Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Reacting to summer trades so far...

Summer is here and that means all the speculation, trades, and reshuffling the NBA goes through during the summer. The draft has occurred and I'll put out a post regarding my thoughts on the Spurs' draft picks, though there's not much to say, they made smart picks with their typical late 1st round and 2nd round picks. However, this post will be about the two major trades that have happened so far. Granted, every team is still trying to see if they can land Paul George and/or Gordon Hayward.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Looking at Positional Needs: Assessing Wing Depth

Looking at the Spurs this off-season there are a lot of needs to be addressed. I'm hoping to put out a series of posts that detail some of the options we have at each position this off-season. However, before we get there, we have to understand the situation that the Spurs have on their hands. That means a quick (and casual) look at the Spurs' salary cap situation.

From a cursory glance, we can surmise that the salary cap for next season will be $101 million, which is the important number for us. Another slightly less important number is the $121 million luxury tax threshold. (Note: salary figures provided by HoopsHype). I'm not going to get into the cap holds for players on the Spurs' roster entering free agency, but will simply illustrate the best case scenario here. Let's also not forget that many are already looking towards the 2018 free agent class which includes both Paul George and LeBron James.
Let's assume Manu retires and all players with options opt out. This means that the Spurs will have about $72 million in salary wrapped up. Sounds good right? However, if we look at the roster under that assumption:
PG - Tony Parker, Dejounte Murray
SG - Danny Green, Bryn Forbes
SF - Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Anderson
PF - LaMarcus Aldridge, Davis Bertans
C
While we're technically still paying for Livio Jean-Charles, I don't know that he's coming back to the roster anytime soon.
As reference, let's look at all of the Spurs' draft-and-stash players they have available to them: Adam Hanga (SG/SF), Nemanja Dangubic (SG), Nikola Milutinov (C). We'll discuss them as their position comes up.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Looking at Positonal Needs: Manning the Point

So as we approach the end of the NBA season, with the possibility of the Cavaliers commemorating 10 years since LeBron James's first Finals appearance with another sweep, some would argue that the NBA postseason has been somewhat anti-climatic. The teams that were supposed to win generally won, there never was any real question of an upset. Looming on the Spurs' radar though, outside of the general well-being of Kawhi Leonard's ankle, is the off-season, a time of relative uncertainty, especially if the Spurs expect to be big players, a role that they have generally avoided during the Tim Duncan era. The lone exception was the courtship and signing of LaMarcus Aldridge two seasons ago.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Beginning of the Post-Duncan Big Three Era: Looking Forward to the Kawhi-Era Spurs

With one season down, albeit, finished rather anti-climatically, ending with an unfortunate and fairly scary injury to Tony Parker (ruptured quadriceps tendon) and a poorly executed Zaza Pachulia close-out, after watching the game and seeing how Pop treated Kawhi after the sprain in Game 5 of the Rockets series I would surmise that Pop was just kind of riding however far the team could go in the playoffs because fairly, the Spurs didn't have much shot without Tony Parker and even less of one without Kawhi Leonard. This was quickly demonstrated by a convincing four game sweep of the Spurs out of the Western Conference Finals by the dominant Golden State Warriors. While many Spurs fans will point to the fact that this was something of a rebuilding year for the Spurs, which is crazy, considering it was just another ho-hum 50 win year for Gregg Popovich, but let's be honest, there is some merit to that. There were 7 new players on the roster (Pau Gasol, David Lee, Dewayne Dedmon, Davis Bertans, Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, and Joel Anthony), but most importantly, Tim Duncan, a fixture since the 1997-1998 season was no longer on the roster.