I'm writing this just before Midnight San Antonio time, so there's going to be a little bit more emotion in this post then normal.
As a basketball fan and writer, this Western Conference Finals was incredibly entertaining and fascinating to watch. As a San Antonio Spurs fan it was, well, I'm not entirely sure what to say it was. So often fans have excuses why something doesn't work out the way you want it to. Last season Manu Ginobili broke his arm with two games left in the season. In 2008, Ginobili hurt his ankle against New Orleans, leaving the Spurs hobbled against the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. What if Manu doesn't foul Dirk on that layup in 2006. What if .4 doesn't happen. This season? I'm not sure there's anything to make an excuse for.
Losing to a team like the Oklahoma City Thunder is fine, but it's the losing in general part I have a problem with. You always want your team to win a title, but there are certain years where you get "that feeling" and most Spurs fans had it really up until somewhere around the Game Four or Game Five loss. I didn't even want this as a selfish fan, but for the head coach that made almost every right call there was to make this season. I wanted it for the 2011 NBA All-Star who accepted his role as a Sixth Man again. Most of all I wanted it for Tim Duncan. To see him catch Kobe in the ring department, possibly double him up in the Finals MVP collection, would've been possibly my favorite moment ever as a Spurs fan. Watching him the last couple of games you could almost tell that might have been his favorite moment ever too (getting another ring anyways, who knows if he cares about Kobe).
Now I don't know if the Spurs just missed their last great chance with this "Three Amigos" core or if they're a guy or two away from being in the Finals next season. A couple of things stuck out during their only four game losing streak of the season. First, when Duncan wasn't on the court, the Spurs were an awful defensive team. Even with Splitter out there (when he was actually allowed out there) they just didn't have the length to bother Oklahoma City once they got in to the paint. The other problem is when guys stopped missing shots, they didn't have one guy they could go to either get to the foul line or rise up over someone and get a bucket. The Thunder had two or three depending on what Westbrook's shot was doing. Manu did a pretty job of doing that but he couldn't be out there all 48 minutes. The Spurs do have a little bit of flexibility this summer and a ton next summer. Let's look forward a bit.
-The Spurs do not have a first round draft pick this season. It was part of the Stephen Jackson-Richard Jefferson trade. It would've been the 30th pick. There's nothing saying they can't trade back in to the first round and if last year is any indication, they won't hesitate to make a move they thing will help.
-The Spurs have approximately $23 million in salaries coming off the books this summer, putting them approximately eight to nine million dollars under the projected salary cap according to Sham Sports. Most of that money coming off the books is thanks to Tim Duncan's expiring $21 million contract.
-Speaking of Duncan, he's not going anywhere and will take up a large portion of the Spurs' cap money. This is a total guess, but I expect Timmy, who has no interest in playing anywhere but San Antonio, to sign for two years at around $16 million. Maybe he does the Spurs a solid and signs for less than that, but realistically that's his salary range.
-The Spurs have a couple of other guys they need to make decisions on. Danny Green is a restricted free agent with a $2.7 million qualifying offer. A week ago I would've said some stupid general manager (looking at you Billy King in Brooklyn) would've overpaid Green by about three or four million and the Spurs wouldn't match. After the last four games of the season, I'd say his stock has dropped significantly. That and he's already gone on Twitter record to say he's not going anywhere.
-Patty Mills has a $885,120 player option on his contract. I would imagine he'll pick that up. A full training camp and season in the Spurs' system would really help turn him in to the back up point guard the Spurs were definitely lacking.
-Boris Diaw is an unrestricted free agent. He played great for the Spurs and completely resurrected his career. The Spurs probably want him back, but also probably won't match any ludicrous offer he may get from a team with a lot of cap space and not a lot of common sense (still looking at you, Billy King).
-James Anderson is an unrestricted free agent since his team option wasn't picked up. What happens with Danny Green will have a direct impact on Anderson's status with the team.
-There have been various reports that two players the Spurs own the draft rights to are definitely coming, might be coming or would like to come to the NBA next season. Big man Erazem Lorbek is one of the two or three best big men in Europe and several outlets, including Project Spurs, have reported he's likely coming over. Lorbek isn't the defensive minded beast the Spurs need, but he's got some post moves, can hit an outside shot and has championship experience playing in Spain. The other European player linked to the Spurs is French combo guard Nando de Colo. De Colo is a free agent and has expressed interest in playing for the Spurs, but with guys like Green, Neal, Cory Joseph, Mills and possibly James Anderson in the fold, where exactly does Nando fit?
