Richard Jefferson and amnesty

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While there is mostly angst and negativity surrounding the ongoing labor negotiations between NBA owners and the players union, there was some hope among Spurs fans that the new collective bargaining agreement would include some sort of amnesty rule. The idea behind this rule would aid teams in getting out of bad contracts they themselves handed out.

There was a previous iteration of this rule in the last collective bargaining agreement, where each team was able to release one player under contract and their salary would not count against the luxury tax. According to Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ, teams had about a two week window in 2005, August 2nd through the 15th, to waive a player without getting hit with luxury tax penalties. Here’s Coon’s explanation of the benefits:

Players waived using this provision are not counted in the team’s team salary when computing the amount of luxury tax the team owes. For example, if a team waived a player with a $10 million salary, and ended up $15 million over the tax level, then they would only owe $5 million in luxury tax (saving $10 million). However, the tax savings does not necessarily equal the player’s salary — if the team ended up just $3 million over the tax level then they would only save $3 million (owing no tax at all). If they ended up below the tax level, then there is no tax to be paid so they wouldn’t realize any savings at all. On the other hand, it’s possible for the net savings to exceed the player’s salary. If a team’s amnesty cut takes them from above the tax level to below it, then in addition to not owing any tax they will also receive a tax distribution.

The Spurs were not one of the teams who used the NBA’s luxury tax provision in 2005. They were, however, one of the teams who took advantage of it. The Dallas Mavericks used the luxury tax provision on Michael Finley, releasing Fin Dog and the almost $52 million remaining on his contract. Mark Cuban still had to pay the remaining salary to Finley, but that money didn’t count against Dallas’ luxury tax number. Finley’s salary still counted against the Mavs’ salary cap figure, though. The Spurs swooped in and signed Finley to a contract which paid him about $2.5 million in his first year. The Spurs went on to win the NBA title in 2007 with Finley being one of the highest paid players in the NBA, and the vast majority of that salary was paid by Cuban and the Mavs.

There is some hope among Spurs fans that a new amnesty rule will come into play under the next collective bargaining agreement, one that will help the Spurs get out from under Richard Jefferson’s wet blanket of a contract. With talk of a hard salary cap, I myself held out hope that there may be a new amnesty provision that not only doesn’t count a particular salary against the luxury tax upon release, but also doesn’t count against the salary cap. This would enable many teams to get under the possible hard salary cap quickly. Peter Holt and the Spurs could waive Richard Jefferson and, though still paying his full salary, he wouldn’t count against the salary cap, theoretically giving the Spurs more financial flexibility. Truthfully, I know how ambitious/unbelievable this sounds.

If the last week has indicated anything about the new CBA negotiations, my pie in the sky amnesty provision won’t be included. Spurs owner Peter Holt is the head of the owners’ labor relations committee. Meaning, he’s the main owner negotiating alongside NBA Commissioner David Stern and the league. Holt is very involved in these meetings and presumably knows the ins and outs of the future CBA more than any team owner. Being the top notch owner that he is, most likely he’s shared some information about the upcoming agreement with his front office people, namely RC Buford.

If Holt expected there to be an amnesty provision that would rid the Spurs of Richard Jefferson’s contract, Buford would probably know about it. And the zeal with which the Spurs tried to move RJ last week indicates that nothing helpful is on the horizon. The Spurs answered every phone call leading up to the NBA Draft with a “Hi-if-you’re-calling-about-Tony-Parker-you-have-to-take-Richard-Jefferson-too” greeting met mostly with unenthusiastic dial tone. If the Spurs expected to be able get rid of Jefferson’s contract easily under the new CBA, RJ wouldn’t have been attached to every trade proposal mentioning Parker.

There’s still likely to be some sort of amnesty provision in the new collective bargaining agreement. Chances are, it’ll be similar to the one in 2005, where the waived player’s salary still counts against the salary cap and is still paid by the team, it just won’t count against the luxury tax. This is not the type of clause a normally frugal owner like Holt is likely to use. One exception may be the $2.5 million Antonio McDyess is guaranteed next season, as Mark Deeks of ShamSports mentioned in our podcast. If Dice retires, that is. It’s a limited amount of money the Spurs still owe to Dice and gives them a bit of financial flexibility, however small. The Spurs also won’t have to worry about paying a guy to play for another team as the Mavs did in the Finley situation.

