Are we surprised by the San Antonio Spurs’ quiet free agency?

San Antonio Spurs LaMarcus Aldridge Trey Lyles (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs LaMarcus Aldridge Trey Lyles (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

It’s still too early into the offseason to call a final verdict, but the early portion of the San Antonio Spurs’ offseason has been quiet and efficient.

Although the San Antonio Spurs haven’t made any significant moves up to this point in the 2020 NBA offseason, they’ve managed to get quite a bit done. Starting with their draft, with featured significant value on picks 11 and 41, the team established a forward-thinking approach to building its core. Many of their players were retained with fantastic value, paving the way for a more extravagant future when development comes into play.

Neither of the team’s marquee players has been discussed in trade rumors since the pre-draft process after rumblings suggested San Antonio was up to something. In a league with deals being confirmed days in advance of the designated start-time, San Antonio generally sticks to the rules and plays the game fairly. Beginning at 6:00 p.m. EST on Friday evening, trades and signings trickled in from Shams and Woj alike.

Only three were released by San Antonio — Chimezie Metu was waived and the remaining bigs, Drew Eubanks and Jakob Poeltl, earned contracts. Each of these players comes in on a bargain with Eubanks earning fewer than $2 million each year for the next three seasons. Poeltl managed to fall back into San Antonio’s lap for fewer than $10 million annually; roughly the mid-level exception.

Spurs offseason checklist:

✅ DeMar opts in✅ Draft Devin Vassell✅ Draft Tre Jones✅ Waive Metu✅ Re-sign Eubanks✅ Re-sign Poeltl✅ Guarantee Lyles❌ Re-sign Bryn Forbes❌ Re-sign Marco Belinelli⬜️ Weatherspoon signs two-way⬜️ Trade veteran for assets

— Tom Petrini (@RealTomPetrini) November 21, 2020

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Once DeRozan opted in and qualifying offers were extended, San Antonio’s hope of making a splash in free agency diminished greatly. Once the dust clears and we get a better look at the landscape of this league, the San Antonio Spurs may be able to figure out a new situation. NBA general managers are intelligent enough to look at the Spurs’ expiring veterans and know there are ways they can each improve their team.

I’d look at the trade deadline as a great time for the Spurs to re-examine the NBA landscape. Contracts are flying off the shelves to players who shouldn’t make quite as much as they will and the value of DeRozan and Aldridge should skyrocket. Meanwhile, they have enough space to make one or two signings of low-cost players who haven’t stuck with their team. There are various players left who can fill in as end-of-bench reclamation projects like Trey Lyles before them who may re-establish value in the trade market or gel with the Spurs’ budding core.

There’s plenty of time left in this offseason — Even if it’s shortened. San Antonio isn’t done just yet and a Derrick White extension is likely to pop up on your timeline before the Dec. 21 deadline. It’s been a Spursy offseason thus far with little-to-no action, but it’s what we should’ve expected. The San Antonio Spurs aren’t nearly as reactionary as they are methodical. Considering the pool of young talent they’ve secured through the early portion of this season, the youth movement remains real and alive in San Antonio.

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Don’t let the lack of free-agent or trading action dispel you from your faith in this organization’s decision-making. The future is still bright for the San Antonio Spurs.