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Author Topic: The Future  (Read 104468 times)
13Supernuts
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« on: June 21, 2013, 10:55:23 am »
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The day after, still processing what happened in game 6 and game 7, Im looking toward the offseason for my Spurs.

The Free Agents:

The first decision/step the Spurs face is what to do with Manu Ginobili. The first part of this has to come from Manu himself deciding if he wants to continue playing. While during the Finals when he was struggling, he was quoted as saying he has thought about retirement, but during the WCF he said he wanted to play at least 1 or 2 more years. I believe what he said in the WCF. Much was written about how bad Manu played in the Finals, but really he play about how he did all playoffs long. He is not the consistent player you can count on anymore like he was 2 season ago. He can't do it every night, and in the playoffs he would have great games, followed by poor games, followed by good games. Which is fine if your in your late 30s. This season, the Spurs didn't need Manu to play great to win, he just needed to play solid. Like games 1 (13 points, 3 assists) and 3 (7 points, 6 assists) of the Finals. I think he knows that, and knowing the competitor he is, I can't see him willingly walking away after this season. Now for the Spurs part, how much to you sign him for. He just made over $14 million this season, and Manu has said along he knows he's due for a massive pay cut. For a player that probably won't play much over 20 minutes a game during the regular season, I think the number will be very low. Somewhere in the $3-$5 million dollar range annually. I think it will be a one year deal with a player option for a second.

The second free agent decision will undoubtably be Splitter. I've seen conflecting reports, but I believe he is restricted, but I don't know if those things apply to the Spurs. Their is such a family atomsphere with this team, such a belief in the system from the coaches/management/players that I just can't see Splitter being pulled away because another team offered more money. I think Splitter wants to stay, and I obviously think the Spurs want to keep him. GM RC Buford has said he expects Splitter to be a Spur for the foreseeable future, and I agree. Now, if Im wrong there are a lot of teams with cap space that will likely wiff on their other targets. If a deal isn't done soon, then his price could be driven up close to $10+ annually. Seriously, if DeAndre Jordan can get what he got, what is Splitter worth on the open market? I don't think the Spurs will let him see offers, I think he will sign with the Spurs the first day he can, and I think it will be for around $7.5 million annually for 3 or 4 years.

The next in line I believe would be Gary Neal. Throughout this whole season, I've thought this was Neals last season with the Spurs. He was in and out of the rotation and his shot wasn't as good as it had been. Then game 3 of the Finals happened and I am positively sure someone will over pay this man. Shooting as at a premium in this league and GMs know that and he put on a terrific shooting display for everyone to see. They only way I see him returning, is if Manu decides to retire. Otherwise, I think he becomes some other teams first guard off the bench averaging double figure points, making mid-level expection money or better.

The last true free agent is Blair. 100% chance he is gone. The Spurs tried to trade him at the deadline because they knew they didn't have a rotation spot for him and they wanted to both get him some PT somewhere else and get something for him. They didn't trade him, he rode the bench, and both sides will part ways amicably. Good luck to you DeJuan, I have nothing but respect for you.

There are two players with player options, and I expect both to return. Diaw has an option for a bit under $5 million and Patty Mills has one for a little over a million.

Additionally, I guess I should mention T-Mac, but I doubt he returns next season.

Cap Space

If the above predictions happen, and going off the Hoopshype salaries, the Spurs would have about $54.2 million committed to 12 players (Parker, Duncan, Splitter, Ginobili, Diaw, Green, Bonner, Leonard, Joseph, De Colo, Mills, Baynes). Add in the first round pick they are due, which that player will make right around a million. And there are no guarantees the Spurs first rounder wouldn't be a foreign player, but whatever. Point is, the Spurs will be under the cap anywhere from $2.5-$4 million in this scenario.

The glaring hole for this team is back up SF. The minutes that should have gone to Stephen Jackson this postseason I think hurt us when trying to defend Lebron (or if we would have played the Thunder, matching up with Durant). I'm sure they know this, and I think that will be the only spot left for someone not on the roster to crack into the rotation. That small amount of cap space gives them options.

The Rotation/Expectations

The most certain thing when it comes to the rotation is that Tony Parker will be the starting point guard and average between 32-34 minutes a night. He will play at an All-Star level, and be the focal point of the offense.

Tim Duncan will start at center (yes, center). His minutes will be around 28-30 a night, and his production is both certain and uncertain. To expect him to play like he did this past season would be more hope than reality. On the other hand, I find it hard to believe he will drop off the table like he did in '11. Something more likely is numbers like 15/9 with 75% free throw shooting and under 2 blocks a game. Still very good for a 37 year old, and should get him another All-Star spot.