No, most likely the Spurs will continue to employ and play Richard Jefferson, and Spurs fans will rue the day RJ opted out of the final year of his contract last summer. Folks can only hope that new draftee Kawhi Leonard, also a small forward, can outplay the salary he is owed under a rookie contract, making up some for the gap in cost vs. production that Jefferson represents.

  • Rick Ashford

    Well, for what it’s worth, I don’t think that their including Jefferson in Parker talks is an indication that Holt doesn’t think there’s going to be an amnesty clause.  I think it’s a little more likely that he feels that if he gets rid of Jefferson, it’s highly preferable to do it in a trade where he can get value back than in an amnesty cut that still costs the team the entire salary, potentially still clogs the cap, and guarantees zero production and flexibility from that cost.

    The fact that they started conversations by saying, “If you want Parker, you have to take Jefferson” only indicates that Parker is valuable enough to the franchise that you’re going to have to do us a major favor to even start the conversation about a trade.  Just because somebody agreed to take RJ with TP doesn’t mean that there was a deal to be made, it just means you got past the first 5 seconds of the phone call.

    Personally, I don’t see an amnesty clause being used by the Spurs unless it doesn’t count against the cap number.  Otherwise, you’re just creating a wholly sunk cost that you can do nothing with.  If the money is spent either way, then if you hold on to RJ you’ve got a decent enough backup small forward (that’s what he’s playing like), and something that can be potentially traded.  If the Arenas contract could be moved, then RJ’s can be moved.  

    I suspect this is why hardly anybody used the amnesty clause last time.  Heck, even the Knicks refused to use it on Allan Houston, despite everyone calling it the Allan Houston Rule.

  • Rob

    I believe this situation is the just of what’s being discussed regarding CBA negotiations.  Owners wanting guaranteed profit is just as ludicrous as players wanting guaranteed salary.  Neither wanting to budge yet contracts like Jefferson’s equating to teams not being able to sign better talent while being the one’s who made the “bad decision” of signing that player to begin with.

    Is it Jefferson’s fault that he plays on a team that doesn’t utilize his talents to the best he can play?  Should a player be punished for being in a situation that doesn’t allow him to be the best at “HOW” he plays.  Should a team be punished having to guarantee a salary to any player that is not capable of playing up to commensurate for a team?  What standards should/could be set forth determining those factors?

    Amnesty is just a band aide to a recurring issue.  Jefferson’s salary (you know…the one the Spurs “agreed” to paying) prevents the Spurs from engaging in any real talks with any legitimate players that may immediately help the team.  But there you have it.  Life doesn’t guarantee anything.  Jefferson was (and still could be in my opinion) a viable talent, good enough to be a major contributor on a team that used his talents to the best of his abilities rather than trying to incorporate him to a style he’s just not suited to playing.  But that should be a definitive to both players and owners…life doesn’t guarantee you anything…asking/demanding such guarantee is not only unrealistic…it’s counter productive to providing future and current members within their respected organization equality and parity.

    Gone away should be 100% guaranteed salaries for the entire duration of a contract.  100 to 80 to 60 to 40% guarantee during the duration probably is more serviceable to all parties involved.  If a player is waived (and why would a team wave a good player) that player has the option to play for another team with the team that player is departing from paying what is guaranteed that year and the team that picks that player up paying the rest of the salary.

  • http://www.nba.com/spurs/?tmd=1 TheRealDirtyP1

    I’m a big proponent of this, but with the Spurs seeming to be financially strict, unless they can get a good player to use whatever hole is left from RJ’s salary, it doesn’t make sense. RJ is still a starter on this team and right now there’s noone to unseat him.
    How much are the Spurs over the salary cap anyways? My trust is in RC, I don’t know how much more time I can give RJ until I can say he is a for sure flop.
    Biggest flops in Spurs free agent history? I’d like to see a list of those.

  • Rob

    Not related but interesting;

    “PJ Carlesimo – in spite of the one year he had remaining on his contract – will not be back with the Raptors.”
    http://blog.rogersbroadcasting.com/ericsmith/2011/06/29/coaching-staff-complete/

  • BALLHOG

    @ Rob,

    Well said…

    Details abound about this and that, CBA and amnesty, lockout, etc, etc, etc,…Bottom line…Its Karma for the Spurs….One bad move is one thing, but years of bad draft picks, bad decisions on free agents, overpaying for subpar talent, and not developing young talent has simply caught up to this organization, and is now whipping it’s hindparts..