-There's also the question of whether it's time to move on from role players like DeJuan Blair, Matt Bonner and Gary Neal. Neal's shooting ability and general ballsiness are great, everything else about his game makes you nervous. I actually don't have an opinion on Blair one way or another, but he could be a way for the Spurs to trade back in to the first round. Bonner I'm just about done with. This is the fourth year in a row Matt Bonner's playoff numbers have been worse than his regular season. He's a great teammate and by all accounts a great guy, but his value as a player diminishes when it matters most.
-There will be many other articles written about this I'm sure, but Tony Parker again had an inconsistent series when the Spurs needed him most. After an amazing regular season and first two rounds of the playoffs, is his trade value higher now than it was a year ago. Is there a guy out there that the Spurs could trade Parker for that gives them a better chance to win another title? That was more of a rhetorical question, but it's a question that will again come up after the three stinkers Parker laid in the middle of the series. A championship level team's best player shouldn't get taken out of three games of a seven game series because the opponent switched up coverage on him.
It's going to be a shorter offseason than the last couple summers, but there will be just as many questions for the Spurs. Remember this season fondly, it was fun.
I was disappointed to learn that under the current CBA players have to wait a year to rejoin a team that trades them if they are bought out. I had hoped the Spurs could trade Jackson's expiring contract to a bad team for a young big man or a draft pick and then resign him after he is bought out. Can you imagine a team in that scenario trying to make him stay?
The only problem I have is the 2nd unit guys did not step up and we weren't the 3 point shooting team from the regular season. Like everyone said, you live and die by the 3. In the playoffs last year, Memphis did a good job guarding our perimeter shooters and we couldn't get a shot off. In the OKC series, our 3's were simply not going in. I think our 2nd unit was scared of the pressure, except for Jackson of course. NOW the thorns in my side are Blair, Splitter and Bonner. These three I want gone forever, send them packing because they suck horribly! Blair was DECENT in the regular season with a few big games. Not good enough. He is just too undersized and he gets exposed a lot. Bonner was a decent 3 point shooter in the regular season but had a great shooting night once in a blue moon. He's like 6'10, has no post game whatsoever and can't defend if his ginger butt depended on it. Not good enough. Then you have Splitter. My god, please get this guy off the team now. He is complete crap, has 2 post moves which is a running hook shot that misses like 90% of the time and a pump fake under the basket. WTF?? And he is too soft. It's like he is scared whenever the ball gets into his hands and he looks to pass it to a shooter than make make his own basket. Most, if not all of his points come from assists from Tony or Manu during a pick and roll play. HE CAN'T CREATE POINTS BY HIMSELF. Not to mention he can't shoot free throws to save his damn life. I mean the spurs were a laughing stock of the playoffs for a little bit when Splitter air balled back to back free throws. It's depressing. We need to get rid of those 3 guys in a heart beat, and replace them with either an athletic big man (at least 6'9) who actually has a post game and is a decent defender, or an athletic, long swingman who can penetrate and shoot perimeter shots, a la Manu Ginobili. Someone like a Nicolas Batum or that guy Adam Hanga we drafted from Hungary. Just get rid of those 3 guys, they can't do jack SH*T!! I have no problem with Danny Green or Kawhi Leonard. These were their first playoffs they ever played in and I think the spotlight kind of scared them a little. Hopefully the experience and maturity will make their game better next year. I don't know why some people are chewing up Mills. He was never expected to play in the playoffs and he would've played (regular or postseason) only if Tony and/or Neal got hurt. Everyone knew he would not come off the bench in the playoffs so I'm not mad at him. The times he did play though were pretty impressive. He's like a carbon copy of Ty Lawson. I'm not sure with Boris Diaw. I think if he gets our system down better he'll be great. He was a force in Phoenix and HOPEFULLY he'll do better. If he sucks for most of next season, trade his butt. Also, trade James Anderson or leave him in the D-League. I've had enough of him, he doesn't do anything and obviously hasn't shown the coaches enough to put him in the starting or 2nd unit. I'm all good with Tim, Tony, Manu, Leonard, Green and Jackson, although Jackson started to fight in the western finals he proved added toughness is great and I think him being back next year and learning the system better is great for us. But Splitter, Bonner, Blair, and Anderson, please.......NO MAS!! NO MAS!!!
@ajd21 Splitter's game plays into the strenghts of PnR with Tony and MG. Would love to know who you would replace a 7 footer putting decent numbers for under 4MM. He plays OK, he was a better FT than Duncan has been until the wrist injury. Ben Wallace also sucks at FT but he has a role on a champioship team. Splitter needs to get better, that all.
