After a summer that saw the San Antonio Spurs finally have some salary cap space to play with, many fans may be wondering where the Spurs stand now after re-signing the players they still wanted and picking up a couple new pieces.
Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili were both quickly signed again by the Spurs front office shortly after the start of free agency. That required the front office to pony up some significant money to retain the services of the Brazilian big man and the tricky Argentine guard.
Splitter signed a four-year, $36 million deal, while Manu put pen to paper on a two-year, $14.5 million deal. As you can imagine, these two signings made the vast majority of the Spurs cap space disappear.
The Spurs front office quickly decided that Gary Neal and DeJuan Blair were expendable, so they snapped up Marco Belinelli in short order to replace Neal, and not long after, signed Jeff Ayres to take Blair’s spot on the roster. These two were reportedly signed with the Spurs’ MLE. Belinelli signed for two years at $5.6 million, and Ayres two years at around $3.5 million . That left about $650,000 of the MLE unused thus far.
At this point, the Spurs are sitting above the salary cap of $58,679,000, at $63,666,028. With the luxury tax set at $ 71,748,000, at least the Spurs are once again a non-tax payer.
So, what does all this mean going forward? Essentially the Spurs, being over the cap, are now pretty much relegated to offering only minimum contracts to any free agents they may want to add throughout the season.
The Spurs dont need a back-up SF, since they can play small-ball with Tony, Manu, Green/Belinelli, Leonard (at PF) and TD (at C). If they decide to go small they still have some PF/C at the bench, and they have plenty of guys to play small (CoJo, DeColo, Patty). This is a new era... We are just adapting to it... And Pop is ready for it...
Good job, Kevin. I don't think we have all these point guards for any other reason than Pop deciding to see who would clearly emerge over time and then moving pieces around.
I do think there will be, as there usually are, some solid vets released who will be salary cap casualties that the Spurs will try to lure by dangling the very real possibility of getting a ring.
And, as ryankxlu said, always option of trade with our pg situation.
I see 3 needs:
1) A real vet point guard to back up Tony. We have 2 undersized shooting guards at the backup and one combo guard. CoJo can defend, but doesn't move the ball well and is not a reliable scorer-makes some bad decisions. Mills can be a great scorer, but doesn't distribute well either and is not as good a defender as CoJo. Nando is a combo guy who just doesn't fit with this team. That means if TP goes down, immediately Marco and Manu have to be on the floor-a LOT- to keep the offense running. Backup pg is priority imho.
2) Kawhi needs a backup. I know the Spurs will use Marco and Manu at times and they are great change of pace guys, but it would be ideal if there was a 3/4 guy, a guy who was just a good defender who could come off the bench and give the Spurs solid D and some rebounding from that position.
3) We need one more experienced big. Doesn't have to be a scorer. Just a guy who can bang and grab some boards. I think Ayres and in time Baynes are going to be very solid. If TD or Tiago were to go down though, the Spurs really don't have that reliable guy to grab boards night in, night out. Need insurance there.
I would think the Spurs are watching the waiver wire closely to see if they can get one of these 3 needs-and the guy would have to be a good fit. I think at that point they start seriously exploring trade scenarios to see what they can get to fill at least one of the other needs.
That's my theory at least
There's always the option for a trade, of course. And with such a log jam at the PG slot, they definitely have some flexibility in that department.
@ryankxlu Yes, trades are always possible. I have some doubts that we will see any trade this year though, even considering the guard situation
@ryankxlu Exactly. I think that gives them a lot of options.