    Spurs could have released RJ when he opted out…They didnt…

    Yet, they still will not allow him to simply play his game.  Same thing with G. Hill…The Ruler wouldnt allow him to play his game either, instead opting to play him out of position.  Strange to me when an inexpensive Garrett Temple could have easily held down that back up point guard spot.  But, we know the philosophy of “Pop, the Ruler”!  Could have signed Bonner for half of his salary, (I wouldnt have signed him at all) and certainly could have taken a longer look at Splitter before committing that kind of money to an unproven Euro Player. 

    Over 5 mil is a nice chunk of chedder for a player with his weak skill set…Shame…We could have gotten Splitters production this season from just about any available big out there…Even a D Leauger, and for a lot less money.  Could have used that money on somebody like Matt Barnes, Corey Brewer, or Shaun Marion, and still had a little money to bring in a big.  Without RJ’s contract and the other two inflated contracts of Bonner and Splitter, we would be looking at guys like Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Nene, Dalembert, JR Smith, right now…,Actual BB players, not limited, heartless, one trick pony type players.

    Bringing in these so called “High character players” who lack both heart and skilll set,  defeats the purpose, and puts dead bodies on your bench, on your D Leauge team, and behind your bench in street clothes….Of course though, they bow down to the coach, create great locker room chemistry, sing locker room songs together and play X Box together before the game, but when they come up against the “Big Boys” of the leauge….No Contest.

    Finally, Asking Duncan to opt out, or restructure was hillarious to me…If Im Timmy, Im not having any of it…Those four Banners hanging high at the AT&T Center belong to TD, as does the Spurs cosistent appearances in the playoffs over the years…

    TD has earned his pay and should demand every single dime, regardless of his current numbers or the decline in his game….

    TD is the future Hall of Famer that made the Spurs winners….Even though his coach loves taking credit for it all…

    Spur Nation knows the truth, and so does TD….

    The praise goes to Manu, TD, and Tony…The three warriors that we have come to depend on over the years, not the Mighty Coach, or the perceived “Super Awsome Front Office”….

    Note to Tim,

    Way to go Big Man….Dont be hoodwinked….

    Be compensated for carrying this franchise on your back!

  • DorieStreet

    Great points. This amnesty rule is along the lines of the draft age restriction rule for the league aka the “one and done” clause. No one forced the Washington Wizards to draft Kwame Brown No. 1 overall ten years ago, just as no one forced the Cleveland Cavaliers to pick Kyrie Irving No. 1 last week. (Did playing 11 games at Duke make him a top pick in 2011 vs being just a s viable a top selection  in 2010 out of high school?)
    GMs and front offices season after season throw money at overhyped potential and minimum production; and they should suffer the consequences without any relief. I am in favor of a hard cap, being the league does not have revenue sharing and large city teams have more sources to fund their franchises.

  • CGD

    Holt is the owner of a small market team and looks at salary in absolute terms. If the amnesty provision is not linked to the cap it’s irrelevant (i.e., only as a way to avoid luxury tax savings), and even if it is linked I doubt Holt wants to pay RJ AND his replacement anyway. For better or worse we’re keeping him short of a trade.

    Busting on RJ is in vogue these days — I get it.  Sure RJ is overpaid and ideally should be producing more, but realistically overpaid by how much?   RJ did give us 11PPG in the regular season (yes I know) while shooting 44% from 3. Not stellar, but after looking at non-Rookie scale SF comparables I think it’s unrealistic to say he’s overpaid by more than 3M.

    On the point of RJ opting out last year — I highly doubt he does it without some indication from the Spurs that they’d make a good faith effort to give him a longer deal. Had he not opted out and took the 15M this year, RJ still likely gets AT LEAST a 15M/3y deal, i.e., 5M a year on average, after this season from some team (btw Clips looking for a Vet SF these days:  http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/22/sports/la-sp-clippers-20110623). Take Duncan: TD doesn’t leave 21M on the table unless the Spurs give him assurances of more years and slightly more money (e.g., 28M/3years).  All this to say, I not sure we’re in a position to really “rue the day” RJ resigned after opting out.   