The only ones who can create shots for themselves are TP, MG, TD and Jax. They are all 10MM+ per year. Bonner is 3MM, Splitter 4MM, Blair 1MM, nowhere near star salary. Rich Jefferson was a 10MM guy that didnt produce, but the guys you are chewing are complimentary players.
Batum is a newar max player. Hanga is athetic but otherwise is very raw. Better players have struggled to get the Spurs system, what makes you think a foreigner will get it over training camp? The guys you are talking about adding are expensive and the whole league wants them. They are not easy to find and if you find them, they are expensive. You have 5 very good players TD, TP, MG, Jax, KL with role players filling in. How many great players do you need?
The problem was our shots didnt fall. Thats all. Whether it was by the Thunder's defense, athleticism, bad luck, playoff pressure, etc, it doesnt matter.
Our team could not be beat and then we got bounced by a better team. Why break what was working? Tweak it, improve it, develop it and if you can trade them for a better player, do it, but this was the team that was the talk of the NBA.
They r just young guys who really got their first taste of real post season ball. They were great the first 2 series and through out the regular season. The stage was just too big for them. I agree with u about the rest but green, tiago and mills will be better next year. No matter how much stock u put in euroleage ball its not like the nba. For his 2nd season tiago did great. Once he develops more offensive moves he will be great off the bench. As far as green goes, u don't go to nc unless u can ball. From his rookie season playing with lebron to now is like night and day. Neal just needs to concentrate on playing 2 guard and being better on defense. He is a scorer who fell into a slump at the wrong time. And i said mills is like insurance cause he will be behind the bench in a suit until some one gets hurt if de colo comes over. He has a player option and u dont want to spend free agent money on a buy out of his comtract and he has no trade value at this point.
@lilkev210If there was a young guy, its Kawhi. Leonard. All the rest including Green and Splitter are veterans. Both played in Europe. Green played with cavs. What more experience do you need? Fact is the team is full of NPAs Non-Performing Assets. Bonner, blair, anderson, green, mills and splitter, they are all lemons, they disappear on crunch time. Let them go!
@rtesoro440 @lilkev210 but it was their first time in that big of crunch time. Those dudes are young and will do better next time. Example, were u good at sex the first time? You might have had the right moves to get her there, but when the big stage was set how did it go? Probably not as good as it would later when you had more experience on the big stage. Same with the western conference finals. There's only 4 teams left and pressure is high to get to the next round. You think Danny Green doesn't know be underperformed? Or any of them for that matter. There was times each of them were not as good as they needed to be. The problem was when that happened no one was there to pull up the team and they all quoted together. With experience in those situations comes the ability to do better next time.
First of all u dont get rid of the best coach in the league. Thats just dumb!! You dont get rid of a top 5 pg, who jad his best yr. Insane!!!! U want a bigger guard De colo is the answer. He can pass great,his shooting needs work, and he might not habe blazing speed, but chip will have him shooting better and in our offense he just has to be faster than the bigs. The pick will handel the guards. And lets not forget the same was said about kidd, rondo, and rubio. How that workout?
Please everyone forget this DeColo idea. He can pass but is slow footed, an average shooter, and limited defender. He wants to come here, but... Mill, CJ Watson, Cory J, Justin Dentman, we have lost of choices for a backup. We do need an athletic big who is a good weak side shot blocker. The difference, beside KD, in this series was that Ibabak protected many of their defensive rotation failures. If you play up tempo, you need trailing athletic guys to protect the rim. There are a number og lower priced options and some that we may already have in Europe. I don't know why Pop never seems to like this type of player. RC sends him M. Thomas, M. Haslip, Gist, Lawal, and several others, and Pop sends them away in a few weeks. Any of those guys would help us more than Bonner. For who are down on Green, remeber that G Hill, everyone's favorite, performed poorly last year in the 1st round, RW performed poorly the past 3 years in the playoffs. Sometime the match-ups and the speed and length of the defense is a poor match for his limited skill set. Perhaps a hard Summer of ball handling exercises will get him to the next level. GNeal is not worth trading, he cost under 1 mil, hits big shots, was sick through several fo these games and was asked to play out of position. He is an instant offense guy, not a top level defensive stopper or pg. These guys both got us to the point we reached, and nobody was down on them then. Sometime the people who post here seem to t know very little about the details of the game. Get rid of TP, we need size, get rid of Pop- blind ignorance.