Kawhi Leonard will be the starting SF and should receive quite a promotion. His minutes this season were kept low because he was dealing with knee tendonitis for most of the second half of the season, which is also why you didn't see him play second nights of back to backs. With rest, that should go away, and in the playoffs Pop gave him what he called "The Latrell Sprewell treatment" of playing him 40+ minutes a night several times. While I doubt Pop will ever do that to a player again for a season, I do think Leonard will lead the team in minutes played by a wide margin and average closer to 36 or 37 minutes a night. Additionally, what we saw at the beginning of the second half in game 7 was Pop playing through Leonard in the post and telling him to drive the basketball is absolutely where the Spurs are headed with this guy. I expect Leonard to be the second option on offense during the regular season, and for him to challenge for an All-Star spot. Look at how he kept getting better as the season went along....

Regular Season 11.9 points 6.0 rebounds
Postseason 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds
Finals (While guarding Lebron) 14.6 points, 11.1 rebounds

Former NBA player Rex Chapman tweeted after the game "Kawhi Leonard at 21 years old, is the closest thing I've seen to becoming Scottie Pippen-like." While I don't think he will ever be the defender Scottie was, he will be a great defensive player and make a couple All-Defensive Teams, but offensively I think this is a very good comparison. Except I think Leonard could be better offensively because of how much his shot has already improved.

The starters will be completed by Splitter and Green again. I expect much the same from them, with the exception of a minutes increase for Green. I think he will average closer to 30 next season.

The bench minutes are completely up in the air right now. How many does Manu get? Diaw? Joseph? Heck, even Baynes? All I know is the bench guys will get plenty of minutes, like they do every season. I think Joseph has earned the back up point role with his defense and energy. I think the Spurs love the idea of being able to stay big without Tiago and Duncan, so Baynes should get a fair shot to be the 4th big (behind Diaw and ahead of Bonner). I think it will be very important who they bring in on the wings because after Leonard/Green/Manu it is really thin.

Prognosis

While the way the season ended was heart-breaking, the Spurs will recover and continue to be what they have been for the last 15+ seasons. One of the best teams in the league. For at least one more season they will be title contenders because of the excellence of Tony Parker, the greatness of Tim Duncan, the potential of Kawhi Leonard, the unpredictability of Manu Ginobili and the steadiness of Gregg Popovich.

I love being a Spurs fan.
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MettaFan
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2013, 11:13:19 am »
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The Spurs outlook on the future is pretty solid...Kawhi will be a great guy to take over the reigns once Timmy D leaves.  Personally, I'd let Manu walk, give Splitter an exact offer and not over bid, and then keep everyone other than Blair and T-mac unless they feel he could thrive again with this system as the back up SF.  If not, would there be a chance they'd make a run at AK for the back up spot?  Maybe even go small ball, let Splitter walk, and go Parker-Green-Leonard-AK-Duncan? I know this may sound like a joke, but would Luke Walton be a solid back up option too? (The market for SF's this off season is severely lacking)...Kinda sucks that Blair is going, I like him.  Who would you rather have/think is better Blair or Baynes?
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13Supernuts
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2013, 11:45:38 pm »
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No to the AK47 idea. Just don't think it is realistic. Pop said last year during the season that this group of guys will be the team for the foreseeable future. I don't think major changes are going to happen, and AK47 would be a huge change. I think they like their starting lineup, with good reason, and they will just improve based off how their young guys develop.

As for the small forward free agents, I would like to kick the tires on Wesley Johnson. I think Luke Walton would be a little redundant considering we have a better version of him in Diaw.

I would rather have Baynes. He is a huge/strong dude that can run the floor and set great screens. Which is exactly what the Spurs want out of big men. I think he showed in game 4 of the first round that he can give D12 some problems as well guarding him in the post, just by being as big as Howard. He also made a jumper in that game.
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Kemba2MKG
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 01:52:21 am »
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I wonder if they would consider drafting Reggie Bullock if he is there? I know he and Green are kind of the same type of player but I think Bullock will be the better player in the long run and a glue type player championship caliber teams need.
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Shawn Kemps Kids
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 10:00:37 am »
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What's up with MettaFan asking every fan base if they want AK?
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13Supernuts
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 12:10:23 pm »
+1

I wonder if they would consider drafting Reggie Bullock if he is there? I know he and Green are kind of the same type of player but I think Bullock will be the better player in the long run and a glue type player championship caliber teams need.

Admittedly, I don't know a lot about the draft. I watch very little basketball outside of the NBA.

That said, just by looking at his profile on ESPN and draftexpress I would not draft him. For one, like you said he is about the same size as Green and Danny is much better at guarding point guards than he is shooting guards. I think you need more size to guard opposing wings in this NBA. James, Wade, Durant, Kobe, Harden, Melo, George are all big guys that you need to either be taller or thicker than Green or Bullock to check them well.

