You may or may not have noticed that despite the lockout, the intertubes have not given up on writing about the NBA. Sometimes we get desperate and right about guys like Aaron Gray and not quite as fat as he used to be Eddy Curry. Sometimes blogs decide to break down the top 100 guys in the league (two very entertaining series from Zack Lowe with Sports Illustrated and the fellas over CBS Sports) and in the case of ESPN, you break down the top 500 over a span of several weeks. In the case of ESPN's Ric Bucher, Kevin Pelton and Chris Broussard, you take some of the better, older teams and break down what they should do in the offseason.
Bucher drew the Spurs and made some very intriguing suggestions in column titled "Trades to fuel a Spurs title run" which can be viewed if you have an ESPN Insider account.
First he suggested that to truly rebuild the team, but keep it competitive that the team needs to trade two of the Three Amigos. The first and most obvious is Tony Parker. Bucher had a couple of great ideas for this one. The first seems to be the most plausible and that's trading Tony Parker for Josh Smith straight up.
"Try as the Spurs might, they have not been able to find an athletic stretch 4 to do for Duncan what Robert Horry did so well. Instead, they've used a compendium: Matt Bonner to space the floor with 3s, McDyess to defend, DeJuan Blair to rebound. But there's a young freakishly athletic 4 who desperately wants out of his current situation, and if I'm San Antonio I do everything to get him: the Atlanta Hawks' Josh Smith. If there's a catch-lightning-in-a-bottle opportunity, it's taking all the obvious physical talent Smith has and harnessing it under the tutelage of Popovich and Duncan. Since the Hawks are in need of both a point guard and veteran leadership, I would offer them Parker, a deal that would work straight up."
Great idea. It leaves the Spurs without any sort of point guard, but getting a guy like Smith would make the Spurs lethal on defense.
Josh Smith or "Smif," as we'll call him, is one of the best help defenders in the league. If Duncan is your number option for defending the post and Smif is coming over to provide weak side help, you just solved a huge problem for the Spurs had last season. As far as the issue of point guard goes, maybe you offer Parker, Antonio McDyess' partially guranteed deal and DeJuan Blair for Smif and Kirk Hinrich. Atlanta then saves $5 million from McDyess' deal (assuming he's retiring) and they get Blair, who at least makes up for losing Smif's rebounds. Hinrich gives you a stop gap solution at point guard. This will be the last year of his contract so if he completely sucks, you still save $8 million to go along with Duncan's $20 million coming off the books in 2012 (roughly $11 million in cap room since the Spurs are about 17 million over the cap if the cap stays where it is). Having Josh Smith, Kawhi Leonard, James Anderson, Tiago Splitter & Duncan & Manu for another year or two as a core is a pretty enticing team to a free agent point guard (*cough* Chris Paul*, *cough* Deron Williams).
Bucher also recommends the Spurs also go after Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins:
"Another option, though slightly less attractive, is to see if the Kings would be willing to satisfy their need for a starting point guard -- forgive me for having doubts that either Tyreke Evans or Jimmer Fredette are the answer -- by dealing DeMarcus Cousins. I know, I know: it's a tremendous long shot because big men of Cousins' abilities are so extremely rare. But Cousins obviously has already rubbed more than a few people in Sacramento the wrong way and maybe, just maybe, the idea of having a steady experienced hand like Parker, whose speed and pedigree might be the perfect complement to the up-and-down talent of Evans, Donte Greene and the rest of the Kings' young, athletic core, compels Sacramento to pull the trigger."
You're saying one of two things here: "DeMarcus Cousins is a punk and a head case and I want nothing to do with him" or "There's no f'ing way the Kings would give up DeMarcus Cousins for an almost 30 point guard."
Let's address the first statement. DeMarcus Cousins is an entitled, immature 21-year-old. These things happen. It doesn't mean he's a bad person, it just means he hasn't been told "no" much in his life because he's probably always been really, really good at basketball. He's also in the worst possible situation right now... he's on a bad, young team with a coach that frequently singles him out. With Pop, he'd get ridden, but no more than anyone else on the Spurs would because that's how Pop rolls.
As far as would the Kings trade Cousins for Parker... probably not. But the Maloofs are so hard to figure out and Geoff Petrie just traded down and took on more money to take Jimmer Fredette, which didn't make any sense (they could've just taken him at #7). Parker would give the Kings something they don't have, namely a guy who can run an offense, but I don't think that's enough for Cousins. Still, if that offer drifted the Spurs' way I don't think you can say no. Depending on Ryan Richards' development I think you even consider adding him or Tiago to that trade. Cousins is that talented. You'd probably also have to take on Francisco Garcia's contract to make this work and save the Kings some money long term, but that's how these things work sometimes.
The Manu trades are where Bucher's ideas just become a bit much for my taste. The first idea is a mega deal with the Hawks that calls for trading Joe Johnson and Josh Smif for Tony Parker, Manu and Richard Jefferson. Whoa, whoa, whoa there. Let's slow down a bit. I like Smif, but I'm pretty sure I'd rather have Manu for 24 million over 2 years then the 5 years, $3 Billion Johnson is still on the hook for. Next he says why not Taj Gibson or Omer Asik plus Ronnie Brewer or Kyle Korver for Manu. No thanks, this is just Ric's way of getting his man crush, Derrick Rose, an awesome 2 guard to play with. He also suggests Manu for Monte Ellis. I think Monte could be Manu-esque and is awesome when he's at his best, but again, no thanks.
