Corporate Knowledge: February 10, 2012

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Since the beginning of the Gregg Popovich era, the San Antonio Spurs have valued experience and system above all else. They refer to this as “Corporate Knowledge.” At 48 Minutes of Hell we too value experience, information, and insight on all things Spurs and look forward to providing you with links and quick-hitting analysis for your daily dose of Corporate Knowledge.

  • Tony Parker is an All-Star. Some might be surprised, and the Western Conference has a number of quality guards, but any of the 11 people that read John Hollinger’s Per Diem yesterday knows this is a deserved honor.Just a quick checklist of All-Star criteria that immediately came to mind:Statistics:18.9 PPG, 7.7 APG, 21.9 PER. Check.Team success: Best player on a team that is 18-9, 1st in Division, 2nd in Western Conference. Check.

    Signature games: A 42-point, nine-assist outburst against Russell Westbrook, followed by a 37-point, eight-assist effort against the Philadelphia 76ers on the road. Also outdueled Kyle Lowry in their last head-to-head matchup. Check.

    I’m not going to diminish the accomplishments of Kyle Lowry, Ty Lawson, or Monta Ellis to justify Parker’s inclusion. Arguments can be made for all. But to say he does not belong is ludicrous.

  • One of those that would like to see Parker out is ProbasketballTalk’s Kurt Helin, who feels the honor should go to Kyle Lowry in place of Parker. His reasoning:

Parker carries a heavy burden this season in San Antonio but he has some veterans stepping up like Tim Duncan to help him, Lowry is doing it with less.

  • I would argue that Tony Parker has a better system than Lowry, and Duncan a capable defender, but at this point in his career Duncan is no more capable than Luis Scola offensively as a pick and roll—or rather pop—partner. And without Manu Ginobili, Parker is surrounded by a similar collection of young, unproven role players. Except Lowry has Kevin Martin.Lowry is the better overall player in terms of how many different things he brings to the table, but Parker has an elite skill (dribble penetration) that he uses to elevate his team to greater heights. Parker vs Lowry is almost like Duncan vs Kevin Garnett on a much smaller scale. Would you prefer the guy that can do more things well, or the one that does one or two things superior to everybody else?
  • Tony Parker made an All-Star team? Naturally it’s time to trade him, as Trevor Zickgraf looks to the draft and some prospects the Spurs might look to acquire for Parker. Personally, I have never been behind the trade Tony Parker crowd unless something obvious presents itself.Looking back to last year’s draft, moving George Hill instead of Parker was absolutely the right call, and that trade stands even better with the development of Danny Green.
  • Over at Pounding the Rock, Josh Guyer gives a video breakdown of the San Antonio Spurs pick and roll.
  • NBA.com’s Fran Blinebury on Tony Parker passing Avery Johnson and his development from teenage point guard to NBA All-Star.
  • Jeff McDonald of the Express-News notes that for the past decade the only sure things were death, taxes, and Tim Duncan making the All-Star game. With Duncan being left off the Western Conference roster this year, do the other two fundamental forces no longer apply? Side note: Please stay safe and file your taxes.
  • Vjk333

    These Corporate Knowledge entries are a great addition to the site. Thanks!

  • NYC

    Parker’s value is sky high at the moment. Trade! Trade!! TRADE!!!
    JK. I just wanted to beat the trade mongers to the punch for once. 

  • Bob

    I wasn’t a fan of George Hill. He’s a mental midget at times.

  • Lvmainman

    Anyone notice Steve Novak has had back to back 19 pt games, with 5 3ptrs made in each one, playing no more than 27 minutes a game?

  • KP

    In the wake of Manu’s injury Tony Parker has been as important to the Spurs success as any player to any team in the league. If the Spurs are seriously considering trading him in the future, near or otherwise, they better get an absolute monster return for him. 

  • Hobson13

    If someone like NO offered us their two lottery picks for him, I think the FO would have to look hard at that scenario.