I hate suggesting players for the Spurs to draft because I'm normally wrong and they usually hit on whomever they take (for example I hated the Cory Joseph pick 2 seasons ago and now I love what he brings). But I look at someone like Tony Mitchell being an great defender and could transition from being a 4 in college into a 3 in the NBA. At 6'8" and 225 lbs (and a 7'3" wingspan) he could be a very good defensive player.

But I have complete faith that the Spurs will take someone I'm not even thinking about and he will be fantastic.
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Kemba2MKG
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2013, 02:13:52 am »
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I am a fan of Mitchell also, he is another NBA ready player.
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timmio1990
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2013, 05:42:17 am »
+2

More importantly, Patty Mills has opted in for next season, you guys will be fine hah
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Kemba2MKG
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2013, 12:26:57 am »
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More importantly, Patty Mills has opted in for next season, you guys will be fine hah

You are Aussie?
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timmio1990
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2013, 03:28:14 am »
+1

Sure am man
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13Supernuts
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2013, 11:11:12 pm »
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After looking at a list of the free agents, I've got three realistic targets for those 10-12 minutes a night at back up SF.

Martell Webster
Omri Casspi
Wesley Johnson

Should have between 2.5 - 4 million in cap space.
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Kemba2MKG
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2013, 02:28:31 am »
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Webster is streaky but could be a cheap home run add if he plays to potential. I think Johnson would be more of a risk, Casspi would be okay probably my second choice of the 3 listed.
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Skippy
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2013, 10:14:43 am »
+1

I want a Spurs-Heat Finals re-match next year. Also to settle TD-Bron's 1-1 card. Smiley
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LET'S GO HEAT.
Kemba2MKG
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2013, 10:39:22 pm »
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I don't know if my heart could take another one.
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13Supernuts
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« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2014, 09:59:00 am »
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Just like last season, here I am the day after the Finals, still basking in the celebration of a 5th championship. Let's look at what the Spurs have on their plates heading into the offseason.

The Old Guys

The decisions of Manu, Tim and Coach Pop will dictate every other move this upcoming offseason. I will tackle them in the order of which decision is less in doubt to more in doubt.

First Manu, who was quoted during this playoffs saying "I'll definitely be back next season." I believe that is as concrete as it gets, so he will be back, we can move on. He 100% will be back.

Next is Pop, who at 65 years young is closing in on his swan song. In a interview just this past Saturday said he would like to continue coaching beyond this season. While not definitively saying he would be back, he said he would like to be back and I'm sure everyone involved with the Spurs will want him back. It should be said that Pop has always said that he would follow a certain franchise player out the door when he decided to retire, which leads us to Mr. Duncan.

I remember a few seasons ago, I think during media day one year at the beginning of training camp, when asked about how many years he had left Duncan said "I'm going to continue to play until the wheels come off." Additionally, in many of his interviews lately he has said how he feels he played a meaningful role in the team's success. For the last 15+ seasons, I have read countless times how competitive Duncan is, how much he loves to play the game, and how much he enjoys playing for this coach with these groups of teammates, that I find it very hard to believe he would just walk away now. He is still playing at a very high level (he was 1st All-NBA last season for crying out loud), the team is set up to come back, and the other 3 prominant figures (Tony, Manu, Pop) are all wanting him to come back. I think it is a near lock he comes back, but because its not a certainty, I would say he and Pop are 99% likely to come back.

Free Agents

The Spurs currently have eight players under contract next season. Parker, Splitter, Ginobili, Green, Belinelli, Leonard, Joseph, and Aryes. If we assume Duncan picks up his option, that would be nine players under contract at around $53 million in committed salary. That would leave the Spurs with 4-6 spots to fill.

The most important roster move this offseason is probably resigning Diaw. By all accounts Diaw loves playing here, loves playing with Parker, probably loves getting to take some of the regular season to get in shape and I think the Spurs would love to have him return. He might be due a bit of a pay raise, but something like a 2yr/$10-12 million with the second year a player option.

Next in line will be Mills. It is going to be very tough to bring him back. I think there would be mutual interest from both sides to work out a contract, but I find it hard to believe no team will offer him a significant increase in both money and playing time. There are so many teams with cap space and if one of them said he would play 30 minutes a game I don't know how, at nearly 26 years old, you turn that down to continue playing less than 20 minutes and take less money. I would love it if he did, but I think he is probably gone.

Fellow Aussie Baynes would be next in line, and he will be a restricted free agent. I'm guessing they will extend a qualifying offer. Why wouldn't they, only about a million. I think they will resign him but I have no idea what he is worth. I think he is a good player, but he has seen such little court time and he is going to be 28 years old by the time next season tips off. My best guess is a 2 or 3 year deal worth $$4-$6 million, similiar to the Belinelli contract.

