While the San Antonio Spurs have been busy this offseason, they've mostly been busy bringing back their own players, including reaching agreements to re-sign Tim Duncan, Danny Green, Boris Diaw and Patty Mills.
While the Spurs were linked to several players, including key free agent big men, they added Nando De Colo to the roster and drafted Marcus Denmon with their 59th pick.
While their moves have'nt been enough to register much of a blip on the free agency radar, Popovich is happy to bring back a team that reached the Western Conference Finals and adding a battle-tested young guard who can play both one and two.
More importantly, the changes also didn't register much of a dent on Peter Holt's pocketbook, according to our friend Art Garcia in a recent piece on Fox Sports Southwest.
"Lots of times you don't have a choice because of contracts, numbers or whatever," Popovich said earlier this week from NBA Summer League. "This year we were just able to do everything and stay under the [luxury tax threshold] at the same time, which was a goal. We wanted to stay under the tax and just try to do a good job business-wise.
"Signing Timmy and Danny and Boris and Patty Mills, we felt fortunate we were able to do all that and stay under the tax. We weren't sure we were going to be able to do it."
Having Green come back after a breakout year and seeing the improvement from Kawhi Leonard in Summer League, not to mention getting Diaw and Mills in for a full training camp should signal some improvement to next season's squad.
Duncan may be coming back with yet another season under his belt, but he showed he can stick around and play at a high level for a few more years. Apparently Popovich and the Spurs' front office had a little scare with Duncan, similar to when he was considering Orlando several years back, but I'm not convinced it was as tough as Pop describes it.
"He was just a big a pain in the neck as he was when he almost went to Orlando," Popovich smirked. "He toyed with me, he lied to me, he intimidated me, he threatened me and, in the end, it worked out. But I had to take much abuse to get it done."
While this is a team that made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals last season, there are still a lot of question marks on the roster.
Will DeJuan Blair be gone before the season starts and will the Spurs look to fill a void inside with the remaining free agent big men?
Will I would've hoped for a first or second-tier free agent big man, I'm sure those questions will be answered and I can't fault Pop for sticking with what got the Spurs so far and seeing if they can get further with a few subtle improvements.
Great boring news...we will make play offs and not win a championship...we need BIG MEN now..since 2010, we have needed size, lost our defensive game...in playoffs defense wins not offense alone....i am suprised how spurs went from a balance offence defense to pure offense like phoenix suns..who are you kidding spurs fans,.get real...i am a die hard spurs fan but this team with the best depth doesnt matter come play off...depth cannot stop bynum, howard, lebron, pau gasol, zach randolp, mark gasol...it seems pop is content with his 4 rings and spurs stingy staff dont wanna spend more...this is the time they do as duncan aint staying long...we bash lakers but the moves they made this year ( yes above luxury tax) but shit u win a championship no one remembers about your tax....i am disappointed very disappointed..spurs will just make a run and tire out timmy manu etc who will evetually retire...WTF is wrong with spurs scouting system now,..this aint the spurs that won rings...this is another phoenix suns team with depth ( and ZERO size).
I still say MB is the weak link. We play teams with maybe 1 one dimensional player on the floor, we end up with 2 . His one skill rarely equals his failings. DG, GN, each have room to grow, as does TS, but MB is what he is, " position defender", stretch 4 ?, wth ? Why not try something else ? I'd take 3 blocked shots and some post defense over his 1-2 3's per game, as when he misses, they other team gets a fast break basket, more than 60% of the time.
@jojo707 We should have used amnesty clause on Bonner who is due $7.5 mil over the next two years. Another team would probably pick him up at minimum saving us a little money and we could have signed Milic, hell even Blatche is better than "no-show" Bonner. If Pop thinks we can win without another big, he is sadly mistaken. Unless Splitter shows some large growth as a defender who doesn't foul every single time he gets posted up, we will be in deep shit come playoff time. Not to mention the fact that Howard (who has given the Spurs headaches for years) may be going to the Fakers. Unlike Bynum, Howard could destroy us on the glass for an entire series. Also, the up and coming Timberwolves scare me. If they somehow find a way to play us in the first round, I feel a Memphis Grizzlies series would commence. We have MAJOR problems defending a traditional Spurs team (oh the irony), and unlike this past year, it will come back to haunt us earlier than the WCF where Durant and Harden were flying to the basket unopposed.
