This past season was unforgettable for the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs made it to the NBA Finals once again – as if that’s any surprise. It was also the Spurs’ first year playing without Tim Duncan. Unfortunately, it was also a season full of injuries. Tony Parker, David Lee, and Kawhi Leonard had to sit out for some time during Finals due to injuries. If we had Kawhi Leonard, there was a huge probability we could’ve beaten the Golden State Warriors.
Now, Manu Ginobili is considering retirement. This means we could be out two of our famous “big three payers” (Parker, Duncan, and Ginobili). Luckily, the 2017 NBA Draft gave the Spurs the opportunity to get their hands on two promising players, Derrick White and Jaron Blossomgame. After the Warriors swept the Spurs in the Finals, could these new guys lead us to victory in 2018?
The Draft was only the first part of the offseason. Now, everyone’s focus is on the Vegas summer league and free agency. Here are the biggest questions we have for the Spurs in this year’s offseason:
Manu told reporters that he would spend the next few weeks considering if he would continue to play the sport he loves professionally or if he will spend more time being a father with the family he loves – it’s been over a month since he said that and still no answer. Manu has three sons and a wife back home. We are all anxiously awaiting his answer to return or retire. Manu will be turning 40 years old this month, which is pretty old for a basketball player.
In recent years, Ginobili’s playing time has decreased, but he was still averaging nearly 20 minutes a game. Ginobili is a clutch player with unique skills that are hard to match. He comes out to play hard when we need him most. To lose Tim Duncan, Ginobili, and possibly Parker in the span of two summers would be a lot for the Spurs franchise to take in.
Jonathon Simmons was one of the Spurs’ key players who was able to dodge the injury curse this past season. He scored in double digits nine times during the last 10 playoff games, and he averaged 15.3 points per game in the Western Conference Finals. This makes him a noticeable player now that he is a free agent. The Spurs have been torn between their glorious past and a promising future, but his energy, athleticism, and hustle have been critical to the development.
San Antonio owns Simmons’ Early Bird rights, but if he is offered a huge deal, it would be difficult for the Spurs to keep him around. Even though he’s only 27 years old, he’s not young by NBA standards — and he only has two years of NBA experience. While the Spurs would prefer to keep him around, will they damage their cap situation for the next few years to hold onto him?
The Spurs have already signed free agent Rudy Gay with a two-year, $17.2 million contract. Sources say the deal includes a player option in the second year. Several winning teams were fighting for Gay, but he chose the Spurs for a chance to contend in the Western Conference. This was his last year of his contract playing with the Sacramento Kings, but he opted out of the $14 million and was ready to move on.
Gay is a 31-year-old, 11-year NBA veteran, who averaged 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 30 games with the Sacramento Kings in 2016-17. Then, he suffered a complete tear of his left Achilles tendon this past January against the Indiana Pacers. Gay is actively rehabilitating the Achilles tear. We are expecting him to return to the court sometime in the fall.
Now, league sources are saying free agent center Joffrey Lauvergne has agreed to a deal with the San Antonio Spurs. Lauvergne offers the ability to stretch the floor and can score when given the opportunity, but he doesn’t play at an elite level. We’ll have to see if Coach Pop can turn things around.
The Spurs have quite a few free agents up for grabs this month: Joel Anthony, Dewayne Dedmon, Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, David Lee, Patty Mills, and Jonathan Simmons. Will the Spurs decide to hold onto any of them? We’ll just have to wait and see.
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