San Antonio Spurs: Draft additions make Forbes and Belinelli un-signable

Feb 10, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich with guard Marco Belinelli (18) and guard Bryn Forbes (11) in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 10, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich with guard Marco Belinelli (18) and guard Bryn Forbes (11) in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
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The San Antonio Spurs have literally no reason to re-sign their two shooters

The San Antonio Spurs hit back to back home runs on Wednesday night with their selections of Devin Vassell and Tre Jones. The two rookies both seem like excellent, high character players who should both have a chance to earn their spots in the rotation right away.

Most Spurs rookies spend the majority of their first season bouncing back and forth between San Antonio and Austin, with the majority of their actual game minutes coming with the Austin Spurs. These two could be the rare exception.

Unlike the rookies the Spurs brought in last year, these two are both coming out of their sophomore years with programs with proven records of sending NBA ready players to the league. They don’t necessarily need more time to develop. Any minutes that they spend in Austin will be primarily so they can get playing time, not cause they’re incapable of cutting it in the NBA.

The level of experience that these two are bringing to the team makes one thing abundantly clear – the San Antonio Spurs do not need to re-sign either one of Marco Belinelli or Bryn Forbes.

The San Antonio Spurs should let Bryn Forbes and Marco Belinelli walk

Earlier in the summer, I wrote a brief piece on why it wouldn’t be the worst move for the San Antonio Spurs to re-sign Marco. The reception from readers was, in a word, terrible. I don’t think I saw a single fan say that Marco should be brought back.

In my defense, I wrote the article with the assumption that the Spurs would use one or both of their draft picks on wings or forwards. But now that they’ve added two skilled guards to their already busy backcourt there simply isn’t any room for Marco and Bryn to be brought back.

The only real point for bringing the two back is that they give San Antonio a much-needed shooting threat on the perimeter. But you can’t have the good without the bad and for as good as the two are at nailing shots from behind the arc they’re also atrocious defenders.

Forbes and Belinellie were second and third on the team in 3-pointers attempted per 36 minutes, respectively. They were also second and third from last on the team in defensive box plus-minus, separated only from the worst position on the team by Tyler Zeller who logged all of four lopsided minutes.

Compare that against Jones and Vassell who shot 36 and 42 percent from behind the arc while also posting defensive ratings of 94.6 and 93.6, respectively. The contrast is pretty stark. These two rookies might not be quite on the level of the veterans in terms of shot-making ability but they’re already miles ahead of them as defenders.

Do the Spurs need 3-point shooting? Absolutely they do. They were 28th in the league in 3-pointers attempted and if Forbes and Belinelli walk they might have difficulty replacing their accuracy in the lineup. But they also just posted the worst single-season defensive rating in franchise history and a decent part of the blame can be laid at the feet of these two.

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All of this should make the San Antonio Spurs decision pretty clear. We’re appreciative of the time that Forbes and Belinelli have given the Spurs but their time with the team should come to an end. But don’t worry, Spurs fans, the young guys have got it from here.

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