Fred VanVleet and 4 free agents the Spurs might regret not signing

The Spurs will have second thoughts about letting these free agents sign elsewhere.
San Antoino Spurs, Fred VanVleet
San Antoino Spurs, Fred VanVleet / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Mohamed Bamba

The Spurs wanted a center to pair with Victor Wembanyama (subscription required) early in his career. The French prodigy is 7’3, but his body is not ready to match up against the most physical big men in the NBA. San Antonio surveyed their options but decided to stick with Zach Collins and Khem Birch.

There were a few overpays and some massive contracts handed out in the center market this summer, but Bamba saw his salary go from $10.3 million to just $2.0 million on a one-year deal to backup Joel Embiid in Philadelphia. The 25-year-old struggled to get on the floor after being traded to the Lakers in February and injuries have been a problem in his first five NBA seasons.

Bamba signed a minimum contract with the 76ers. The Spurs could have gotten him on the cheap if they entered the bidding. The seven-footer has proven to be a strong shot-blocker and rebounder when given consistent minutes. He could have battled Zach Collins for playing time and added some depth around Wembanyama.

Victor Wembanyama will eventually be a center, but needs time to develop. The San Antonio Spurs could have signed Mohamed Bamba to eat some minutes and likely traded him for draft capital at the deadline if he was playing well. Instead, the franchise opted for picks and unwanted contracts to begin the 2023-24 season.