The remaining free agents are Bonner, Austin Daye and Damion James. I think Bonner is a lock to return on a vet minimum deal. Dayne has a team option, that I think the Spurs will exercise because they see him as a young stretch 4 potentially. James seems destined for the Austin Toros next year.

If those play out this way, that would give the Spurs 4 more players signed in a $9-$11 million range. That would eat up all their cap room, which I think they will work the deals out to take them over the projected $63 million dollar cap. That would then unlock the full-midlevel exception for them if they choose to use it.

Draft and Draft Rights

I don't even want to talk about it too much because I like everyone else really never has a clue what the Spurs are doing on draft night. I have routinely not liked most of their draft picks as they happened recently, (thinking specifically how much I didn't like the Hill, James Anderson, and Joseph picks when they happened) but they seem to do very well. To me, picking last in the first round screams of a draft and stash pick for the Spurs, especially when you figure no rookie available 30th would crack this rotation.

Which leads me to draft rights. The Spurs own the rights to 10 players already, but none of them seem ready to make the jump. The most NBA ready player already turned the Spurs down last season, Erazem Lorbek. And at 30 years old now it is likely he will never play in the NBA. Others are intriguing but are clearly not ready for the NBA jump, such as Livio Jean-Charles, Davis Bertans and Ryan Richards. I would be pretty shocked if the Spurs with this route to fill out the roster.

Free Agency

So the Spurs will probably have 13 players under contract, and armed with full mid-level exception to spend. Just like last season, the Spurs only real need is a back up small forward. During last season we had the worst case scenerio happen for about a 3 week stretch where both Green and Leonard were out with injury. Those are the only two players actually qualified to play the position, and Green is boarderline really. We went through a couple D-Leaguers, and settled on Diaw and Manu playing minutes there. Not ideal.

A quick look at the players available doesn't look like they will use the full exception. There are a handful of guys that are available for near the minimum however that would fit. You want a name that I wouldn't mind seeing that most would gloss over. Richard Jefferson. They could probably get him for near the minimum, and he is already familiar with the system. Another guy that has been forgot by some is Andres Nocioni, who again wouldn't command a lot of money, a vet, and a tough defender.

Kawhi's Extension

This is its own category because it will happen and it should happen. Whether he gets the max extension or signs a Curry level extension remains to be seen, but either way, he will be in silver and black for the forseeable future. It leads into this though...

Rotation/Expectations

The Spurs rotation will look very similiar to this past season. They only exception would be Leonard. Last year I went on a long rant about how he would make a huge leap coming off last seasons Finals, and largely it didn't happen. I feel the same way then as I do now.

Quote
Kawhi Leonard will be the starting SF and should receive quite a promotion. His minutes this season were kept low because he was dealing with knee tendonitis for most of the second half of the season, which is also why you didn't see him play second nights of back to backs. With rest, that should go away, and in the playoffs Pop gave him what he called "The Latrell Sprewell treatment" of playing him 40+ minutes a night several times. While I doubt Pop will ever do that to a player again for a season, I do think Leonard will lead the team in minutes played by a wide margin and average closer to 36 or 37 minutes a night. Additionally, what we saw at the beginning of the second half in game 7 was Pop playing through Leonard in the post and telling him to drive the basketball is absolutely where the Spurs are headed with this guy. I expect Leonard to be the second option on offense during the regular season, and for him to challenge for an All-Star spot. Look at how he kept getting better as the season went along....

Regular Season 11.9 points 6.0 rebounds
Postseason 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds
Finals (While guarding Lebron) 14.6 points, 11.1 rebounds

Former NBA player Rex Chapman tweeted after the game "Kawhi Leonard at 21 years old, is the closest thing I've seen to becoming Scottie Pippen-like." While I don't think he will ever be the defender Scottie was, he will be a great defensive player and make a couple All-Defensive Teams, but offensively I think this is a very good comparison. Except I think Leonard could be better offensively because of how much his shot has already improved.

I don't think he will average that many minutes next season because this team will blow out too many teams to allow him to stay on the court that long. Something in the 33 to 34 minute range is more realistic. Everything else is pretty much still the case, and for perspective, this seasons splits went like this...

Regular Season 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds
Postseason 14.3 points, 6.7 rebounds
Finals 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds

But the pressure of just signing his extension could cause him to press at the start of the season. That is what worries me.

Prognosis

Should enter the season as the favorite, it what will likely be Duncan's and Ginobili's final seasons. Just like all the season previous, they will be one of a handful of teams with a chance to win the title. Will be a interesting season to say the least because of the uncertainty that will follow it, and I think that will keep the team motivated for one last hurrah with the "Big Three."

I love being a Spurs fan.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 10:01:25 am by 13Supernuts » Logged
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