Even with a dynasty in place, the San Antonio Spurs had a difficult time getting marquee free agents to sign in the Alamo City. While the organizational infrastructure, passionate fanbase, and absence of income taxes should be a draw, San Antonio cannot guarantee big free agent acquisitions the way cities like Miami or Los Angeles can.
On the flip side, the Spurs don’t often overspend to acquire talent like other ‘small-market’ NBA teams do. This offseason, San Antonio can generate as much as $48.9 million in cap space, which is the second-most of any team behind the New York Knicks and, barring an unlikely breakup between Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers, the best free agent on the market will be their own player; DeMar DeRozan.
The San Antonio Spurs have nearly $50 million in cap space, but with a limited free agency pool, the team might be better off using it to absorb bad contracts.
If the San Antonio Spurs organization is prepared to take a step into the unknown and let its young players take over, then using cap space to acquire assets and facilitate trades might be the best way to navigate this offseason. Some of these trades will look ugly on paper, but sometimes you have to take risks for something beautiful to come to fruition.
These three trades are ordered by extremity with the least controversial deal going first. If you have your own idea for a hypothetical trade in which the Spurs use their cap space to bring in assets, tweet it and tag me @DylanHCarter! This was a tricky exercise for me and I’m interested to see what you all can come up with.