@CraigThomas @jojo707 Amnesty would have been wasted on bonner,,For one since last year is totally unguaranteed it could be waived without us losing amnesty provision next year (and we still might be able to just trade him this year). But mostly amnesty this year would NOT have put us even NEARLY under cap, so whats the point? Being over the cap we couldn't sign a different FA for Bonners 3.6 million spot. You would lose Bonner, still be over cap, Spurs still having to pay him, and would only be able to replace him with a vet minimum guy..and even STILL having him now we have the opportunity to sign one more vet min guy..so really, best move was to save the amnesty as we may need it down the road..Remember, teams only have one to use.
It is going to be a 82 game season and pop will be forced to rest TD and MG on few (or probably lot) of nights. Then what?? And, What if, TD goes down with an injury the who is going to rebound and block shots??? We have 3 out of 5 undersized bigs and Pop won't just give Splitter enough minutes. How are we going to tackle such scenario?? We cannot play small ball every game.
@nish21 There's absolutely no way Sparkles doesnt again get more minutes this year..and when TD is out he will surely be starter. I don't see a "lot" of holdouts for those guys(not including possible injuries ofc) because Sched wont be as compressed as last yr..no btbtb bs etc. Even last year TD only sat out a minimal # of games. And the jury is still out as far as possibly securing another big before the end..stranger things have happened(would YOU have thought someone would have taken RJ last year) lol. And really, unless Blair makes some kind of miraculous jump in improvement this year, he's gone, likely before the deadline. Spurs wont risk keeping him and losing him for nothing when they can be pretty sure some dummy gm out there will be willing to spend $4 mil+ yr on a "big" (as we have seen repeatedly this year. Spurs are obviously going to be patient and see what shakes loose at this point. Right now it's about watching all the unsigned guys from EVERY team in vegas while keeping an eye on waivers, few FAs left..given our position RIGHT shy of the lux tax now, not much more that you can do. I trust they will be hard at work TRYING to give us the best chance to contend again.
With this team I see them making the playoffs but not winning the championship. Let us be practical. And, remember if we are getting a full training period, so are others. If our young players are maturing, so are others. We are still not good enough to beat OKC. And, last time we had a matching nightmare in T'wolves. This year they are better. So predictions for this year, making the playoffs but not as no 1 seed and exiting in 2nd round playoffs. Still GSG.
@nish21 Likely correct nish21..stars will have to align just about perfectly for Spurs to have a good shot. I however do not see such a wide chasm between OKC and Spurs. OKC had several players get hot at just the right time, while obviously the opposite was true for the Spurs..and even then all the games were competitive right to the buzzer. Will we be the fave to beat em? No Do we have a puncher's chance? 4 sho
What happen to the idea of the Brazilian center? Spurs should go back to third old school style of play "DEFENSE FIRST" that's what won them CHAMPIONSHIPS they really need some help defensively. Think about it if the Spurs were the defensive team of old OKC wouldn't have stood a chance this uptempo style is exciting and that's the way the NBA is going but the Spurs really aren't built that way. You have Tiago Splitter who will improve defensively but you need more size Ryan Richards could be a nice piece to build around he and Kwahi can be the future Richards as the offensive tools just improve defensively. I hear his game being compared to Lamar Odom/ Chris Bosh but in my opinion he can be more like an Derrick Coleman of course he'll have step his level of competition up those YouTube clip are against less talented players hope he make it to the Toro's. But the key to get back on the championship road is athletic bigs and interior defensive.