  • KP

    Good call. The 2012 draft definitely looks strong at the top right now. I worry about the prospect of TJ Ford or Gary Neal, Cory Joseph etc. running the point on a night to night basis, however. TP’s ability to get into the lane is just so important to the Spurs overall philosophy. Do you believe they can “replace” TP  with something like a pg by committee until they find the next secure starter? I will admit that I am extremely intrigued by the idea of the Spurs FO having multiple high draft picks, however. Given how smart they’ve been the last decade.

  • Anonymous

    1) The only thing I could think to say to Kurt Helin is “sir you haven’t watched enough Spur games”.

    2) Parker has had many wanting to trade him (self included at times) since he’s the best player to trade…but…nothing short of a ridiculous in the Spurs favor deal should be accepted.  Parker means that much to this team whether people like it or not.

    3) LOL at the last statement.  I’ll tell the IRS it was your suggestion.

  • Hobson13

    I don’t believe we can ever fully replace TP at the PG position, especially since this year’s crop of college PGs are nothing to write home about.  I have even heard from “experts” that the next two years might not product amazing PG prospects.  However if we can become much stronger at two other positions (which lottery picks in this year’s draft might accomplish) then we might be a much better overall team.

    If Parker could be traded under the scenario I just mentioned, we would have 3 first round picks including our own.  In this scenario, I could see us coming up with two guys like Perry Jones or Bradley Beal (just throwing out two good lottery names).  I know this scenario assumes MUCH, but I would think the Spurs long-term future would be much brighter with those two than with Parker.

  • Deeds130

    I don’t see NOH, or most anybody really, giving up 2 lottery picks for TP. Utah could use him for sure, but there are too many quality PGs hitting the FA agent market to be had without trading away the ability to add top talent at other positions via the draft. And there are plenty of other good PGs available for cheaper trades if the Spurs demand is too costly.  Just as you project the Spurs could be better longterm by getting better at positions 3-5, even if becoming less talented at the 1, the same could hold true for many other teams out there. There are simply too  many quality PGs in the league to expect tremendous trade value for ours.  That said, TP could net a couple of mid 1st rounders, but we have to understand that trading Parker for potential would be nothing short of a gamble that wouldn’t pay off for some time. It would also be an acknowledgement that the championship era of the past is truly over, and we are getting a jump on the next era, while trying to avoid a Suns-style (to use TDBE’s example) fade from relevance, such as the Celtics are currently embarking on. The type of all-star infusion SA needs can only be had via draft (so the more looks at it, the better), the Spurs can’t acquire young all-stars through FA or trade… and that’s the reasoning behind any would-be overhaul we would witness.

  • Deeds130

    So I’ve just read 2 posts saying the Spurs could only trade TP for a monster/rediculous return…

    There won’t be midseason trade, that’s a given. But in the perfectly plausible event that they prove once again to be a better regular season team than postseason team, what then? The question to ask is how much better are the Spurs over the next 5, 7, 10 years if they trade TP versus keeping him. How much longer do we pretend that this group’s ceiling is higher than it really is? Do we keep pretending next year, too?

    I feel dirty saying it when TP has been truly earning his All-Star jersey because right now the man deserves to be toasted with respect, admiration, and some grateful celebration. So this conversation is really one for the summer. But Blanchard linked to Tevor Zickgraf’s article, and I feel compelled to present the logic of the proposed opportunity:

    It’s not about ridiculous return. Think instead about simply getting better longterm. Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, and Ty Lawson (ntm, Jeremy Lin) are among those making the case that you can find yourself a point guard.

    It’s also not about moving forward without a hitch (such as the nice-story-but-the-dirty-truth-is-they’ll-still-never-get-to-the-Finals Denver Nuggets did after getting a “monster return” for their All-Star asset), it’s about getting the hardest thing to get, good young bigs. Adding Moultrie to Splitter would be a great start. Additionally adding Ezeli or Steven Adams would be that much better. Bigmen typically take awhile to develop as pros. Without Parker, and with a talented, young & inexperienced core, it’s just a matter of time before you find yourself in the early lottery… but with developing youngsters already in place, one elite pick may be all you need, and you can return to the playoff picture sooner than you would have otherwise (and as a young team on the rise, rather than a fading team).

