When looking at San Antonio's upcoming free agent bigs, there are two players in dramatically different places in their careers. On one side, we have a veteran center in Gorgui Dieng. On the other, we have an undrafted two-way rookie in Dominick Barlow.
Gorgui Dieng: Resign
Gorgui Dieng has been a reoccurring character for San Antonio. The Spurs signed, traded, and signed the seasoned center multiple times in the past two seasons. This year, the front office brought Dieng back as a veteran presence for younger players in the locker room.
With Dieng at the bottom of the depth chart and his career winding down, it only makes sense for the Spurs to let him go this offseason. Younger players are emerging, and roster spots are necessary to retain that talent. While Dieng has been a positive presence off the court and on the sidelines, San Antonio must focus on their future.
Dominick Barlow: Re-Sign
Dominick Barlow is one of the two-way contract signees seeing significant minutes with San Antonio. Being on a two-way contract means Barlow will enter restricted free agency this summer. Despite going undrafted after spending one season with Overtime Elite, Brian Wright immediately signed the 19-year-old forward after the draft.
Barlow has spent most of his rookie season in Austin, where he flourished. The 6'9" big man averaged 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks on 54.2% in 29.1 minutes per game. The teenager showed unique fluidity and surprisingly light feet for his size.
With the recent departure of Poeltl, Popovich gifted Barlow with significant minutes where he's shown some encouraging flashes. While he's still a bit raw on both ends, the Spurs might've found another two-way success.
Either another two-way deal or a standard contract would work to retain Barlow's services in San Antonio as he continues to develop.