After inking forward DeMarre Carroll to a three-year deal in the offseason, the San Antonio Spurs bought out his contract on Tuesday.
It’s been clear as day the San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and veteran forward DeMarre Carroll didn’t see eye-to-eye from a basketball perspective, which is why the 33-year-old only saw 135 combined minutes for the silver and black.
Newly-appointed general manager Brian Wright extended the duration of Carroll’s contract from two to three years after trading sharpshooter Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards to facilitate a contract with Marcus Morris. As we all know, Morris reneged his deal with San Antonio, deeming this loss unnecessary entirely.
There are no two ways around it—the entire situation was botched by Wright and San Antonio’s front office. It’s not his fault that Morris opted not to sign with the Spurs, but giving Carroll an extra year and moving off of Bertans was a rookie mistake by Wright and the team is suffering for it.
The Spurs and Carroll agreed to a contract buyout on Monday, and now the team will have his $6 million on their cap sheet next season as he takes the next step of his playing career with the interstate rival Houston Rockets. If Carroll plays well in Houston, this will have been a complete disaster for San Antonio and would reflect incredibly poorly on the entire organization.
So, the Spurs….
-flipped Davis Bertans to open up cap space for Marcus Morris
-lost out on Morris to the Knicks
-signed DeMarre Carroll
-proceeded not to play Carroll, then bought him out
Do I have that right or
— ahhhhhh (dats me yellin) (@NekiasNBA) February 17, 2020
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This unfortunate turn of events is symbolic of the Spurs’ 2019-20 season. Fans were excited about the addition of Carroll because of the prospects of his fit with the team. However, the fanbase was met with a harsh reality when it was determined that Popovich would not play him and that the Spurs would proceed as if nothing happened. Moving forward without any mention of his name, Carroll watched from the sidelines as a 20-year dynasty crumbled around him.
Now, Carroll is going to provide his services for a rival and free agents will be wary of San Antonio as a destination. This was not the right way to treat a free agent, and it’ll leave a sour taste in the mouths of agent Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, who negotiates on the behalf of 37 different players.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride of a season for San Antonio, ultimately with a plunge downward seeming inevitable. Carroll’s time in the Alamo City was the exact same, because it began with high hopes and positive expectations, but is ending with the unfortunate reality that the Spurs aren’t the same team they were even just five years ago.
How this influences future free agency periods in San Antonio is to be seen, but the Spurs botched this one terribly and it won’t be forgotten anytime soon.