The San Antonio Spurs will hit 2022 free agency with more money than anyone else if they move Thaddeus Young and sign Lonnie Walker to a team-friendly deal. Fans have put Zach LaVine, Deandre Ayton, and other high-profile free agents in Spurs jerseys across the internet, and there is a real reason to believe the Spurs could ink a deal with their highest-profile free agent since LaMarcus Aldridge.
However, the Spurs are not exactly known for making offseason splashes. Fans should also brace themselves for the very real possibility that the Spurs will not make massive moves outside of the draft and will sign a player who fits a niche on the roster rather than just landing the best payer available.
The Spurs have plenty of depth at the center and guard spots but are missing a traditional power forward. Between Jakob Poeltl, Jock Landale, Zach Collins, and Drew Eubanks, it looks like the Spurs have enough big men, and with plenty of good power forwards in the draft, San Antonio does not need to sign a star. But they could take someone to split minutes with shooter Doug McDermott off the bench when this hypothetical rookie needs a break.
The San Antonio Spurs do not need to spend the big bucks to make this happen. They could sign an established veteran or take a flyer on a young guy to round out the youth movement. If the Spurs decide to shop on a budget, there are three pretty good options for San Antonio to pursue in the free-agent market.
1. Nic Claxton, Brooklyn Nets
Nic Claxton is a 22-year-old power forward for the Nets who stands 6’11”. The Nets would be smart to resign him to make their inevitable rebuild a little less painful, but if they go all-in for the 2022-23 season, they might have to let him walk.
Claxton is more of a center than a power forward, but hear me out. He does not shoot threes or handle the ball that well, but he is a rebounding and defensive machine who does really well in his limited play.
Zach Collins and Jakob Poeltl are defense-first players, but Jock Landale is not. The Spurs could take a page out of Cleveland’s book and sign bigs to fill the court. Having three big guys who can play really good interior defense and put up points while filling up the rebounding column is always a good thing.
Considering how this season is going, the Spurs could have a real shot at Chet Holmgren or Paulo Banchero. Both of those guys would be the primary ball-handler and scorer down low, so the Spurs might decide to move on from Jakob Poeltl. If they trade Poeltl, having a traditional big who fits a young timeline would not be a bad thing.
Flipping Poeltl is not my favorite idea ever, but if San Antonio added an elite scorer in the frontcourt, having Claxton to complement them would be the perfect move. The Spurs would not have to offer him much and would have plenty of room to throw an offer at a much higher-profile guy who could be another instant impact guy from day one.