So what do you think Spurs fans. Did Bucher go over board with his ideas? Would you do any of these trades?
none of those trades seem to make sense, i think the spurs are great the way the are at the moment with the 3 core guys, what they need is a center, maybe trade RJ and DB for Nene, that seems like a logical trade to me. they need a center that can help tim in the paint and with Nene they can pretty much do that this coming year and maybe another year after that. bucher just wants to break up the spurs because he knows that the spurs are always gonna be contenders and he doesnt seem to like that. but again RJ and DB for Nene seems a bit more logical
@MarioAlejandroLeal I think if we had Nene you would see Splitter and Nene in there more than Timmy. Timmy isnt going more than 15 minutes at this stage of his career. People need to remember Timmy will go less minutes next time you see him in a Spurs Uni. So for whoever your dreaming of getting to help in the paint refer it to helping Splitter out in the paint. Wether you like it or not Splitter is the future core of the front court. They're not getting rid of him anytime soon unless the injury issue comes into play. If the FO feels Splitter is injury prone then you may see a move involving him but I wouldn't. They just have to use him for what his strengths are. Pick and roll, Pick and roll, Pick and roll... will somebody give him the damn ball when he rolls to the rim all alone for goodness sakes!
@Titletown99030507@MarioAlejandroLeal Thats Obsurd. Timmy will average no less than 24 min a game even with this crazy schedule. Probably more realisticly like 28 min. Are the spurs gonna pay him the 21 mil this year for 15 min, no not even for the sake of what he's done for the franchise. We do need a Center though and i'm thinking trade with either the Jazz, Minnisota or the Clippers. Am I the only one who is just waiting for the day that we pay someone to take the red rocket off of our hands.
@Titletown99030507@MarioAlejandroLeal i'm pretty sure Timmy isn't going to play 15 minutes or less because he is still the leader and can still provide even though he's past his prime, but Pop will do what he did last season in limiting Duncan's minutes. Remember, we're trying to find a way to get another ring for Timmy before we hear his HOF speech. I do agree, though, that i do believe Splitter will be part of the future core for the frontcourt.
i cant handle parker, ginobili or even duncan not retiring at spurs, it would ruin everything for me. spurs just need to stop signing shit swingmen and trade uselessness like db's hight for things they need..the george hill trade should've been the "dejuan blair trade" and instead of spurs getting the crap euro players that probably wont come over anyway it just db for leonard. then at least spurs get a 6'7 hustle rebounder who plays small forward and can sort of shoot for a 6'7 hustle rebounder who plays CENTRE and cant shoot..and keep george hill who contributed in the playoffs. it just sems like common sense to me
i think spurs should look to trade him back with db deshawn butler danny green drafted players like de colo (but not anderson or hanga) to indiana to try get him back but thats a different story that isnt happening
@scottmer.. Good point. A DB trade for KL would have been better if they took it. KL can do more than DB could. Rebounder, shooter, shot blocker, and athletic. But I don't think Indy wanted him. Bird has had his eye on GH for some time now.
Teague is very Parker like, still growing. D'Colo is way to slow unless there are great low post scorers replacing TD. Sessions would help.
What the spurs needs is a role player, tough interior defender.Translated - young, tall banger. Does J. Smith fits the bill? Offhand I think he could. Giving up TP would be a huge blow to the spurs game. Already they have no pg to speak of. The trade includes Hinrich/teague for Blair and Mcdyess. It could work but, Hinrich or Teague brings a very much different brand of play compared to TP. While Smith is definitely frontline upgrade, it weakens so much the backcourt. A straiight trade of TP for Smith would work if the spurs is able to sign R. Sessions. To sweeten the swap why not include R.Jefferson? If this arrangement is not feasible, the spurs canalways look to the free agency market. They several free agents right now. With the no-guarantee contract of Mcdyess plus waive at least 3 of their agents, their pg and pf/c woes could be addressed as well.K. Fesenko and R. Richards up front and R. Sessions and N.deColo at the backcourt. Anyone?
Oh Hell no!! I think Parker is coming off a bad year. He will turn it around, I'm sure. The only one that we need to trade is that sorry a$$ Jefferson!!!!
@tyoravits There is literally nothing worth while the Spurs can trade Richard Jefferson for. Maybe next season when he only has 2 years left on his deal, but definitely not this season.
sorry to say this to Bucher, but i've lost some respect for him. other than the Parker-Smith idea, which seems appealing (but i would still hate to see Tony go), i wouldn't do any of those other trades. trading Parker is one thing (again, would hate to see him go), but trading Ginobili as well?!! i'm sorry, i do not care how old Manu is right now, he's still pretty damn good at his age and still is the heart of the team. that Chicago trade is so laughable because the combination of 2 of those guys does not equal the worth of Manu.
@jojo707 That works too, I think it's just a question of who the Hawks would want to trade more. I think they could deal Teague in a separate deal for better than DeJuan Blair, but I'd be all about it if I were the Spurs.