  • angryspurfan

    I agree 100%, anyone calling for duncan to restructure his contract is just plain stupid. Duncan did that already a while back, and then got us 2 more championships.  Duncan deserves his pay and another decent big to play next to, but instead they throw bonner out there 30+ min to sit on the 3pt line and turn the ball over.

  • Spurs Fan in LA

    Intersting that you say Pop loves taking all the credit for the Spurs titles. I believe anyone who has followed the Spurs over the past decade will tell you that he hates being the center of attention and always puts the organization and team ahead of any individual, himself included. I’d like to know what he has done to make you think he has taken all the credit.

    Also, I don’t think there was an available big man that the Spurs could have gotten for 3yrs at $10mi that would equal what Splitter brings. Not to mention the upside he has as well.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Duncan is done. Let him take his money and give a less than impressive performance the next time he suits up. (When he does) Put a fork in him he’s done. He doesn’t want to play anymore as he said after this year. And rightfully so because he would be in the way. Fact of life.  And secondly those guys you mentioned getting instead of Splitter are old ass players. Please no geriatrics here. That’s what were try to fix. And as for Splitter he ain’t no D-Leaguer dude and his salary is right for him. Another anti Splitter campaign proponent  from someone who obviously didn’t see any ball games with him playing real minutes (25 or more) last season. Next thing your going to say Blair and Bonner are better than him. Neither are. Get that through your head. How about turning on the TV the next time they play so you can see for yourself. Then comeback and post something of value. Too bad Pop decide to finally play his a$$ in the Memphis series in game 4 by then it was too late. And even at that produced a decent performance as the basketball experts said after the series. I’m tired of reading stupid posts like these blaming Splitter for the lack of front court production when really the obvious was Bonner and Blair. Hello! Oh yeah Ballhog another reason Hill is gone in my opinion is because that ballhog never hit the pick and roll guy when he was supposed to! Your post is nothing but garbage. Watch some games.

    PS: Get used to watching Splitter on TV when your San Antonio Spurs play.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Duncan is not worth 21 Mil next time he suits up! That’s the tragedy. Does your boss pay you with a smile if your not producing to the level you used to. In many other scenarios people would lose their jobs.  
    Sure he earned his money for those 4 Chips he help bring us. But he still needs to suit up for one more season and it ain’t looking like he’s going to dominate anyone for 21 Mil. I would have not signed Tony and Manu for the number of years they did. This core should have been busted up after last season if we didn’t win which we didn’t. We’re not winning anything next season were just going to look respectable.
    This is a new era and hopefully Pop buys into it and retires. They had their time and I enjoyed it. Next.

  • Len

    Don’t bring common sense into a rant.  It has no place there :)

  • Len

    We can dream…

  • DorieStreet

    Titletown98030507d
    I think the Ducan ETO refusal and no contract extension by the FO are decisions that were made with the othe side’s acceptance.. Facing the real possibility of a delayed & shortened, or non-existent 2011-12 season, the Spurs are discarding the extreme makeover /blowup move and attempt 2010-11 again with an “adjusted sqaud.”

    Pop (he’s on record) and half the fans believe Manu’s injury cost us the Memphis series, or is the main reason. Factor end subpar play by every starter for 2 or more of their 6 games, the slackness, then disappearance of one  main rotation player (Blair) and fair to poor performances by the others (Neal, Hill, Bonner)–and both the fanbase and braintrust  come to the conclusion a ‘perfect storm of calamity’ kept the Spurs from a real championship run.
    Going 61-21 with limited use of one rookie and practically none of the other (Splitter & Anderson, respectively) whom both looked to be solid contributors adds to the thought process a second chance/try with this squad (with some changes) can actually do next season what some team did this one—rebound from a first round playoff exit to win the NBA title.
    Folly to some, farfetched to others; it’s a fufilling prophecy to many who follow the Silver & Black.

    The ‘adjustments’ (tweaking) have begun. In wake of RJ’s performance this past spring, three SFs have appeared on the horizon: Butler, Leonard, Hanga. And whoever comes aboard via FA at the frontcourt positions, your guy is going to be front and center regarding the changes.
    Splitter is going to start /play at  PF/ C, averaging 30 minutes. (You project his stats.)

