San Antonio Spurs Free Agency

San Antonio Spurs: 4 Low-risk veterans who could fill "spark plug" role

Tyreke Evans
Tyreke Evans / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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Alec Burks / Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Option 3: Alec Burks

Why is this guy so low as an option? Some sources say he may be returning to the Knicks and honestly, Alec Burks might be asking for a bigger role and salary than the one I am describing here. But if the Spurs signed him, Burks would be perfect.

Burks' season numbers of 12.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.2. assists may seem pretty insignificant until you realize he did it doing EXACTLY what the Spurs need.

Burk's role oscillated the entire year for the Knicks, going from virtually out of the rotation to role player to leading the second unit to closing games and getting some starts. He did it while contributing to winning basketball, helping New York notch the 4th seed while shooting over 40 percent from deep and 85 percent from the line.

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Isaiah Thomas / Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Option 4: Isaiah Thomas

I know what you're thinking here. Inefficient, defensively liable, all true. But what's also true is that Isaiah Thomas embodies the role of a guy who would relish the backup, offensive spark plug role at this stage of his career.

The former NBA MVP candidate has had a journeyman's story in the second act of his NBA career with stops in places like Washington, New Orleans, Cleveland, and Los Angeles. But at the end of the day, Isaiah Thomas wants to play. Thomas publicly expresses his interest in joining teams all the time, recently saying he wants to play until he is 40.

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Why am I bringing this up? To show that IT would accept a role where he does not have to play every night. But if one of the Spurs' other creators went down, Thomas would be ready. He has shown flashes of his peak in his most recent stints with the Pelicans and Wizards and could totally fit the mold of an insurance option for the Spurs to remain competitive, who wouldn't get in the way of the Spurs youth movement when they are all healthy enough to play.

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