March 1, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Former San Antonio Spurs forward Davis Bertans (42) shoots the basketball against the Golden State Warriors during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
These free-agents can all help the San Antonio Spurs from behind the arc
One of the most exciting things about the San Antonio Spurs time in the bubble was the emergence of Derrick White as the team’s top scoring option. White had always been able to put up points but over the final eight games of the regular season, he took his scoring output to another level.
The biggest change in White’s game was his explosion from behind the arc. Without Bryn Forbes, the Spurs were suddenly missing one of their top 3-point threats. Someone was going to have to step up. Almost overnight, White became the man for the job.
White’s 3-point bonanza and the impact that it had on the whole offense reiterated something that we’ve all known for a while now – this team needs more 3-point shooting. White’s proven he can be a consistent deep threat and Keldon Johnson has shown potential but the team is still going to have to find ways to improve from being one of the most infrequent 3-point shooting teams in the league.
It’s very clear that help isn’t coming from DeMar DeRozan and Forbes and Marco Belinelli may very well have played their last games with the Spurs. It could be time for San Antonio to scour the free-agent market for 3-point shooting. Here are a few free agents who could help.
Next: An old friend
San Antonio Spurs free-agent targets: Davis Bertans
We don’t have to rehash the circumstances that led up to the San Antonio Spurs trading Davis Bertans to the Washington Wizards but suffice to say that’s one deal the team wishes it could have back.
We can debate whether or not the Spurs should have made that deal in the first place but there’s no debate about one thing – the San Antonio Spurs and their fans would love to have Bertans back in Silver and Black.
Bertans took off once he got to the Wizards. He nearly doubled his 3-point attempts per game without sacrificing any accuracy. He’d end the season in the top-ten in both 3-pointers made and 3-point accuracy. He truly is one of the most dangerous long-range shooting threats in the league at this point.
Spurs fans knew long ago the kind of floor spacing that Davis could provide but the rest of the league has caught on too and now he’s going to get paid accordingly. After suffering some injuries this year he sat out the season restart with the Wizards supporting his decision. They know how valuable their sniper is and it looks like they’re planning to pay him handsomely for his services.
There is a path for the Spurs to sneak themselves into the discussion. They’ll have to free up room on their books by possibly trading off older veterans but it would all be worth it to bring in a shooter of Davis’s ability. It may take some apologizing for sending him away in the first place but the Spurs should do everything they can to get Bertans back in their colors before the offseason is over.
Next: One of the league's best
San Antonio Spurs free-agent targets: Joe Harris
Another volume 3-point shooter who would be a phenomenal addition to the San Antonio Spurs is the Brooklyn Nets’, Joe Harris.
Harris has the kind of emergent story that every NBA fan should root for. He went from a relative unknown riding the Cleveland Cavaliers bench to one of the league’s most accurate shooters in a short period of time. Now he’s in a position to sign the kind of contract that should take care of him and his family for the rest of his life.
Coming off of a season in which he shot an astounding 47 percent from behind the arc, Harris had a bit of a down year this year. Yeah, he only hit 42 percent of his six 3-point attempts per game during the 2019-20 season. Not quite where he was during his insane ’18-19 season but still good enough to get him ranked among the leagues ten most accurate 3-point shooters.
Like Bertans, Harris would cost the Spurs a pretty penny. He’s a key part of the Nets team and would fit in well alongside shot creators like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The problem, as it so often is with championship-contending teams, is cap space. The Nets have already given big contracts to Durant, Irving, DeAndre Jordan, and Caris LeVert. Do they have the room to give Harris the kind of deal he’s likely able to command?
The Spurs salary cap isn’t filled with room to throw a hefty deal at Harris either but they’re in a better position to move pieces around to make room for him than the Nets are. He’d fit in well in San Antonio and the front office should consider any moves it might take to bring him to the Alamo City.
Next: A one year rental
San Antonio Spurs free-agent targets: Kyle Korver
Ideally, one of Joe Harris and Davis Bertans would come to San Antonio as a long term addition to the San Antonio Spurs young core. But if the Spurs don’t have the financial room to make that work they could look to add a one-year rental before going big game hunting in the summer of 2021.
After a disappointing end to their championship chase, moves are coming for the Milwaukee Bucks. Kyle Korver seems like he would be the kind of veteran they’d like to keep around but he might end up as a casualty of a much-needed shake-up in Wisconsin.
If that’s the case and Korver ends up looking for another team to play for before calling it a career the Spurs should put in a call. He’s a well respected and seasoned veteran who fills an area of need for San Antonio. He’s getting well into the twilight years of his career but he’s still able to fulfill his role as a dead-eye spot-up shooter.
Additionally, he’d bring another great veteran presence to the Spurs locker room. We’ve talked about how the future of the Spurs is going to belong to guys like Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson but it’s not quite their time yet. The team still has quite a few veterans under contract until the summer of 2021 so why not add another one to the mix for one educational season.
Korver could come to San Antonio and give them the elite 3-point shooting threat that they need while also mentoring the young players on what it takes to win a championship. Other than Marco and Patty he would be the only player on the roster who’s gone the distance, I’m sure he’d have plenty of valuable teaching lessons to pass onto the young players that might end up being more important in the long run than the impact he’d make on the court.
The San Antonio Spurs have been living in the mid-range for a while now but it’s time to spread things out. Adding one of these three free-agent shooters could help them do exactly that.