@ZILLA I agree with some of your ideas, and I think brazilian guy may still be AN idea (likely plan z) But problem with going back to old school D 1st soon is that not many Bowens/Robinsons etc out there to accomplish that. Defense will always be what pops preaches/desires, but hes limited by the kinds of players he has at his disposal.And right now he doesn't have hardly any defensive stalwarts. RR COULD be a decent player likely WELL down the road, but I can virtually guarantee he's not going to be DC, LO, or CB. Think about it, those guys came IN the league contributing solidly right from the jump. RR is WAY behind the curve there. RR cant even produce a FRACTION of what those guys did quickly in NBA and RR is playing summer leaguers,mostly scrubs with a few future NBA role players tossed in here and there. I salute your optimism dont get me wrong, but we do have to work with what we have/can get.
Yep we're going to be just fine.... a 50 win season and maybe an appearance in the 2nd round.... smh.
@MVPTexas Ya, it's definitely not like there's about 25 other teams out there would KILL just to GET to 2nd round..damn FO, all they would have had to do is amnesty Bonner and trade Neal, Blair and a 2nd round pick for Howard!..lol Sure are some pretty spoiled spurs "fans" out there.smhh (the extra h is there for harder..like shaking my head harder) ;)
We're going to be just fine with the roster we have. Like everyone else i would be ok with is signing a big, but everyone on the team will be much more sychronized and intune with each other by next years playoffs. While other teams added a big name here or there, we still have more DEPTH! Think about it, everyone thinks dujuan Blair will be traded including himself. Blair was part of the US select team! He is a good player and we have so much depth that he is restricted to the bench! I know part of it is is height, or lack there of, but it just goes to show how good of a ship we are in! Can't wait for next season to start! GO SPURS!
How many times it is said that the Spurs have depth? Did they win the wcf, must less the nba crown? Should you and the Spurs coaching staff, GM and owner be satisfied with what they have accomplished? 2 games away from winning the wcf! Funny! That's huge. Just losing one game means a lot, even just 1 point. The games were close, one would say. So what? The Spurs lost and that is waht matters. Centuries ago I have been saying they need a big man. They enlisted Diaw. Did they win? Now, they have re-signed all the Spurs' players, except Anderson and added deColo. Is there an improvement? I was roundly criticized and maligned for calling that they MUST sign a big man. Now everybody is saying they should. Are these guys who said I was wrong now have an about face? All along I was saying the game of basketball is a game of tall players. Was I wrong? The Spurs is stacked with undersized guards. I said the Spurs have the funny inclination of signing "small" men with a height of 6'2'' or 6'7", even playing center. Fact is they love their pennies so much, using the alibi of "small market." Some teams have gone over the salary cap. Do you hear them complaining? But when these teams play well, everything is forgotten. Its the winning that counts. Of course, if the Spurs are just playing for the sake of playing and making money, (business as usual) economizing should be the order of the day. Then, we shouldn't be rooting for them. Let go! I hope Mgnt will see the light and make some adjustments in the lineup. Amnesty or trade Bonner and Blair and Neal, if there are takers. STOP asking for a ist round draftee. If there are no takers, just amnesty Bonner and drop Blair and Neal, STOP pinching the penny. I hope nobody will dislike this post and start shooting me down. I am after the good of the Spurs. I just love them so much!
@rtesoro440 part of that depth was negated in the WCF. Parker didn't have a backup, with mills or cj better trained in the system or de Colo he will be able to get some rest. Let's hope that Danny green's disappearance was just stage fright and he shows up next year. But we run a more complicated system than most teams so the extra training time really benefits the spurs. I don't think we need to unload bonner, Blair and neal just for the sake of dumping them. We need to get something back in return that will help us. I'm not going into the economics of it, spursfan66 did a good job there and I've tried before.
