San Antonio Spurs News

5 Silver and black linings to Spurs' first tank season since '96

Sacramento Kings  v San Antonio Spurs
Sacramento Kings v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Keldon Johnson / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

5. The San Antonio Spurs have complete flexibility moving forward

When the Spurs hired Brian Wright, they never suspected he'd be the Ultron to their Avengers. Two powerhouses empowered through positive intentions of their predecessors, they each sought to tear down everything that was built before their reign to start anew. Neither held loyalties to those who came before: Wright shed nearly every piece of R.C. Buford's retooling efforts while Ultron destroyed Jarvis to commandeer his army.

All geek-driven think pieces aside, Wright had the right idea by scrapping the Spurs' roster down to a husk of itself and assembling tools to build ahead. He effectively gave himself complete flexibility to build forward using whatever is presented to them. Affording himself a chance to adapt on the fly, Wright cleared the cap sheet and forced the coaching staff to develop its young talent.

Only one player is locked into a long-term deal: Keldon Johnson, who signed a reasonable four-year extension structured to pay him the highest sum first with a descending cap hit. This savvy structure is a small example of how the GM can use his immediate flexibility without restricting his options moving forward.

Wright also has a treasure trove of draft assets including all of the Spurs’ future first-round picks and control of six other first-round picks plus swaps from other teams. To this point, San Antonio hasn’t used any of its cap space, meaning they will have approx. $45.1M to play with next summer.

So why is this a silver lining, you might ask? San Antonio isn't done making moves. Expect them to continue racking up assets and getting involved with deals to stack that treasure trove and build toward the next winning iteration of this franchise.

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