    Keeping TP because of his current value to this team effectively means you’ll NEVER sniff the best the draft has to offer, and also lessens your chances of acquiring legit bigmen altogether, at least so long as you still have a well-above average coach. TP gets us tons of regular season wins, in spite of the fact that this is a flawed roster whose top talent is looking at the downside of their careers, but what is nonetheless missing is truly elite talent and vital interior defense.

  • Anonymous

     Well said as always.  I understand your p.o.v. (And in no uncertain terms would be open to such an avenue)

    What I mean by “ridiculous” in favor of the Spurs to me would be what your suggesting as well and not just acquiring a known product of the nba environment for Parker.  However…I would look to entertain for a “known” value + draft pick(s) before just subcombing to all out rebuild via draft.

  • Anonymous

    Not Spurs related (well it will be when Spurs play NY) but what a story.  What’s everyone’s impression regarding Jeremy Lin?

    Mine is…Where Did That Come From!?!?!  And… Spurs lost out not picking him up off waivers.

  • Daniel T

    If the Spurs had only had more top 10 draft picks over the past seasons, they might have players on their current roster such as Thabeet, Ekpe Udoh, Aminu, Joe Alexander, Greg Oden, Yi Jianlian, Adam Morrision, Shelden Williams, Patrick O’Bryant, Mouhamed Sede and Ike Diogu.  The number of hits from the draft is always shorter than the number of misses.  Letting Tony Parker go at this point when he is a proven All-Star could turn out to be like Phoenix letting Jason Kidd go or Dallas letting Steve Nash go.  If there were any sure fire bets in the draft, then why would any other team want to trade them away?    

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WBPW327T6XAZCCFQY25HBG6RE4 Cristian

    When are you people gonna get it? Just like Tim and Manu are part of Spurs culture and history, so is Parker. He is our franchise. You say that Manu is the best player Spurs currently have, but if the roles would have been reversed, with Tony injured and Manu playing, I’m telling you, we wouldn’t be 2nd in the West right now. Parker is the only player the Spurs have that can still brake down a defense. What happens when you don’t have a player that can do that? Just look at the Lakers. Look at the Knicks before Lin started playing. The offense just DIES. Yeah, I know the Spurs system is based on team passing and ball movement, but that doesn’t work all the time. And it’s not as effective when the other team doesn’t have to worry about somebody beating them off the dribble. 
    You can talk and moan all you want about Tony’s flaws,  but he’s untradeable. I wouldn’t trade him for C. Paul, D-Will, S. Nash, R. Westbrook, Rondo, Lawson, Lowry, Wall, Jennings or anyone you can think off. The only I would trade him for, that can do better what Parker does and even more is D. Rose. Can blow by his defender, 2nd defender and around the big at the rim and finish, does what the coach tells him to do, humble, great teammate and doesn’t messes up  team chemistry. Yeah, yeah, the guys on the list can get to the rim too, but you know what? I wanna see them lead the league in points in the paint for a season, just like Parker did a few years back. I don’t see that happening.
    Get it through your heads. Parker is not getting traded. They’re not braking up The Big Three. And all of them will retire as Spurs. Just as it should be. Who knows how many years or decades we’ll have to wait for another run like we had this pas decade. I would rather have 5 more years of 1st round exists and even lottery than trading Tony and than seeing him play against us. That would hurt more.

  • KP

    Very well thought out and detailed response. I think we both understand that the roster as it is currently set up is not going to be able to seriously compete with the elite teams in this league through a long playoff stretch. Especially considering, as you mentioned, that the core of the squad is aging and has precious few years left together.

    When I said the Spurs would need to get a monster return I didn’t have in mind a situation like the Nuggets had with Carmelo. I suppose what I meant was if you are going to trade away a player whose value to the team is so high you need to take a definitive step in a new direction. The Spurs are a rare team in the NBA right now. In a league dominated by superstars they have none. Even as TP has played out of his mind the last several weeks, he’s not considered a superstar. They have a great system put in place by an elite coach and the roster is filled with players they believe best run their system. So it will be interesting to see how the Spurs choose to try to close that gap.

