San Antonio Spurs: Three directions to move the franchise forward

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San Antonio Spurs

SAN ANTONIO, TX – NOVEMBER 30: Gregg Popovich head coach of the San Antonio Spurs talks with players Pau Gasol #16, LaMarcus Aldridge #12, and DeMar DeRozan #10 on the bench. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)

At this point, the San Antonio Spurs sit at a crossroads in the franchise’s path. It won’t be an easy decision, but it’s one that’s necessary to make.

We can start being honest with ourselves — This is not the same San Antonio Spurs group that established itself in a 22-year run. Organizational figureheads remain in place with Gregg Popovich steering the ship and R.C. Buford in a position of power, but the dynamic has changed.

Buford is no longer the team’s general manager with Brian Wright assuming the role. Now, Buford oversees operations for the cooperation, Spurs Sports & Entertainment on a greater scale. He’ll still be involved, but from a basketball perspective, he’s not in direct control as he once was. Popovich remains the head coach and exerts the most he can from his players, but it’s simply not enough for the team to be a playoff threat anymore.

Their best players are in peculiar situations. Wing DeMar DeRozan has a player option for next year that’s worth more than he’s expected to make in a single season moving forward. After having his final season fully guaranteed, former All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge will return on a $24 million deal before coming off the books in the 2021 offseason. There’s a route for this team to have a major overhaul of talent one way or another.

The youth movement was prevalent in the Orlando restart with the Spurs’ young guns taking a more prominent role on both sides of the floor. Therefore, there’s no roadmap for how to proceed as the Spurs move into a new era. As I see it, there are three ways to move ahead: The patient approach, the rebuilding approach and the all-or-nothing approach. Granted, the complexities that come with the state of the world right now will have an impact, whether we like it or not.

However, we’re going to see the San Antonio Spurs like never before starting this offseason.

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