@rtesoro440 @spursfan80 lol Yes rt, Spurs should start DJB trade talks as LOW as possible..Why ASK for a 1st rounder when we can get a @2nd rounder? GENIUS. Definitely doesn't make sense to start higher and THEN maybe settle for a 2nd if other teams wont give a 1st. Heck why not just start the bidding at a whataburger value meal? Blair might even have one on him! Also why dont Spurs just trade him RIGHT NOW for whatever? Makes no sense to show a little patience and see what teams may be interested AFTER FAs are gone and summer lg is over. Also since we OBVIOUSLY can't get ANY help from him in the whole year he has left in his contract, hell with it, we should have just AMNESTIED him!! Afterall, if DJBs 1.5 mil contract is gone, Spurs can replace his contract with some 5 million dollar free agent thats still out there, right? Who CARES if thats against cap rules! Spurs OWE US INSTANT SATISFACTION AND CHAMPIONSHIPS EVERY YEAR UNTIL THE UFO-MEN BLOW US UP!!! STOP PINCHING PENNY SPURS>>70 MILLION NOT ENOUGH!! (if your sarcasm-meter is not screaming by now, change the batteries)
@spursfan80 @rtesoro440 rt Stretch part of stretch 4 means he stretches the defense (big defender) out to perimeter. That way it opens up lanes. So even when Bon isnt hitting, his defender is still out high. Im NOT defending bonner btw, just clarifying. I also dont assume spurs haven't tried to move him..I imagine they have. If it makes you feel better this could very likely be his last year since year after this is non guaranteed..Could be waived then..As for amnestying him Ive CLEARLY explained that to you at least 5 TIMES. It makes no sense! OBVIOUSLY if it did FO would have done it,,simple. Pops and RC are pros..to think you know better is just ridiculous.
It's becoming clear that debating with you is pointless..you just dont listen or comprehend how the game works You say "you seem to be forgetting that these teams win, forgetting the luxury tax" LMAO..REALLY? When was the last time NY won a chip? Miami has won HALF as many as the Spurs and LA is the ONLY one that does that has done as well as Spurs. YOU MAKE NO SENSE!! You can keep whining about "why come spurs no trade DB GN MB" or whoever, but the facts are DB is ALREADY on trade block and many others may be too..SPURS DONT RELEASE THAT KIND OF INFO. Only a FOOL shows his hand like that..DJB trade news was leaked by teams Spurs reached out to during the draft. Furthermore, ANOTHER team has to be willing to trade with you, and then they too want to feel like they are AT LEAST getting as good a deal as Spurs get!! Considering that, do you REALLY think trades are SIMPLE to make? If they are why has DWIGHT been dealing with it for OVER A YEAR? Spurs are smart, and can AFFORD to be patient re: trades. Only FOOLS jump at the first offer they get!!
lol In one sentence you hissyfit on WHY SPURS NO TRADE? Next sentence you say "there are no takers" lol Just mind boggling..
Honestly, at this point I just give up with you. You don't listen, have zero understanding of NBA or business, and frankly make us real spurs fans look bad, just by association. NO ONE respects a fairweather/bandwagon fan man.
Let's hope Danny Green will not disappoint us again. With regards to Bonner, he is a veteran and year in, year out, when championship games come he disappears. Do we really need a replacement for him? He is paid $ and he doesn't perform. What can be done with him? As to Blair. The Spurs have invested money and time with him. I understand they have to get something for him in return but, why ist round draftee? Is there a team willing to trade for him? Perhaps, it's just a lame excuse to retain him because he comes cheap. If the Spurs insist on a ist round draftee for Blair, I don't think it may not happen.
@rtesoro440 @spursfan80 rt..what you dont seem to understand is that this is ultimately a business. If you owned a business how eager would YOU be to lose money constantly, ESPECIALLY if you weren't a billionaire..Look at the facts, What teams are going to be in luxury tax? NY and LA are the TOP 2 money making teams in the league! AND both owners are significantly richer than Holt is to begin with. Miami will also likely be over tax..again Much richer owner, MUCH more of a money making team! This is the LAST year the tax will be 1 dollar for one dollar. A team like LA if they are about 20 million over lux tax next year, if Im not mistaken, they could be paying $4.25 in tax for every $ over! In other words, they would be paying over 30 MILLION In tax on WORLD PEACE ALONE! lol Lets just see how much LA and NY will STILL be willing to go over tax when THAT happens!. And beyond that, repeaters (teams that go into lux tax 2 or more years in a row will be even MORE harshly penalized! Fact: Spurs have won 4 chips since 99 FACT 13 yrs in a row 50+ wins ( NBA RECORD) WINNINGEST SPORTS FRANCHISE If you are actually complaining considering all that AND saying we shouldn't be rooting for them, then imo you are a failure as a fan. This is the definition of FAIRWEATHER fan!!And btw, one last time, AMNESTY OPTION DEADLINE HAS PASSED ALREADY THIS YEAR AND MB,DB, AND GN GETTING DUMPED STILL WOULDNT HAVE PUT SPURS UNDER CAP!! Do you even get that if they would have amnestied bonner, Spurs STILL would not be able to replace him with another FA that makes 3.6 million?..If the team is still over cap and have no exceptions they can only pay FAs VET MINIMUM contracts. Why is this so hard to understand? What exactly do you think cap means? lol
Sorry to tell you but NO team can keep winning championships every year FOREVER..even a team like LA that HAS SPENT WAY OVER TAX EVERY YEAR STILL HAS HAD ABOUT THE SAME CHIPS IN LAST 13 YEARS AS SPURS HAVE!!