First calm down spursnation. This is not a team u just completely blow up.Okc went through this last yr. We relyed on lots of young guys this yr and most were clearly not ready for the stage. Yes parker had 3 really bad games but its nothing that he didn't do in the reg season. The difference was the young guys played great when he did and they didn't when it counted most.(wirh the exception of k.l.) Tim will sign for two yrs and will give us enough flexibility to try to sign restricted free agent roy hibbert. He and tim are good freinds who work out together in the off season and talk every day during the reg. I know he is not looked at as a top teir big but put him nxt to tim and he will be a beast. Time to let bonner and anderson go.Bring de colo over and since db cant see pt in the playoffs pull a vernon maxwell and trade him for cash to help bring in hibbert decolo and resign diaw.restructer jacks comtract and add a yr or 2 to releive more cap space to sign another 3 and draft a wing or pf. Picture this starting line up: parker,manu, leonard, duncan, hibbert. 6th man jack, tiago,green, neal, de colo, diaw, mills, joseph, and a draft pick. Joseph back with austin and mills in street clothes because de colo can run the point and he is a big guard who is parkers back up on the french team. Sound like a championship team to me.
You are blind man! Green and Splitter are lemon, they disappear at crunch time. They are members of the NPA Non-Performing Assets club!
You are blind man! Green and Splitter are lemon, they disappear at crucnh time. They are members of the NPA Non-Performing Assets club!
You are blind man! Green and Splitter are lemon, they disappear ast crucnh time. They are members of the NPA Non-Peroforming Assets club!
You are sick man, Green and Splitter are lemons. They expected to deliver and the disappeared at crunch time. The are member of the NPA club, Non-Performing Assets like bonner, blair, anderson and mills.
@lilkev210 Why is everyone freaking out? Suddenly the team nobody could beat meets the future champion and the sky falls down?
The spurs are well built, with some flaws, but the whole NBA would give their arm to be them, except the Thunder. We have dept and experience and youth. Leonard, Green, Mills and Splitter were getting their first taste of postseason.
Bonner, Neal and Blair can be used to bring something, if not for picks. We still have TD, TP, MG, Kawhi, Jax and hopefuly Diaw as solid to great building blocks. I believe that Green, Mills and Splitter can be much better next year, with a full camp and season, plus a postseason under their belts.
We have stashed assets that are useful in trades or to bring in for Summer League. Duncan will work something out. They will probably do the same with Jax. You dont break apart a team that went to the WCF, just like the Thunder didnt last year. You build on what you have, and we are 1 or two pieces away from a championship.
Chill the fuck down, FO and Popovich will do what is best for the team. Why are we losing faith on a great team? Great teams lose sometimes, but there is next year. One last run, uneven year.
What, trade TP? You must be joking. Who takes his place? Come on guys, the big 3 did their level best but somehing else was lacking. There are just too many NPAs, None Performing Assets in the lineup; bonner, blair, anderson, green, mills and splitter. They were all lemons. They were good during the regular season, but were complete bust when it mattered most. Let ALL these guys go. They don't deserve to be wearing the black and silver uniform. Retain ONLY TD, TP, Manu, Diaw, Leonard, Jackson, and Neal. If coach Pop and GM Buford want the Spurs to contend, there are free agents at the end of the season worthy to be considered - Hibbert, Kaman,Okafor, Illyasova and Humphries. Add Bertans and deColo. Work to trade in the ist round for sg with a height of 6'7" or taller. Manu is the only guy there. TD (if not retiring) needs 3 or 4 pf/c with a height of 6'11" or longer, bigger and aggressive and TP must have a viable sub, at least 3 players with a height of 6'3 or taller, fast and quick, has a court vision. As last year, some fans will criticize me. Coach Pop, GM Buford or whoever determines expenses, STOP giving alibi such as the San Antonio franchise is a small market. STOP being too stingy with budget. And fellow Spurs fans, basketball is a game where height is might. They interviewed scoop jardine, weems, hummel and guttierez. These guys maybe good, but lack the height. The priority is to sign long, young, big and aggressive pf/c. The thunder have ALL these assets. The Spurs can too have them. If you have to rebuild, do it properly and correctly!
@rtesoro440 You need starts and complimentary players. Your NPA's are complimentary pieces. You need a bench and we had the best bench in the NBA. Splitter, Green, Mills and Blair are young and developing.
Even Jordan didnt live up to the greatness his first postseasons, you are holding these kids to high standards and willing to ship them out when they are developing players. Ibaka sucked on past postseasons, and was a difference maker this year. I hope Mills is retained. Keeping Splitter and Green seem like no brainers as their replacements money wise would not perform much better.
