Considering San Antonio Spurs guard Bryn Forbes is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, he may not be with the team next season.
The relationship between San Antonio Spurs fans and sharpshooting guard Bryn Forbes has been vacillating over the course of his last three seasons. While Forbes has a great story, going undrafted out of Michigan State and working his way up from the Spurs’ G-League team into a starting role for the team, his progression has seemingly come to a halt.
Defensively, it’s hard to find a starting guard that’s worse than Forbes is statistically. He has the lowest net rating on the team with the exception of two-way center Drew Eubanks and the worst defensive rating on the team besides the other two-way player, Quinndary Weatherspoon.
Because of his small build and unnatural fit at the two-guard, Forbes is the target of every team’s plan of attack since he cannot effectively guard his matchups at the position. This is partly because he’s too small to be an effective defender against larger two-guards, but it’s also partially due to his lack of defensive IQ in many scenarios.
Still, he remains one of the best shooters on a team that needs that trait direly. He hits 38.8 percent of his three-pointers on 6.2 attempts per contest, which ranks second-highest on the team just two-tenths of a shot fewer than point guard Patty Mills, who makes 38 percent himself. Between these two individuals, Mill is the more valuable player because of the leadership he brings to the table while playing feisty, intense defense.
San Antonio Spurs' best and worst 2-man lineups by net points per 100 possessions when those players are on the floor (minimum 500 minutes):
Patty Mills and Jakob Pöltl (+7.1)
Bryn Forbes and Dejounte Murray (-8.0)
— Andy Bailey (@AndrewDBailey) April 15, 2020
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Forbes is an unrestricted free agent this offseason and many fans are hoping that the team lets him walk instead of giving him one of their “loyalty” contracts. It’s well known that head coach Gregg Popovich is a big fan of Forbes because of his team-first mentality and hard-nosed approach to the game. With that said, he’s a detriment to the team in most scenarios and could be a candidate for addition by subtraction, meaning the team gets better by letting him walk.
Sitting in a shadows is rookie Keldon Johnson, who already seems to be a much more complete player who has the potential to be a great three-point shooter. Letting Forbes leave in free agency allows the Spurs to start combo guard Derrick White at the shooting guard, giving them an exciting one-two punch in the backcourt with him and Dejounte Murray.
It also helps ensure that Keldon has his spot in the rotation next year as the backup shooting guard, complementing the less defensively-minded Mills and ensuring that the team has a hardcore perimeter defender on the floor at all times.
Forbes will always be appreciated for his hard work and fun demeanor, but there’s a good chance he ends up on a different team next season and that might not be a bad thing for San Antonio.