@Spursfan66 @spursfan80Its a shame the Spurs keep on paying Bonner. It may not mean a lot but it is $ lose. Why must they be looking for a replacement? His talent can be taken by Green, Leonard, Jackson and Diaw. He is a stretch 4? What good is that when he doesn't perform? When they have the chance why wasn't he amnestied? Another year of frustration, Another $ wasted. Same with Blair. They are well aware he is undersized, a 6'7" center. Why compare him with Hayes? Winning the nba? When was the last time they did? Yeah, the nba is a business endeavor and profits comes as primary consideration. But they have the public to consider, the fans to think of. The Lakers, Knicks and Miami are going over the luxury tax, but how much do they get from the gates? How much share do get they from tickets? You seem to be forgetting that these teams win, the luxury tax fogottten. The Spurs have an obligation to the fans. Its not just keeping the profits. In fact, the better the team, more are watching and seeing the games. If the team is attractive because they are winning games, the stadium is filled to the rafters. Other than a fan, you appear to be a stockholder of the Spurs thinking only of how much the profit. So, the amnesty period is passed and they can't amnesty Bonner anymore. No matter how much he is paid, it is $ lose. Same with Blair and Neal. If a player underperforms, what should the team do? They are waive, they are traded. Is this not what other teams did? Why did the Spurs not do it? Because they are cheap and they love their penny. Besides, there are no takers. And, speaking of profits, money is NOT one way to the coffers alone. A portion of that is spend satisfying the fans. And how are fans satisfied? They are satisfied by taking in better players, winning games, winning the championship. Greed has no place in the business world. Businesses fold up because they failed the public. Businesses fold because bacause they want it all.
@spursfan80 Agree with most of your post, the only thing I would add is that just because DJB was picked on select team, it definitely does not mean he was among the next set of best available players after the actual Olympic team or anything..not saying that it was what you were implying, but frankly Ive seen a couple other guys try to use the select team as some kind of "proof" that DJB is elite or something..lol. I could name LOADS of other players OBVIOUSLY better than DJB that could have been on select team. Yes DJB is good and MOST importantly, right now, CHEAP. But has he improved much in 3 years?
@Spursfan66 oh I by no way meant Blair was elite, but just that our bench warmer was good enough to make that team.
@spursfan80 @Spursfan66 lol ya i figured as much..I just saw other guys use than as some kind of "proof" that DJB was something he is not. Honestly, in a way it seems like a random draw of players under 3 yr vets that get invites. If it were by stats etc, no way a guy like Monroe for example doesnt get picked over DJB
Really, all our front office has to do is figure out what additions will make the difference come playoff time. This current roster will win a lot of games.
The Spurs will be fine. A better deal for a big man will be out there by the trade deadline, perhaps sooner. But I saw little value in the Spurs getting caught up in the overspending spree for this summer's free agents. Even young players that I think have tremendous upside, like Nicholas Batum and JaVale Mcghee do NOT deserve to be making $11 million per year. They haven't done anything. Those guys got more than Jeremy Lin. How does Brandon Roy get paid more than the veteran's minimum?