If we can land another star for those, great, otherwise you keep them around, develop and hope for the best. Bonner and Blair should be turned into assets. Get something for Anderson if possible. Same for Joseph (hopefully he develops this summer and we can get something similar to what we got for Hill)
If there is one who is not a veteran, its Kawhi Leonard. All others including green and splitter played in europe. How long should we wait for them to develop. 3,4.5 years? Complimentary? My foot. They are lemons.
@rtesoro440 DUDE, WTF!!!! You were the first moron I saw post that Tony should be traded.... Here's the link in case you forgot.... http://projectspurs.com/2012-articles/june/despite-ginobilis-heroics-thunder-take-series-lead-3-2.html
and the quote....
"Last night's lost may have ended the Spurs aspiration for another nba ring.TP can't do it. He was ably checked by sefolosha. A taller and bigger pg would be better like deColo. It's time to rebuild."
Parker isn't going anywhere, they just need to get some more reliable help. Not just for him, but for all the starters. Pop didn't feel like he could play anyone in game 6, that's why the big 3 had so many minutes and were exhausted by the end of the game. I think there will be some offseason moves, but if it involves the big 3 I will be highly surprised. and If it does, I'm predicting Ginobili to be the one traded. Tony Parker is a top 3 PG, why trade him. If they were going to trade Duncan, why bother to resign him. and if they did sign him to trade the city of S.A. will be up in arms over it. I think Holt/Buford/Pop would have to fear for their lives if they sent Duncan packing! Final line they are not going to blow up the Spurs! There will be some tweaks so they can compete next year and be better for another shot at the title.
You nitwit bonehead, I didn't say TP be traded. Its one of the comments I read. I'm questioning it, you slow reader. I was saying who will take his place and the big 3 xerted effort to the limit. You moron, read my comments again, ok?
two years for $16 million? No TD isn't gonna do that. WHY anyway? I think he will sign about 2~3 years contract, start from 11~12 million, he can still play, even he wants more help from FA. And via-FA isn't gonna give you a superstar, which is the reason we lost to the Thunder, the way to get a superstar is via trade or potential draft picks; since we don't have any top picks, trade TP for a elite bigman is the only way to do it. Has TD mentor this bigman just like David did to him and we can get back to the Top.
my thoughts going into the off-season:
Manu's not going anywhere, and i wouldn't want him to, either. the good thing was he was actually healthy going into the postseason. injuries for him are always a concern, yes, but he's still got the heart, something that some of our other guys did not have. scoring may not always be there, but he still does a lot of the other things. i agree with isaacd35, we should not blow the team up. i still want one more shot with the Big 3. and i think Tiago deserves another shot because he didn't get a full training camp under his belt yet (thanks to the lockout this year, and his injury last year before the start of the '10-'11 season). IMO, the Big 3, Leonard, Splitter, and Jackson should be back. i think Green too. even though he disappeared in the WCF, it was a great season for him after getting all this experience. everyone else is a question mark to me. if Richards can come over and play for the Summer League, then that's great. otherwise, i expect R.C. and Pop to do their work in the draft and free agency. those are just my thoughts for now. maybe we when get closer to the draft, i'll get a better view.
With Manu having an expiring contract this year can anyone see him being dangled as trading bait. As we learned he already was last season
You said everything I was thinking trevor, but I don't think it was the big three's fault we lost this series I just think the thunder had role players who stepped up when they needed them to, and we didn't. Stephen jackson was the only guy that stepped up when we needed him and that wasn't enough and manu isn't going anywhere, he practically almost willed this team to victory in game 5 when we needed him most when parker was nowhere to be found. But we shouldn't just blow up this team because we aren't going to get a franchise player for anything we have, we just made it to the conference finals (It was actually the NBA finals) and ran into a better team, maybe a couple of more tweaks and we have one more shot, but this was actually the first time since 2007 that Tim, Manu, And tony were healthy and we lost, so tip your hat to the thunder because thay beat us at our best.
@isaacd35 Yeah, I wrote it about 90 minutes after the game, so def more emotion then normal. Also not saying they should actively try to blow this thing up, but if the right deal for TP came along, at least think about pulling the trigger.
