3-on-3: Personnel moves and the postseason
In this edition of 3-on-3, we provide quick reactions to the Spurs recent personnel moves, the latest of which is the signing of Boris Diaw, in advance of the playoffs. Our players are Aaron McGuire, Jesse Blanchard, and, making a guest appearance, Wayne Vore.
1) Boris Diaw? Does this signing look better on paper or on the court?
, Gothic Ginobili
/48MoH: On paper, it doesn’t actually look that great. Diaw’s production has tailed off significantly since Phoenix, and his currently awful shape is the stuff of legend
. On paper he’s worse than any of the big men we currently have on the roster. But when actualized he can be a large, floor-spacing PF to spot Tim minutes and get Tiago more time. That’s a good thing.
Jesse Blanchard, 48MoH: The only paper we have to judge by is what Diaw accomplished in a terrible situation in Charlotte. Similar paper trails showed Stephen Jackson to be a terrible acquisition. On both fronts I believe the Spurs are better equipped to maximize their unique skill sets.
, The Big Fundamental
: I think anything the Spurs get from Boris Diaw on the court is better than it looks on paper. On paper, it cost them nothing. Whatever Boris can give is a plus.
2) How would you grade R.C. Buford’s performance over the last month?
McGuire: A-. The only minus is that he had to give up a pick to get Jefferson off the books, and that’s why it isn’t a perfect ‘A’. But Buford has put the Spurs in a position where they’ll have max cap space to play with in the 2013 offseason while simultaneously upgrading some bench spots as we prepare for a playoff run. What more could he have done? Not much.
Blanchard: B+. Buford upgraded the small forward position while saving money and at worst threw depth at the two glaring holes in their roster. Given what was available, the Spurs came away a deeper, more versatile team without really losing anything or taking on significant salary.
Vore: An A-. I’m holding out A+ to see what the team does in the summer and how much Capt. Jack gives us next season. I’m also interested to see the terms of Diaw’s contract. If R.C managed to get him for another year or two at a very low salary then he’s a master ninja. Which we knew already.
3) How do the recent personnel moves effect the Spurs’ championship hopes?
McGuire: While none of the acquisitions are very large in theory, this could be a Green-for-Perkins type addition by subtraction swap. With Jefferson gone, Kawhi and Neal will get more playing time. With Diaw in the picture, Tiago can spend more time at center without Tim. With Green gone, Ibaka was free to eat more minutes and transform the Thunder from a good team to a contender. That could happen here with Kawhi and Tiago. I think the moves will help the Spurs’ cause.
Blanchard: Interior defense remains the Spurs biggest problem, and that wasn’t really addressed, though they have doubled down on versatility and firepower. But the Spurs title hopes rest on the Big Three and the additions biggest effect would be the additional depth preserving Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker for the playoffs.
Vore: I think Jackson for Jefferson increased the championship chances so far as Jackson provides more of what the team needs — playmaking and defense — and the other moves don’t effect it much at all. Tony’s hammy, Tim’s knee, and Manu’s body are where the championship hopes rest.