I think Ginobili getting a new deal is very fair. Remember that he was the main player for team Argentina that made a run to the semifinals in the 2012 London Olympics, and performing in that role probably wore his legs out before the season even started. Manu will have an entire summer of rest and retooling this time around. I am extremely optimistic that he will perform better in 2013-2014 than he did the year before.
Splitter is getting a lot of flack due to his horrendous Finals, but he deserves his contract for 3 reasons. 1) He played all but 3 games last season (including playoffs) so he is fairly durable. 2) He can help Timmy bang with the opposition and defend the paint, which will give Timmy some energy to perform on the offensive end and maybe even give Timmy many more great games for the next 2 years. This was displayed in the WCF when Tiago and Timmy both completely locked down Randolph and kept Gasol in check the entire series (those were the same 2 players that killed the Spurs in the first round in 2011). 3) Tiago is already fine-tuned with the Spurs system. Signing a different big like Bynum or Jefferson would require a transition stage of 1 or 2 seasons, and considering Tim Duncan only has at most 2 seasons left, we gotta go all in right now and re-signing Tiago keeps us in the title conversation.
Bellinelli is a very nice signing, i love his game and he will thrive in our system. (I kept it short and simple there, you're welcome)
I think the Spurs will only get better next season and we'll finally get our 5th title!
I forgot to mention...
I'm all for them signing Greg Oden or Andrew Bynum. Oden hasn't really shown much offensive game at the NBA level, but then with his injuries he hasn't been afforded the time to develop either.
As for Bynum, well I know I'll get ripped for suggesting him, but he's still so young and when he's healthy and his head is on straight, he's one of the best centers in the league. He's gone stretches when he's flat out dominant on both ends. He's had his games against the Spurs where he's throwing Duncan around.
However, Bynum is also the guy that checks out mentally at times or is hurt. Nobody wants that guy either.
So, either of these guys would be great signings for the right price. They'll both be motivated to prove their critics wrong and make a move for a big long term contract somewhere. Either of these guys, IF signed, could be solid additions for the Spurs.
WOW! I'd LOVE to see a motivated Bynum playing for the Spurs. It'll certainly put Splitter on the bench, but that's the best part. The Spurs would have a luxury of playing around an unmotivated or injured Bynum or Oden, so adding either of them wouldn't be a huge risk. It just depends on what they're expecting financially.
I like the Belinelli signing. As others have mentioned. His contract is only for 2 years and will position the team to be players in free agency again in 2 years.
The best part of him is that Neal won't be around anymore. I know Neal hit some big shots and was a spark off of the bench, especially in a season when Ginobili didn't perform like the usual Ginobili. Still, I dreaded seeing the Spurs rely so heavily on Neal this past season. I'd cringe whenever Neal was dribbling the ball. He can't play defense either. Still, I did appreciate the many big shots that he was able to provide during his time with the Spurs, but Belinelli is just a better overall player and I'm looking forward to that change.
I'm not too happy with the contract handed to Ginobili. It might cost them the chance to add another piece this season, but still, that piece would likely be a marginal piece, so I'm not going to complain much about that. It's just that a big part of me WISHES Manu would hang 'em up. I'm really concerned with his ability to be an effective player moving forward. He played the least amount of minutes of his career this past season, yet he was miserable in the playoffs. Pop rested him this season more than ever to keep him primed for the playoffs and it just didn't work that way. We will see how things work out this coming season. I expect even less minutes going his way than last season. He might NEVER play on back to back nights again. And I don't expect him to be the team's 6th man anymore either. I think he's going to slide behind Belinelli off of the bench.
Now, onto Splitter...I'm "ok" with his re-signing, but I really wanted them to go after Al Jefferson, but Big Al got more money than the Spurs had to give. Either way, Splitter's contract is right in line with what guys like him will get now. I just hope he develops more on the offensive end. I do like what he does on the defensive end. I think he's a HUGE help for Duncan down low on defense, but offensively, he's way too soft. He makes shots that baffle me and he gets blocked on shots by guys that should never be blocking a 7'0 center. He needs to finish strong at the rim.
I like the Belinelli's contract, short, low-risk and it will end towards the contract of everyone else. It looks like the Spurs are giving it 2 more years with this group and after that the core of Kwahi, Tiago and maybe Tony will lead the Spurs to the next generation. I think he's an upgrade over any other perimeter player we have had on the bench including Manu. If Baynes can step up next season, I think we are set for every position. Maybe we can find a few contributing pieces in summer league. We have as great a chance as anyone to win the west again.
@Spursforever69 I'm not where I stand on Baynes, on account that I don't know how well he can play, but he could definitely be a fixture next year. Not sure about this season, though.
Interesting article. Thanks. 1. Belinelli appears to be a better bang for the buck in Spurs situation at present moving forward with Ginobli's declining ability to drive and finish consistently. I could not have said that before. I really like Neal. Ginobli served Neal very well before when Manu could create and kick to him. We wish Neal all the best far away from our division and conference. Would hate to see Neal with a close rival. Belinelli wanted to be a Spur, which is great. He will have less burden to create on the floor out of necessity. His efficiency will increase shooting wise and his skills to create will serve us on the second unit immensely. Certainly a triple threat type of player unlike Gary for the most part, but Gary was developing even in that area. We wish you all the best Gary far far away.
2. For Ginobli to continue to be effective for the Spurs, he, in his own mind, must step back and relinquish his role as a main creator and increase his role as mentor and 3 point shooter. For Pop this is already a process that has been started and Manu's minutes must also decrease for the team's success and also for his own personal health and longevity for a long up-coming season. It's good that he will take the summer off If I understood correctly. Maybe he can take Tiago an drink chocolate protein mootopia milk and lift weights with the coyote and become the Spurs version of "Burly men". Just messin there! More on Tiago in a minute. Ginobli is a local favorite no doubt, but certainly Argentinian through and through wanting to play for his country most every summer. This did wear on him over the years. Hope we can get a ring with his more diminished, but more effective role. He was significantly overpaid. I thought 2 year for 8 or 9 or 10 tops would still have kept the deal "dignified" for his legacy and bank account.
3. I have been a fan of Tiago from way back, and my thoughts are biased and less bottom line business. Most of what I have projected of him has come to pass. I felt he would take next step and contribute more as he most certainly did this past season. Without him we definitely do not go to the finals or maybe even western finals. You can read those stats on your own. I believe he has a superior basketball mind, and has decidedly adapted himself on the court as a "complimentary player" alongside TD. He is definitely one of the absolute best at pic and roll offense. His low post defense is also way up there. For the most part he "complimented" very well. Goin again on my bias, hope, and decent track record of his progress and development, I project he will be directed and accept and assume a more assertive role down low on offense and a greater focus on rebounding. I felt if he was more able on the hi-lo against Heaters we would have another banner hoisted. He needs strength, confidence, and skill to have pinned smaller Heat defenders down low receive ball from TD or Parker and with a decided and quick turn into the lane quickly shoot a high release hook from point blank range. Instead Heaters cheated off of him and wouldn't come in to help against him, as they quickly learned that he wouldn't shoot, but only quickly pass the ball out and often get his pass stolen. I project he will work on this all summer and indeed rise to the occasion to be a "go to guy" at times as he proved to a lesser degree and much lesser spotlight in some games during the season. At this stage in his career, I still believe he can still take it to the next level. He, as I mentioned earlier will not play for Brazil team this summer and play hubby and daddy,work on his game in the gym, with Chip, Chad, and also in the weight room with Manu, Coyote, and mootopia protein milk...... chocolate flavor will be optional. GO SPURS !!!