Corporate Knowledge: February 17, 2012
The makeshift March 15 trade deadline is approaching fast, given the blur the season has been. Soon players who signed contracts over the summer will be eligible to include in deals, which should spark some trade activity.
There are many out there that feel ideally the San Antonio Spurs should acquire a fifth big man to add to the rotation, preferably one that can usurp Matt Bonner or DeJuan Blair in the rotation (which one depends on whether you like your defensive deficiencies too short or too slow).
While adding a fifth big man to the rotation would be a nice luxury, the Spurs success this season does not hinge on their ability to do so. Nor should they compromise any of their strengths to find one.
As is, the roster created by general manager RC Buford and developed by head coach Gregg Popovich features a championship quality supporting cast. Carry this roster back to 2008 or 2009, alongside Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and a still All-NBA version of Tim Duncan, and I have every bit of confidence the Spurs are right there with Los Angeles and Boston.
It is a supporting cast that does not want for shooting, wing defense, rebounding, or athleticism. Another plus defender beyond Tiago Splitter in the front court would be nice, but just a few years ago Duncan would have been more than capable of covering whatever deficiencies Blair or Bonner might have while augmenting their strengths.
To get to my point, if the San Antonio Spurs do not have a successful or extended playoff run, it will not be because the front office did not surround it with good enough players. It will be because the core of Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker were injured or simply aged out of the capability of doing so.
- Adding some credibility to my opening thoughts is a piece from Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News praising the surprising effectiveness of the Spurs bench. Should Manu Ginobili return to the starting lineup, McDonald writes, it will be simply because he is no longer needed to keep the bench effective.
- If the Spurs do prove incapable of contending for a title despite its upgraded supporting cast, it does not mean it’s my personal preference to burn this thing down and start over. I would simply suggest, as our own Andrew McNeill did yesterday, to enjoy Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker playing at a high level while you can.
- How deep is the Spurs bench? James Anderson, who many pegged as a future valuable contributor when the Spurs drafted him, was the odd man out of the rotation before Manu Ginobili returned. Still, from the looks of his interview with Jeff Garcia of Project Spurs, the Spurs found another talent with quality character. He might be struggling now, but he need only look to Danny Green (cut last year), Gary Neal (opportunity came when Anderson got injured) and Tiago Splitter (out of the rotation last year) for examples of what perseverance can mean on this team.
- Another season, another column suggesting a team use the San Antonio Spurs as a blueprint for building their franchise, this one penned by Ryan Wolstat of the Sudbury Star regarding the Toronto Raptors.
- A brief story on Cory Joseph on his return to his native Canada. Of note, Joseph talks about the value of his time in Austin. Just as valuable as the playing time in Austin are the lost practices. In Austin, Joseph could be learning the finer points of the Spurs system in ways the film and shootarounds don’t allow during this condensed season.