On Monday, Project Spurs received word from a source that Erazem Lorbek (rights acquired by the San Antonio Spurs in the Kawhi Leonard-George Hill trade) was going to be coming to play in San Antonio next season per the Spanish website MundoDeportivo.com.
Here's an update from the front page cover from earlier. Writer Jesus Perez Ramos of Mundo Deportivo states (via translation) Lorbek will indeed be making his way to Texas to join the Spurs this coming season.
Erazem Lorbek will not play in Regal Barca next season, but will play with the San Antonio Spurs, the NBA team that has rights since last year.
The report goes on to state both sides are already in agreement that Lorbek will wear the silver and black next season.
Although the final agreement with the Spurs is not signed, with the NBA is still playing the Finals and the start for such discussions is not open yet, the understanding between Lorbek and Texas franchise is total and absolute.
For the Spurs, their main priority will be to re-sign Tim Duncan. Once they have Duncan back on the roster, they'll boast a front court of Duncan, Tiago Splitter, DeJuan Blair (if they retain him), Matt Bonner, and now Lorbek. The question now becomes, what will the Spurs do about their other free agents?
French guard Nando De Colo might be making his way as well to San Antonio, so then that leaves Boris Diaw, Patty Mills, and Danny Green (restricted) as free agents. The Spurs will most likely be looking to re-sign Diaw and Green, but with Lorbek and De Colo potentially making their way to the team, the question is can the Spurs afford to keep both or any of them at all?
Free agency begins on July 1, and free agents can't sign until July 11, so it'll be interesting to see what happens in these next two weeks.
This seems to be the general concensus among people I've spoken with. I somewhat agree. If the Spurs get a big man on D and maybe even in low post offense. Persoanlly, I think Pop needs to work out a routine between Diaw and Blair to compensate for lack of a big man (at least until we get one.)
Keep Diaw and green then add a Veteran big man, hell if we could get Pau Gasol then the next two years the Spurs would be right there in the championship hunt for the next two years and hell maybe we could get three good years out of Duncan and Gasol. There's other big men free agents that might be better but I like the combination of Gasol and Duncan. I'd rather it be Gasol's younger brother but that's not a possibility so no need to talk about that.
Lorbek is definitely an upgrade from Bonner and Blair. he offers better defense, better passing, mid range shooting, and basketball IQ for sure. Pop loves his skill set. Bonner and Blair do have trade value, but have proved to be lacking in basic areas of defense and offensive versatility. By the way Tiago is going nowhere! Go Spurs !!!
Im not sure why everyone is so excited by this potential signing.. This guy won't help us one bit.. it usually takes new guys at least a year to get acclimated to our system. we have enough scoring, we need more defense and a creator. This guy's not gonna help at all... he's a 6'11 guy that only averages 13ppg (scoring savant??) and he also averaged under 5 rebounds (huge red flag for a big man) he's a poor mans mehmet okur.. no thank you... the only moves we should make is for a backup point (i hear sessions is opting out), dumping Matt Bonner (i have no idea with his playoff ineptness hows he's been able to stick this long), and shot creator (your guess is as good as mine).... i know i;ll get ripped for these comments but we'll c next season when this guy is on the end of the bench.... jmo
My ONLY issue with Lorbek is his age. The man is 28 years old, does anyone else not have a problem with that? I just feel he won't be as productive as we all think. I really hope I'm wrong, but it's how I feel. 28 is probably the prime of an NBA's player career, and Lorbek is just coming over. In 2 years, he'll be 30. After 30-31, it's almost always downhill for most players, especially big men. Manu was 30 during '07-'08, his best season ever averaging 19 ppg and winning 6th Man Of The Year. After that season, he was a little worse up until last season, but then he got injured right before the playoffs. Tim Duncan was 31 when he won ring number 4, and look what's happened after that. Low production, low ppg, low minutes, and his knees got much worse. I'm telling you, Lorbek being 28 is so risky. He may give us 2 maybe 3 good years, but that's it. He's not the long term solution. We need to get younger and faster, enough with the late 20 year olds jumping the pond.
