The San Antonio Spurs spent 20 years winning championship after championship. Some would say that the Spurs and the New England Patriots were the perfect franchises during the 2000s and 2010s, winning 11 championships total during a 20 year period.
The Spurs had an excellent cast of Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, and Tony Parker, with phenomenal supporting characters in David Robinson, Bruce Bowen, Danny Green, Boris Diaw, and one cornrowed player who will not be named, among dozens more.
The Spurs had no shortage of talent during their runs, and even in their down years, players like LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Dejounte Murray, and Keldon Johnson have kept the franchise competitive. The Spurs left fans wanting for very little during their era of dominance, but there were some players who would have fit in perfectly with San Antonio but never got the chance to play in the Silver and Black.
In my mind, a perfect Spur has to meet certain criteria and have some universal attributes. A true Spur has to value winning above individual success, be willing to play system basketball, and should avoid off-court issues. Tony Parker got in a fight and had an affair, but he was never arrested or suspected of being violent, so he fits the bill.
Some players I’ve decided would be perfect Spurs are still playing or even in their prime, but they would have fit in perfectly with the Spurs' run of dominance. While these players would certainly make the current Spurs better, I’m mostly focused on players who would have made five championships look more like six, seven, maybe even eight.
From shooting guards to bruising centers, here are the five perfect Spurs who never were. Of course, players like LeBron would make any team better, so I’m focusing on players who would have fit uniquely in the Spurs’ system.
1. Draymond Green
Draymond Green is definitely the third-best Warrior behind Steph Curry and Klay Thompson (I’ve never even heard of Kevin Durant) and he’s arguably the most important. The undersized forward was the perfect small-ball big and allowed Steph Curry to blossom into one of the best players ever. Tony Parker would have thrived in the pick-and-roll with him, and he would have easily found shooters like Manu, Kawhi Leonard, or Danny Green.
Of course, his prime didn’t really start until 2015, and by then the Spurs were starting to move out of the way for his Golden State teams. But if we could but prime Draymond Green on the Spurs from 2012-2017, I think San Antonio probably adds at least two more Larry O’Brien trophies to the case.
Green is a competent scorer, sure, but his real asset is his defense. He only won a single Defensive Player of the Year award but has been named to an All-Defensive team five times. A starting lineup in 2014 of Tony and Danny Green in the backcourt with Kawhi at the small forward and Draymond at power forward allows Tim Duncan to play center.
Duncan, Kawhi, and Danny Green were all elite defenders, and if you add a prime Draymond Green in there, there’s no reason the Spurs lose a Finals until Kawhi finally goes down in 2017.
His willingness to give up the ball to better offensive weapons stands out. He’s only averaged double-digit points four times but is one of the most versatile weapons anywhere on the court. Sure, his habit of kicking people in sensitive areas isn’t exactly the best look for a classy franchise like San Antonio, but I’m sure Spurs fans could easily forgive a few antics. Draymond Green is a winner and would have made a great Spur.