The San Antonio Spurs enter the offseason facing a lot of uncertainty. With six free agents, they will have to decide whether to re-sign them and cut into their substantial cap space. San Antonio could have as much as $50 million in space, the most of any team.
Preserving that space should be the Spurs' number one priority, even if it means letting all of their free agents leave. Here's the case for letting go of each one as the team looks to re-tool this summer.
After another strong season, DeMar DeRozan will enter the off-season as one of the best available free agents. In the open market, DeMar will likely seek another long-term deal, starting higher than his current $27.7 million dollar salary. However, despite his strong play, the Spurs would be smart to let DeMar walk.
While the team has significant cap space now, they'd risk being a tax-paying team were they to re-sign DeMar to a long-term deal. The Spurs simply can't afford to pay him what he'll be seeking over three or four years, especially with potentially costly upcoming rookie extensions.
Financial reasons aside, the Spurs failed to make the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history. Though not entirely on DeRozan, it does reinforce the belief that it's difficult to build a successful team around him.
San Antonio is unlikely to make the playoffs again next season, with or without DeMar. By not re-signing him, the Spurs could have their young core take on bigger roles and produce similar results.