I know you have a problem with his age, but think of it this way. He'll probably replace Bonner (I think Bonner will be gone with Lorbek coming). Bonner is 32 and Lorbek is 28. So the Spurs get younger. Also, Lorbek actually has a post game (something Bonner lacked). But yes, like others have said, we still need that young, athletic, shot-blocking big.
It still leaves us without an athletic 4 or 5 and no mid range shooter. Why MBonner is such a liability in the playoffs is the sapcing is never enough for him to get off an easy shot, so he either doesn't shoot or does some awkward drive that usually ends up with nothing. If he could make a actual move to the rim, his shot would also have more space. Taking another slow footed defender doesn't help us but iof he replaces Bonner, it is an upgrade for sure. Blair and Bonner need replacements that bring other dimensions to the team, Diaw is a better fit then any of these guys but we still need anohter big with agility. Everyone now knows you can't defed many of the highly skilled quick players on the perimeter, one on one, so the Heat, Thunder, Lakers, Grizz have shot blocking on the indies to cover mistakes and allow extending the defense to protect the 3 pt line. We don't have anyone that can do that, leaving TD to try to cover up at the rim leaving the mid range shot always open. Ibaka killed us, Griffen - when hitting that shot, Randolph last year, Gasol;against the Lakers, on and on, no way to defend it because of personnel dictating the defensive schemes not the other way around. Lorbek doesn't help that but will make us even more potent offensively. It the payoffs where his limitations will be exposed most.
@jojo707 Lorbek is way better than Bonner and has much more on the table. He can work the post well, he can shoot 3's and midrange off the the dribble ect. He and Duncan can make a fantastic frontcourt. Lorbek shot 41% on 3's and 55% on mid-range. That's great as a set shooter and as a roll or pop guy.
I do agree though, Tiago as the odd man out. The team needs a great defender, above the rim kind of Center. To pair with a Bonner or Diaw, That;s why it's safe to presume Tiago is a trade bait at the draft.
As an aside, if the Spurs could jettison Bonner's $3M contract, it really opens up the door to some interesting moves by the FO, this year & particularly next year.
@Chris32 @ironm8 @jojo707 Splitter is a better defender than Lorbek and he's been playing the Euro style longer than Tiago and you think Tiago had problems adjusting. The only thing this dude can do is shoot but defend NBA bigs? We need a defender more than a shooter. (See Bonner) Splitter did well against many bigs in the regular season then Pop melted down and panicked and sat him and Blair in the OKC series. All we'll be getting is a younger Bonner but maybe he can shoot 3's during the playoffs. That's to be seen. I would keep Splitter and move Bonner and Blair. How do you know this Lorbek guy can't play well with Splitter they both come from the same environment. Although if both Splitter and Lorbek are on the team next season they probably won't be on the court together. Question is Lorbek better than Bonner on defense? If so than it would work.
@Chris32 @ironm8 Bonner's $3.5 mil can be amnestied. Likely someone would at least pay him the veteran minimum of $2mil + so we wouldn't be out much. He and Blair still have value to many. Bonner is no worse than Cardinal orJIanlian and these guys will be in the league this year as role players. We might get a 1st rounder for both. Tiago is still worth keeping if we can get out of Bonners deal or get value for Blair.
He's been playing competitive basketball in Europe far longer than Tiago did so the learning curve from going from Europe to NBA play 'MIGHT' be shorter. Obviously he's way better than DeJuan is. I don't see any reason why the team wouldn't sign Boris if they sign him. With him and Boris, The team would be deeper as compared to this season.
@AlvinPatacsil How do you figure on Lorbek having a shorter learning curve because he's been playing longer than Tiago in Europe? I think it would take longer to adjust having played more years the Euro style.