    36 hours to go–if a solution does not appear and get approved, our ranting and speculation goes on hiatus until…..?

  • Titletown99030507d

    I agree 1000%.

  • Titletown99030507d

    What the?

  • TD BestEVER

    Sorry Spurs Fan in LA………. but you must not watch any BASKETBALL at all……..Must not follow this blog very closely as well……..

    Between myself and a few others, we have named like 8 players that the Spurs could go after all for around the 10million/3 year amount……..Some of who are better than Splitter HANDS DOWN……….just are in bad situations and looking for a fresh start……….. But coach POP IS A COWARD and afraid to take any chances…………

  • Titletown99030507d

    Classic!

  • TD BestEVER

    take your 2nd paragraph in its entirety…………

    “Is it Jefferson’s fault that he plays on a team that doesn’t utilize his
    talents to the best he can play?  Should a player be punished for being
    in a situation that doesn’t allow him to be the best at “HOW” he
    plays.  Should a team be punished having to guarantee a salary to any
    player that is not capable of playing up to commensurate for a team? 
    What standards should/could be set forth determining those factors?”

    This is why the OWNERS ARE WRONG……… They draft and sign these players to play in a system…….RJ has never been in a situation like this in his entire career…….Being asked to stand around all day and just shoot 3′s…….But he is now…..and he is great at it…….But now POP wants to get MAD when it doesn’t work out when he is the biggest reason it didn’t……..And the owners are saying they don’t feel they should have to pay a player who isn’t performing…….. well don’t sign him to a LONG TERM deal and it would be far less a problem………Also all contracts DON’T have to be guaranteed anyway…….. you can ask a player to sign a production or incentive based contract if you want to…….. He may not except but at least you are not just shooting yourself in the foot………

  • Titletown99030507d

    Based on your post they do have a chance to contend but I think it will take a 50 game season if there’s one. After that the Duncan era is over even if he suits up 2012-2013. A shortened season could play into the hands of our boys. The young ones will have to grow up quickly and Splitter better prove his worth and the doubters which I think he can and Duncan can take advantage of short season with limited minutes at that and maybe we are right there in the thick of things. But if it goes the other way forget it. Let’s be happy and send Timmy off and celebrate the core 3′s accomplishments.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Yes you hit it right on the head. That along with Tony getting him the ball will help him turn into RJ 3.0 and if Kawhi really starts kicking some a$$ then we will probably see an even distribution of minutes between the two. I’m wondering if when the next time the Spurs suit up and play are they going with the speed ball again? Or the slow ball front court banging type of game providing we get another big cracking the rotation? AWH this CBA is kicking my a$$!

  • Nima K.

    I disagree about Splitter. One doesn’t fall in the same hole twice. Splitter is unproven. But he isn’t disproven. If there is even a remote possibility that Splitter can turn out to be an Oberto 2.0, we are keeping him. Otherwise we’ll end up with Scola 2.0, and all the fame and rumors about RC and the FO’s wisdom will immediately end. The thing about Tiago is that he can be molded as pleased into something he is not, unlike RJ. With his Rookie season gone, expect his minutes to go up next season thnx to Pop. I think he’ll be a useful role-player.

  • Rob

    TD.   I wouldn’t say the owners are wrong or that the players are wrong for “wanting” things their way.  It’s what people do in negotiating.  They try to get the best deal for themselves.

    Notice I also said…”Owners wanting guaranteed profit is just as ludicrous as players wanting guaranteed salary.”Owners are strapped to these “guaranteed” deals.  Allowing them to waive a player without penalty (or in the least a reduced obligation) if a player is not working out for a team, physically unable to perform, or just not happy in a situation.  (Using Jefferson and the Spurs as example only)…both parties have the opportunity to…in the least…be able to move on without severe repercussion to either’s ability to perform at their best.  Whether that be getting someone else joining the team (favor the team in that situation)… or able to play at their best for someone else (favor player in that situation).

  • Rob

    TD.   I wouldn’t say the owners are wrong or that the players are wrong for “wanting” things their way.  It’s what people do in negotiating.  They try to get the best deal for themselves.

