After a fantastic regular season but a rather disappointing post season, the San Antonio Spurs are set to enter negotiations during this offseason to continue their post-Duncan re-tooling. Here are our top 4 Off-Season acquisition targets for Pop and the front office.
After getting bounced by the Warriors in the Conference Finals after injuries to Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard derailed the team, the Spurs are in an awkward spot with their current roster. Parker is rising in age and returning from an injury, LaMarcus Aldridge is reportedly unhappy with his role on the team, and they don’t have a ton of cap room at the moment to pursue some of the bigger names in free agency this summer.
The Spurs need to take advantage of Leonard while they have him in some of his best years of his career, and may need to do some drastic moves to make a run in the West next year.
With such a talented pool out there this off-season, and plenty of players to move around from their current roster, things will definitely be hectic out in San Antonio this summer. To help narrow things down, here are the five best off-season targets for the Spurs to pursue this off-season.
#1 – Chris Paul
Chris Paul is one of the hottest free agents out there, and it looks like the battle for Paul this summer will be between the point guard’s former home with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Spurs.
Paul has been battling the Spurs for years now during his time in Los Angeles, and when he was with the New Orleans Hornets back when they were a thing. During all those battles, Paul’s team has never made the Western Conference Finals, while the Spurs have ended up there plenty during his career’s duration. It may be time for Paul to go chase a ring and make the Spurs a threat, rather than worry about the money in a situation that will never work with the Clippers.
Paul, like Lowry, will be a tough get for the Spurs given their current cap situation, but it’s one of those rare opportunities in free agency that seems like it’d be worth it in the end. Paul and Kawhi Leonard would be a deadly duo, and it could help to develop a young talent like Dejounte Murray with a 32-year old veteran like Paul teaching him.
He’s definitely the most expensive target out there, but the interest seems to be there on both sides, and it’s a deal that’d surely work out well on both ends. It’d be an investment worth jumping in on to make a run at the Warriors for the next few seasons, and could help launch the Spurs to some success for years to come.
#2 – Kyle Lowry
Like the number one target on this list, and like Derrick Rose and George Hill from earlier, Kyle Lowry is a talented point guard that the Spurs should pursue.
Lowry opted out of his deal with the Raptors, and could easily return, but may want to take his talents to the Western Conference. Lowry averaged 22.4 points, 7 assists and 4.8 rebounds a game, and that’s while sharing the ball with DeMar DeRozan in the lineup.
Lowry would be turning down a lot of money from the Raptors, but the Spurs provide an enticing option for the guard that no other team can really provide him that has the cap space. They are already a contender in the Western Conference, and have the potential to build up a big lineup if they can rework their cap situation.
The Raptors aren’t getting anything done anytime soon out in the Eastern Conference, as the team won’t be able to get above the third seed if the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers stay at their current pace. Lowry may be willing to leave the money behind for a chance to win, and the Spurs are his best chance to do that.
The Spurs are in need of a star at the point, and Rose and Hill wouldn’t cut it as far as improving the team to compete immediately with the Golden State Warriors. Depending on the lineup that would remain around him (the Spurs would need to clear some room, and either a LaMarcus Aldridge or Danny Green trade seems like the most likely options), the Spurs could instantly become a threat to the Warriors.
#3 – Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin is opting out of his contract with the Clippers, and it seems like he could fit in well with the Spurs given some of the current circumstances in San Antonio.
While it is Stephen A. Smith saying it on ESPN and it’s not coming directly from the horse’s mouth, current Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge is reportedly very unhappy in San Antonio. The team still has Pau Gasol kicking around in their lineup, and Aldridge reportedly doesn’t think he’s being utilized like he could be on the court. Gasol has opted out as well but is reportedly trying to renegotiate another deal with San Antonio that would give the Spurs more financial flexibility/
That’s not exactly an appealing rumor to have spreading around about playing power forward in your lineup, but it may work in the Spurs’ favor in the end. If they can work a deal to ship Aldridge elsewhere to clear cap room and potentially get some talented guards and/or draft picks, they could utilize the cap relief to pursue Griffin.
In seven seasons in Los Angeles, Griffin averaged 21.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and a steal per game. He’d provide some serious talent to the Spurs roster, and could help the team in a run against the Golden State Warriors, while also battling with a team who actually succeeds in the postseason.
He’s eligible for a ton of money with a max contract in Los Angeles, but Griffin may be happy playing for a winner in San Antonio, and it’d be a nice fit given Aldridge’s current unhappiness in the lineup.
#4 – Derrick Rose
You can get your laughing out of the way on this one, but Derrick Rose actually provides a solid fit for the Spurs, and could find himself rebuilding his career and reputation under the tutelage of a coach like Gregg Popovich.
The Spurs are reportedly interested in Rose, as he gives a veteran presence at point guard that they need, and would likely be pretty cheap to obtain. Obviously injuries are a huge problem for Rose, and have been throughout his entire career. However, the Spurs could use his experience, like signing George Hill would bring, to help out with the youth on the team behind him.
Rose seems pretty set on staying with the New York Knicks, and said he’d take a pay cut to stay with team, but it may make more sense to go chase a ring with a true contender, and stay away from the chaos going down in New York.
For the Knicks last year, he averaged 18 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game in 64 games, and proved he still has some of the talent that he used to play with before injuries derailed his career. He’d provide a solid scoring touch to the Spurs rotation, and could tap back into his full potential with Popovich at the helm.
It’d surely be a risk to put all of your trust on Rose at the point, especially when you have Tony Parker recovering from an injury of his own and questions surround him returning. However, it may be worth the gamble in the end to bring the former MVP in to San Antonio in the end.