    By trading TP aren’t you really saying that this team is officially into the next generation? Duncan doesn’t have many years left, a surprise to nobody here I’m sure. Same for Manu. So the pieces that you get in a trade for TP will essentially be the building blocks for the next generation of Spurs basketball. I think as Spurs fans we have been spoiled by the success of the Duncan era which makes it easier to be short sighted when looking at the team’s future. It’s hard to cut through all that nostalgia to get down to the business side of it all so good on the FO when/if they make a move.

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  • Easy B

    Well said…I’d probably disagree with Chris Paul, but not anyone else on the list. I’ve said it before, but I think the spurs are probably the deepest and most potent ( if not 1st at least top three ) perimeter team in the league. The increased winning of late has also coincided with us having 48 minutes of at least one big playing at a high level. If we can sustain that in the playoffs, we might outperform the skeptical opinions of many of the posters here and league commentaries.
    Trade TP ? Why?
    The spurs need to find the next cheago in the next two years to offset TDs retirement. Manu might emulate nash and play until 37/38…the front office knows better than us about the individual motor’s of the playing roster.

  • Hobson13

    I agree with much of what you said, however, there are teams that have more of a win now mentality that don’t necessarily want to wait 2-3 years before a top draft pick can become a very good young player.  One of these teams might very well be willing to pay a higher price for Parker in order to immediately improve the team and even lure another big name into town.  IMO, Parker is still a top 5 PG even though he hasn’t gotten the attention over the past few years. 

    I could see a team like New Jersy willing to give up at least one lottery pick for Parker assuming DWill walks on them.  I also think an interesting case could be made for NO making a run at Parker since it is possible Gordon might walk this summer.  Another All-star on a team with little talent would go a long way to convince a player like Gordon to stay on board.   

  • Deeds130

    Hear you. I still say a team with a top 10 pick in this draft doesn’t give up 2 lottery picks. NOH, NJ, and Utah would probably part with 1 of 2 picks. But I can’t ignore the fact that there are other PGs available, limiting the market value of TP. Supply & demand.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    Really comes down to defining value.

    Lottery picks are notoriously hard to grasp.  The teams that are in those slots are generally teams that are blowing it all up and have a fanbase that is warmly embracing the rebuild.

    To get a lottery pick you traditionally have to take on a lot of salary in return or a bunch of smaller poor value contracts.

    Unless we get clear picks and prospects you don’t move TP.

    Considering he is so deeply immersed in the spurs system, is on a very straight forward reasonable value contract and has always been a team player the odds of returning equal value are tough.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I’m more optimistic.  I firmly believe this team is better than last years team. Manus injury has been a blessing for us.  It’s forced Pop to blood new rotations, and force feed minutes to the rest of the team to cover.  In essence it’s initiated a period of self imposed Development on these Spurs.

    We are now deeper, have better defenders at the wing slots and more players capable of contributing in a tight rotation than we had last year.

    The ceiling for this team is higher than last years team.  The fact is that come the end of the season Green, Leonard & Splitter should all be better players than they are right now. Which gives us three bench guys who can really play.

    We can hold TP, Leonard, Splitter, Green, Timmy, Bonner, Gino,  Blair and a project like CJ, and still have the ability to add players through free agencey and the draft.  Lorbek & Co are also possible adds from previous drafts, plus whatever possible sneak pick up we nab in the upcoming draft.  James Anderson could even still be around for a bargain price if he picks up his play in the 2nd half of the season, which is a whole other issue in itself.

    Don’t forget that it’s not just about using cap space to sign a free agent. Around Draft time that cap space can be used to facilitate player movement as a third party in trade scenarios. Having cap space is a truly wonderful thing.

    Sure if someone offers us a lottery pick (or 2) plus a young PG prospect for TP you have to consider it but this team is displaying growth and ability right now and has actual room to expand in the off season.

  • http://twitter.com/nudityJ nudityjfandango

    I’m not on the trade TP band wagon, but if Chris Paul, D-Will or Westbrook was coming through the door i’d be all over it.  

    Just go through the numbers.  Pauls the best PG in the league right now regardless of what the ESPN highlight kids say.

    If Chris Paul & Deron Williams can get traded, anyone can get traded.

  • Deeds130

    Your Spurs tried has been on the block before, and was shopped again last summer, but found more takers for George Hill. So thinking of him as untradeable is just incorrect.

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