San Antonio Spurs Free Agency

Spurs: Answering 3 Burning questions before NBA free agency

Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray
Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Gregg Popovich Keldon Johnson / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

2. How will the Spurs use their cap space?

As it stands, the Spurs are still one of the richest teams in the league in terms of cap space. Accordingly, their options are wide-open, as they can offer a max contract to someone they really want, trade with plenty of leeway, and take on contracts other teams may be anxious to offload.

Because of their cap flexibility, San Antonio can go several different ways using these options. If they want to continue stockpiling toward a bright future with more draft picks and assets, we might see them go the route of taking on bad contracts to help other teams while helping themselves in the process.

The Murray trade seemed to indicate that nobody is safe if it means San Antonio will get an abundance of picks to use in the immediate future. They kind of did that already, but I wouldn't expect them to stop sifting through trade options now.

If San Antonio wants to opt for a more win-now approach, they'll undoubtedly throw a max offer at Deandre Ayton. Every report I've seen lately says the Phoenix Suns likely wouldn't match such an offer sheet, and Project Spurs' Paul Garcia pointed out the Spurs were the only team that could make that offer after Detroit's recent moves.

Of course, the Murray trade changed all that. Now, the Spurs don't quite have enough to offer Ayton a max, but they could still get there if they wanted. Here's what Garcia had to say in his write-up:

"The Spurs begin Thursday with $10.8 million in cap space. They can open up to $31.1 million in cap space if Galinari’s deal guarantees at $21.4 million and they withdraw the qualifying offers for Walker IV and Wieskamp, plus waive Tre Jones, Keita Bates-Diop, and Jock Landale."

The big question, then, is can we expect a big name like Ayton to actually land with the Spurs? I'll get into that next.