San Antonio Spurs: What if Zaza Never Injured Kawhi Leonard?

Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw, Zaza Pachulia
Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw, Zaza Pachulia / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard / Dave Reginek/Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs' 2018-19 season

The offseason during the summer of 2018 sees some very significant changes. With Houston, San Antonio, and Golden State all in prime position to win 60 games, LeBron James opts to stay in the East. He resigns with Cleveland for six years and proclaims that he is never leaving Ohio. 

The Raptors still have DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry at their core and realize they need shooting to surround them with if they ever hope to compete. The Spurs trade Bryn Forbes, Davis Bertans, and Marco Bellinelli to the Raptors for cash considerations, a 2019 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-round pick. The Spurs draft Keldon Johnson and Luka Samanic, both of whom will be in the G League for years to come since Kawhi has the small forward spot locked up. 

The Spurs’ regular season in 2019 is much less than ideal. After trading away two guards, Dejounte Murray is declared the point guard of the future and is given the reins to the offense as a pass-first guard and a defensive specialist, giving San Antonio a backcourt of Kawhi, Murray, and Green. 

Unfortunately, Murray still tears a ligament and is out for the entire season, leaving Patty Mills to start 80 games. The Spurs make the playoffs as a four seed but get bounced in the first round by Houston. 

I refuse to give James Harden a ring. He runs into the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, who sweep him, but Durant and Thompson both suffer injuries during this playoff run. Curry is left all by himself against the Bucks, who beat LeBron and company in five games. Giannis wins his first MVP and ring in the same season. 

The NBA fanbases have a very short memory. Giannis is declared the best in the world. LeBron, the Warriors, and Kawhi all swear to be back next season.