Parker isn't going anywhere. He was our rock. The guy Duncan used to be. If anything Manu should go. I lOve manus game as much as anyone but he is always injured and he produced a total of maybe 3 games all playoffs. Blair, Thiago, and Neal are all trade bait. Bonner should get amnestied or traded. Unfortunately after the series most of these guys had, their value is hurt. The last image in people minds is suck! I'm not sure who we can look at, but a guy like lorbek coming to fill bonners role, maybe Richards to take over for splitter, and trade Thiago and Blair for say a 10-15th pick. Amnesty bonner and let Neal go to the highest bidder because his bad ball handling and defense far outweigh his good shooting. Sign green to the qualifying offer, resign Diaw for half the mid level exception, and develop Leonard based on where he is now.
Is Ibaka's contract up? Not to keep fresh wounds open, but could you imagine him in a Spurs uniform?
@Chris32 I would offer the max for harden, and when matched (the thunder would match a max offer for him) offer 12MM for Ibaka. ibaka manning center of PF with TD would be great. Ibaka is developing fast and would be worth the money, also hurting the Thunder.
@Chris32 The thunder are going to have to choose between ibaka being the center of their defense or their wannabe Manu with no defense. I'm betting harden stays but if I was picking, I'm taking ibaka. His on the ball defense isn't great but it could be.
@Chris32 Ibaka and Harden are both RFA's next summer when the Spurs have a bajillion dollar in cap room. So yeah, don't rule that out next summer.
The only point guards in the league I would trade for are Rondo, Rose (but how will he be after ACL surgery?) and maybe Kyrie Irving. But they aren't going anywhere, well maybe Rondo he always ends up in trade discussions. I agree we have some room for trades if anyone listens. They keep signing shooters, but we need one strong defensive beast in the paint. I would let go of Splitter, Blair, & Bonner for Roy Hibbert and maybe a 3rd string big man with Timmy. I do like jejesdad's idea of Favors too. We needed to make stops last night and just couldn't do it. It's obvious OKC is a beast, but he Spurs can beat them, but will need to tweak the lineup a little and somehow stay relatively healthy again next year!
Hopefully, in a few days we will all see more objectively. TP is a point guard. We took out CP# for 3 games, and Devin Harris for 3 games. Its possible to take the ball away from the PG. TP did all he could, just no one made shots to open the lanes for passing or scoring in the paint. Most of us are ready to see what we can get for Bonner, Blair has value, but he would need to be packaged. How about Anthony Randolph for Blair. GNeal is more valuable when he doesn't need to be the primary ball handler, he is instant offense and cheap, We need to keep 3pt shooters if we say bye to MB. We need a good backup for TP and and a few interior athletic players like Randolph or Odom, or M. Thomas, B Wright, or...... Pop seems to only consider skilled players, but now is the time to keep one of the shot blocker types. 2 things stood out from this series: Durant is so good that most defenses have to hope that the role player play poorly, or that he has an off night. Other than TD, we can't really stop drivers from finishing at the rim, and we have no second level of defense. OKC has a poor defense, but Ibaka makes up for many missed assignments or on ball defense. Since we are not likely to find the next TD, or KD, we need guys who make up for some of our future limitations. I would have loved to have seem a M Thomas, or Odom playing PF on Hardens, and RW drives. Just 6-8 points separated these teams and there guys were mostly playing above there norms. We still have 2 more years of the TD, MG, TP era, with a little help.
It was a fun year ! Thank you Spurs !
I agree on your Neal point. He is a 2 guard, and when used as such is a $3 million bargain. Pop, for some reason, likes to turn SG's into PG's (remember Antonio Daniels). Perhaps Patty is our backup PG answer, but what about Joseph? Did the Spurs whiff on him that bad? It certainly appears that way so far.
I would say that Bonner, Anderson, Blair, and Splitter need to go. Not so sure about Tony, but you never know when it comes to R.C. and Pop. This team disappointed me in the OKC series, but they are still good, and I sorely want them to go try and sign Derrick Favors, but the chances of the happening are possible, but not imminent. I do think he's be a great addition to our team and Utah can have our 2nd round pick, and Tiago and Blair or Bonner if they wanted, because Favors is a franchise player in the right system, and he can also be the heir apparent to Duncan, but with Loribek coming over, I am not sure. I think Tim needs to come off the bench, honestly. He and Manu would keep giving them instant offense, and bringing Diaw off the bench would be great, while, if they could get Favors, they could insert Tiago into the starting lineup, if they kept him.
All in all, it will be interesting to see what they do, but we definitely need to get rid of 3-4 players.
Get rid of 6 players. They are members of the NPA, Non-Performing Assets, lemons all - bonner, blair, anderson, Green, mills and Splitter.