Insider's contract prediction shows Spurs must avoid massive free agency trap

The San Antonio Spurs have work to do to improve and, fortunately, they will have major cap space to work with but they must avoid this big free-agent mistake.
Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs have some work to do to improve their roster, and, fortunately, they have several draft picks and significant cap space to work with heading into the offseason. According to ESPN's Bobby Marks, the Spurs could use that cap space to make a run at Washington Wizards guard Tyus Jones by offering him $20 million a year.

Although Jones is a perfectly fine starting point guard, the Spurs shouldn't pay him $20 million a year. While that is the going rate of an average starter, the Spurs should instead focus on the draft to address their point guard needs. There are several intriguing options for them to consider, each of which may be a better long-term option than Jones.

They would also be far cheaper, with each likely to make less than $20 million in total over the first four seasons of their career. Keeping Tyus' younger brother for another season to either start or back up whichever point guard they draft would give them a chance to develop and keep the Spurs from having to commit to a significant salary this summer.

Are there any other cheaper options at point guard for the Spurs this summer?

If future Hall of Famer Chris Paul were to be traded and waived or simply waived, then he'd be a great short-term option for the Spurs. Obviously, at 39 years old, he probably wouldn't play more than a year in San Antonio, but he has a long history of improving young teams. Even if he retires after next season, he could still serve as a mentor to whoever the Spurs draft, as well as Victor Wembanyama.

There is also the possibility of internal improvement, with players such as Devin Vassell and Jeremy Sochan making strides as playmakers last season and potentially helping more in that area next season. There is also the possibility that Wembanyama becomes more of a passer himself, getting his teammates quality shots while minimizing the need for an elite playmaker to play alongside him, though that would obviously be nice.

All in all, if the price is right for Jones, then it may make sense for the Spurs to bring him in as the bridge to the future at the position. However, if he costs $20 million a season, then San Antonio should look elsewhere.