San Antonio Spurs Free Agency

3 Paths to clearing cap space for Deandre Ayton

Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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When the playoffs are over and it's time for the San Antonio Spurs to hunt for their next big piece, someone like Deandre Ayton should be who they have in mind as priority number one.

Although the front office might end up having to find a more realistic option with similar abilities, they'll undoubtedly have interest in the restricted free agent fresh off his fourth straight season averaging a double-double.

As a 6-11 board-crashing center with a jump shot, Ayton would catapult the Spurs up a tier into a bonafide playoff team capable of doing some real damage next season. While all signs originally pointed to him being happy in Phoenix, the team's reluctance to initially extend him plus a tension-filled exit from the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs has some experts changing their tune. Chris Paul recently turning 37 could also come into play.

Ayton is the kind of talent that must be pursued if there's even a slight chance he could move on this summer, and the Spurs assuredly will take a look. To create the money needed for him, however, they'd need to do some maneuvering in the next few months. According to Project Spurs' Paul Garcia, the max San Antonio can offer Ayton next season is $30.5 million (which Phoenix could then match.)

There are a few ways the Spurs could clear up that amount if they have to do so.

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