carroll have agreed to a two-year deal worth $13 million. San Antonio is expected to use the majority of their Mid-Level Exception to sign Carroll, leaving an estimated $2.7M left to be spent.
With the move, the Spurs will be maxed out in terms of roster spots at 15, although they can have up to 20 players on the roster during the offseason. Unless there is a trade or they cut a player currently on the roster, San Antonio will have essentially completed their offseason in the first 60 minutes of free agency.
Carroll adds depth to the Spurs’ frontcourt, which they addressed earlier in the day by re-signing Rudy Gay.
Carroll posted solid numbers for the Brooklyn Nets last season, with averages of 11.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, while shooting 40 percent from the floor and 34 percent from downtown. Bball Index classifies Carroll as a spot-up wing, which is a good fit with some of the Spurs’ more ball-dominant players.
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With the addition of another combo forward, we could see the Spurs play a big chunk of minutes with a small ball lineup because Jakob Poeltl as the only true center on the roster. Carroll played 72 percent of his minutes at the four and 23 percent at the three for the Nets last season, according to basketball-reference.
Carroll was a negative defensively last season, but he also averaged a hefty 25.7 minutes per game, a number that will likely decrease for the Black and Silver next season.
It’s probably not a coincidence that Carroll and Gay have both been given two year deals, considering they will both be 33 at the start of the 2019-20 season. Along with Gay and Carroll’s contracts, Patty Mills, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan‘s contracts will all be off the books after the 2020-21 season, assuming DeRozan picks up his $27.7M player option for that season.
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Not only is next season’s Spurs roster taking shape, but we may be witnessing the creation of some massive cap space in a couple of seasons.