Will the San Antonio Spurs stand pat during the NBA’s transaction window?
By Dylan Carter
With two roster spots to utilize and flexibility in their favor, would it be surprising if the San Antonio Spurs opted not to make any moves right now?
As of 12:00 P.M. EST, NBA teams can officially make transactions in preparation for the resumption of the 2019-20 season in Orlando, but there’s been nothing to suggest the San Antonio Spurs are going to make a move. Given that they had an open roster spot for weeks leading up to the league’s suspension in mid-March, San Antonio could be in line to stand pat.
With star big man LaMarcus Aldridge rehabbing from shoulder surgery, the Spurs have two roster spots to toy with during this time. Though the likelihood of making the postseason without their second-leading scorer is slim, these Spurs aren’t going to go down without a fight. However, those put on the frontlines are likely to be the team’s young players considering the risk factors at play.
Preserving the health of their veterans is going to be at the forefront of the Spurs’ minds as they approach the NBA’s Bubble. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski made an interesting note about the mentality of various teams going into these games.
Remember too: Even among the six teams trying to reach the playoffs via a play-in, none believe this restart is worth risking injuries on players that could carry into next season. For some, Orlando will be an extended summer league to develop young players and protect veterans.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2020
Beating out four separate playoff contenders for that eighth seed isn’t a likely scenario at all, so Woj’s notion that this is going to be an “extended Summer League” for some teams pertains to the Spurs more so than most of their opponents. For the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings, making the postseason is a goal they’ve worked to achieve for years. The Portland Trail Blazers, who made the Western Conference Finals last year, have a chance at redemption after suffering through injuries all season.
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For San Antonio, the current outlook for the future is way more enticing than the prospect of making these playoffs and sacrificing a lottery pick to get swept by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the postseason. Therefore, it’s seriously likely that the Spurs don’t make any free-agent acquisitions right now and roll out their current lineup.
Each team needs some kind of insurance policy in case of a COVID-19 outbreak on the roster. Therefore, we could see players like Dedric Lawson or Jeff Ledbetter of the Austin Spurs earn two-way contracts. That’d mean rookie Quinndary Weatherspoon and/or sophomore Drew Eubanks would have their current two-way deals turned into legitimate NBA contracts.
Besides that, the free-agent pool is slim with veterans looking to get one last chance at playing in the big leagues as the primary demographic. Two players, Anthony Tolliver (35) and Corey Brewer (34), have been picked up by Memphis and Sacramento respectively.
For San Antonio, bringing in veterans like that won’t make much of a difference in the long run.