Four days ago word came out that San Antonio Spurs restricted free agent guard Gary Neal was gaining attention on the open market and the Spurs might not be able to match the price teams are asking for Neal.
Though none of those team names were released, it seems the Milwaukee Bucks are one of four teams who have interest in Neal according to Gery Woelfel of the JournalTimes.com.
Bucks are 1 of 4 teams in mix for Gary Neal.— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) July 9, 2013
Before free agency began, the Spurs did extend a $1.1 million dollar qualifying offer to Neal making him a restricted free agent. That means that if a team offers a signing sheet to Neal, the Spurs will have three days to match the offer to keep Neal.
However, as I wrote in my column three days ago, the recent free agent move the Spurs made in reaching a verbal agreement with guard Marco Belinelli might be a sign Neal’s tenure in San Antonio could be over.
The first issue would be finances. Though the exact details of Tiago Splitter, Manu Ginobili, Beinelli, and Jeff Pendergraph’s deals won’t be known until after they sign contracts on July 10, one would assume the Spurs couldn’t match an offer over their qualifying offer for Neal.
The second issue would be that with the roster already going to have 14 players on roster after July 10, Neal would be the 15th and final player added, which would mean San Antonio would have 8 guards.
The Bucks could be losing both Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis in free agency, but they have already received verbal commitments from guards O.J. Mayo and Carlos Delfino, along with center Zaza Pachulia. There have also been reports of the Bucks looking into a sign-and-trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Jennings and Jeff Teague.
If Milwaukee were to sign Neal, he would have an opportunity to play more minutes in Milwaukee as he could either play the backup point guard role or sixth man role as he did for the Spurs at times.
In three seasons with the Spurs, Neal’s accumulated $2,141,584 million despite all the critical plays he’s made from his 2011 game tying 3-pointer against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 to his recent Finals performances against the Miami Heat.
Either way, Neal is due a payday and it should be coming soon.
This is a smart move. Whatever team wants him will have to do a sign and trade with us. The front office isn't going to just let a player like Gary walk for nothing. Worst case, we get a draft pick out of him. They've made some really good moves this summer. I know Jeff hasn't been the favorit of everyone, but I'm excited about him. We needed some more rebs and someone that can help protect them rim when Tim goes to the bench. We don't need scoring from him. Keep in mind when Danny ferry came back to help out in the front office, he told them to give green a shot. We just brought in the assist coach to the pacers and my guess is he told the spurs everything about this guy. He maybe another gem like green.
@edmoladaI like the Jeff signing, when the spurs hired Jim Boylen he said it was his priority to work with Baynes and Splitter so he knows big men...Look what he did with west and Hibbert well that is if he was responsible for working with them. Jeff Pendergraph may have just been stuck behind two very good big men and has not had a chance to blossom. same thing Happened to Gortat in Orlando...I would be quick to call the guy a bust if he has had a chance to start on a few teams and just cant do it, but being stuck on the bench in Indiana doesn't mean the guy cant play..But we do need another Scorer in those & games series.
Defense will lock down on the stars and Manu will start to choke and turn the ball over a ton so we need another scorer, Cant win a seven game series relying on jump shots...Pick and roll is our bread and butter
Is a sign and trade a possibility here? With Henson and Sanders set for big minutes this year, the Bucks seem to have an overflow of bigs we might be able to use. In particular Mbah Mboute would come in handy, but Udoh has appeal as a rim protector. Gooden - maybe, if the right assets came with it. Maybe there are some options here.
I ALWAYS LIKED gary neal, he had that assassins mentality as a scorer and the spurs needed that from time to time, but business is business and we had to let someone walk, so thanks gary for your gutsy shooting.