Scenario 3: The San Antonio Spurs strikeout and then pivot
In this third and final scenario, the Spurs enter the offseason intending to make a big splash but are forced to change strategy after striking out. Collins and Robinson both re-sign with the Hawks and Heat while Markkanen signs an offer sheet elsewhere and the Bulls opt not to match. Additionally, DeRozan signs with the Knicks while Gay and Mills both sign for the mid-level exception elsewhere, foreclosing on sign-and-trade options.
With more than $40 million in remaining cap space and few options, San Antonio could instead pivot to renting out their cap space in hopes of acquiring draft picks. Possible targets could include absorbing Kevin Love's contract from Cleveland, Andrew Wiggins' contract from Golden State, or DeAndre Jordan's contract from Brooklyn. Taking on Love or Wiggins would be costly with both owed $30 million over each of the next two seasons, though could provide the Spurs with multiple draft picks.
Furthermore, they both could be useful players for San Antonio next season. Love would add passing, rebounding, and a high volume 3-point shooting big-man to the starting lineup. Wiggins, on the other hand, would serve as a DeRozan replacement. While not nearly as talented, Wiggins is a better 3-point shooter and defender and thus makes him a better fit. As for Jordan, the Spurs could later trade him for another asset or work out a buyout after having received at least two second-round picks from Brooklyn.
While not exactly an exciting offseason scenario, San Antonio could aid their rebuild by using their cap space to take on bad salaries in exchange for draft picks. With more draft picks at their disposal, San Antonio would be more likely to find their next star either by drafting them outright or using the extra picks to move up in future drafts.
San Antonio Spurs Projected Roster
Murray, White, Johnson, Love/Wiggins, Poeltl
Jones, Walker, Vassell, Samanic, Eubanks
Primo, Wieskamp, Bates-Diop, Dieng
Of the three possible offseason scenarios, I believe that the first scenario is the most likely to occur. With 11 players under contract for next season including Joshua Primo and Joe Wieskamp, the Spurs could prioritize continuity by filling most of their remaining roster spots with their own free agents.
It would mean next season would likely be serving as a transition year for the team. That said, with several young players poised to breakout with larger roles, San Antonio could turn a quiet offseason into a surprisingly strong 2021-2022 season.