The San Antonio Spurs have needed some frontcourt upgrades for quite some time now, and the 2022 offseason could be the time to address that.
Although they have one of the most effective centers in the league as a starter in Jakob Poeltl, it's like clockwork that the Spurs immediately start to suffer when he hits the bench. This was evident when the Spurs were a minus-6 against the Pelicans on Sunday when Drew Eubanks came in for him.
There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding the backup center position heading into next season. Will Thaddeus Young still be around? How will Zach Collins look upon his return? Will Gregg Popovich remember he has Jock Landale?
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Coach Pop's preferred choice of Eubanks isn't going to pan out as a center option if the Spurs want to get back to being competitive in the Western Conference. With Young likely on the way out soon and the effectiveness of Collins and Landale still up in the air, it could come down to the Spurs solidifying their frontcourt next summer.
While a lottery pick could give San Antonio their big of the future, these free agents playing now are definitely worth monitoring as options down the road.
1. Miles Bridges (restricted), Charlotte Hornets
While the San Antonio Spurs are rarely linked to big names with any substance, they at least have been mentioned as one of a few teams with the means to throw a serious offer to Miles Bridges. The 23-year-old is likely to win the NBA Most Improved Player Award if he keeps up his current level of play, as he's increased his points from 12.7 to 20.3 per game this season.
Bridges is a high-volume 3-point shooter at 6.4 attempts per game. While he's only making a third of those attempts, he shot 40% from downtown last season on 4.4 attempts per game. He also would bring the Spurs someone with the ability to put the ball on the floor and get a bucket. Currently, the Spurs are last in the league in isolation frequency at 3.0%.
Since he's a restricted free agent, the Charlotte Hornets could match any offer sheet for Bridges. As our friends at Swarm and Sting have pointed out, they have a lot of money tied up into Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier for the next three seasons.
The Hornets love Miles and he loves them back, but would a max contract offer give them some pause since this is his first season showing some real promise? I guess we'll just have to see.