    Notice I also said…”Owners wanting guaranteed profit is just as ludicrous as players wanting guaranteed salary.”Owners are strapped to these “guaranteed” deals.  Allowing them to waive a player without penalty (or in the least a reduced obligation) if a player is not working out for a team, physically unable to perform, or just not happy in a situation.  (Using Jefferson and the Spurs as example only)…both parties have the opportunity to…in the least…be able to move on without severe repercussion to either’s ability to perform at their best.  Whether that be getting someone else joining the team (favor the team in that situation)… or able to play at their best for someone else (favor player in that situation).

  • Nima K.

    Worst case scenario: assume there is no amnesty clause, and that we can’t trade away RJ. What’s the worst that can happen?

    I personally think we’ll be seeing him make a big effort to regain our trust and his place next season. It’s the only alternative you really have in such a situation: to prove yourself, and show people you’re not the bust that’s being advertised.

    We’ll see a comeback of sorts from RJ (assuming RC can’t package him out of SA).

    I also predict that there is a chance that we might see Oberto again, especially since Holt is not in the habit of spending a lot like Cuban is. Cheap veteran players are always seem attracting to Spurs FO.

  • Lvmainman

    Why would you ever think that Kawhi Leonard would make a difference? He’s not going to play. Did Tiago Splitter play as a rookie? NO. Did George Hill play as a rookie? NO. Did James Anderson play as a rookie after he came back from injury? NO.

    Why the delusion that if Kawhi Leonard is better than Richard Jefferson, he would get the opportunity to play? Pop doesn’t play rookies. Now, if Jefferson got traded for a draft pick or cut due to amnesty, maybe Leonard would get to play. But, next year Leonard better get a seat cushion.

  • Hobson13

    I think the RJ situation can be somewhat rectified but not by cutting him lose. Many people have already stated that it’s pointless to pay RJ $8mil/year to play for another team.  While I’m not blaming RJ’s poor performance on Parker, RJ would greatly benefit from a pass-first, playmaking PG like Chris Paul.  With Parker’s limitations, Duncan’s decline,and Manu’s inability to stay healthy, the Spurs really need a big-time playmaker.  I still contend that the Spurs need a trade to really compete with the elites.  Here’s the trade I propose (keep in mind NO might lose David West which would probably force their hand in trading Paul)

    NO gets: Parker, Blair, next year’s 1st round pick
    Spurs get: CP3

    Of course we would require Paul to sign an extension, but he would post AMAZING numbers with a scoring team like the Spurs.  On top of this, the Spurs do have good younger talent with Anderson, Leonard, Neal, Splitter, and whoever else is stashed away overseas so our future would look decent enough to entice him to come to SA. 

  • Lvmainman

    As a Spurs fan, I’m hoping for an amnesty because that is one of the only ways that the Spurs can improve. The Spurs are still the type of team a player would be happy to join because they’re still getting paid money by another team that the Spurs couldn’t pay.

    Hopefully the Spurs can add the quality of player like Finley. Rashard Lewis, Elton Brand, Andris Biedrins might become available to join the Spurs for cheap with an amnesty.

  • Bob

    I think part of the reason of Duncan not opting out is that it doesn’t really help the team get any more free agents and just gets him less money. Even if he opted and out and resigned they would likely still be over the cap.

    I never really get the Jefferson bashing. He averages much more than Bowen (11ppg) as a fifth option if you count George Hill. He used to being a 1-3 option. He shoots 44% from 3. Some people never shoot that high for their career. You can argue his defense isn’t as good as Bowen but few players are as defensive minded like Bowen.

    The ridiculous part is the Spurs figured out to maximize Jefferson’s abilities at the beginning of the season. In fact I remember an interview of
    Gary Neal during the season where he said that one of the reasons Pop
    was emphasizing a faster tempo was it helped Jefferson. Jefferson was
    averaging 20+ ppg and Parker was at career high 8+ assists. Parker’s career high apg is 6.9. Eventually as the season
    went on the Spurs stopped playing faster and Parker’s point went up a
    few points but his assists went down.

    You probably have to blame Parker and Pop for that change. Maybe in the Spurs effort to get better defensively they slowed down. But they never really improved defensively.

  • Bob

    I agree the team could be served well with a pass first point guard. They did better earlier in the year when Parker was looking to pass more. As the year went on his scoring went up and his assists down. There’s plenty of good shooters and scorers on the team. They just need somebody to find them in positions to score.

