The San Antonio Spurs finally appear ready to enter a rebuild after missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history. In fact, San Antonio's offseason moves seem to reflect the team’s new reality, beginning with the Spurs selecting the youngest player in the draft in Joshua Primo.
So how did the Spurs get here? Several pivotal events put the team on this trajectory, some within their control and some out of their control, but all impactful nonetheless. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the four events that altered the current direction of the franchise.
4. Signing LaMarcus Aldridge
The 2015 signing of LaMarcus Aldridge remains a pivotal moment in the franchise. The then four-time All-Star was signed away from the Portland Trailblazers and joined a team in which the core had just won a championship in 2014. Aldridge helped the Spurs extend their title window by a couple of seasons, and was the second-leading scorer on consecutive 60-win teams.
While Aldridge ultimately didn't help the Spurs win another championship, his time with the team was far from a disappointment. He made the All-Star team three times as a Spur and helped the Spurs transition following the end of the "Big 3" era.
During his tenure, San Antonio was able to draft the likes of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Keldon Johnson, all of whom are current starters and still improving. Had it not been for Aldridge helping to keep the team competitive, the Spurs would be in a far weaker position heading into a rebuild.