  • Ryan McShane

    Could the competition from Kawhi Leonard be the motivation Richard Jefferson needs to improve his performance/production? Jefferson never felt the pressure to perform this year. That is, there were no legitimate 3′s behind him. If that were the case (and RJ produced like he was during the first few weeks of the season), then all the Spurs would really need is a solid big man (or two). 

  • Ryan McShane

    Duncan knows that if he opts out and restructures like RJ, there’s a much better chance that the Spurs win another championship. I think if we see Duncan not opt out, then that’s Duncan not wanting to win another championship. I just don’t see Duncan doing that. 

    As a good coach friend of mine once asked, “What can you do with $220 million that you can’t do with $200 million?” 

  • Easy B

    Duncan not opting out: No guarrentees for next season, both parties can take it 1 year at a time, and he’s well and truly earned his money….bashing Timmy for playing out his contract: have a seat on the bench.

    Tony and speaking his mind: He has been with the spurs for 10 years and mostly done what he’s told. He has earned his opinion, even if it pisses management off.

    George Hill: Very nice combo guard’s don’t win you playoff series unless you have the bigs to lay the foundation.

    Kawhi: Great athletic talent and intangibles – calculated gamble.

    Joseph: If he could fill Jacque Vaughns shoes right now I would be happy. Organizatio- type player.

    Jefferson: 3 years playing decent minutes while the next generation develop into stars – worthwhile investment if he can maintain point production, and increase efficiency in other areas. A little pricey though.

    Anderson: Will he put his body on the line defensively? taking charges, scrapping, fighting through screens etc..
    That would get him minutes, and speed the ushering of a new era in SA.

    Da’ Sean: Can he earn 10-15 solid defensive minutes and hit the 3?

    Neal: Can he stay efficient, now that he has more opportunities with the ball?

    Blair: Can he defend a lot better and hit the free throw jumper?

    Splitter: Gotta hit his baby hooks and find some sort of bank shot to build our offensive credibility down low. Looks like he will handle everything else. Needs to be aggresive defensively like the other youngsters.

    Bonner: Played hard D on Randolph in the playoffs…cannot fault his effort….coach should have thrown Tiago at him though, since no-one else had the combination of size and speed to guard him. Bonner is less relevant now that Tim doesn’t draw double team. With Manu injured and Parker negated, the perimeter didn’t get the opportunities they had during the season. Same thing against Phoenix.

    We have enough size down low. We don’t have enough offense down low to wear out the opponents. That is an understated fact about our campaign last year. Whoever replaces Dice needs to add at least 6-8 points a game, or Blair needs to magically produce 15-10 next year.

  • jechalker74

    Maybe I am trying to be too optimistic.

    But the thought of the Spurs not having a solid 6th man off the bench I would like to see the team head back to the typical formula.

    Meaning that I would like to see Manu head to the bench and give us that mid-first quarter spark.  I would consider the loss of Hill as an opportunity for Jefferson to prove his worth.

    He started out great last season and then faded as the playoffs came closer.  It would be nice to see him maintain some consitency and have him contribute something in the playoffs.

    He is a good player but has not found his groove in the team.  With that said he has never been a 4th option on an offense before.  And he is not able to do much without the ball. 

    I don’t see him going anytime soon… and I think that the Spurs are still a playoff team with him.  But the run for a title requires more.  I think that Splitter will give some improvements in the frontcourt.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the Spurs getting a defensive PF/C with the money from McDyess retiring.

    Go Spurs!

  • Bob

    Pop has kind of said that Manu’s days of coming of the bench are over and I kind of have to agree with him. Manu would have probably started the majority of his games if he had played anywhere else. I think he deserves it and the team should focus on building up the bench. I think Neal can take the place of the offensive spark plug of the bench.

  • Daniel T

    It’s not just being an offensive spark plug off the bench, it’s a question of who can run the offense off the bench.  The offense pretty much needs either Tony or Manu in at all times.  That requires they play fewer minutes together.  More important to have them available to play the closing minutes together in a close game than having them start each game together.

  • DorieStreet

    Agree with you 100%

  • DorieStreet

    29the pick in the draft gets a chance (this squad is in transition–Pop is going to have to play everyone to see what they got).

  • Titletown99030507d

    How ironic. Pop playing a rookie in a shortened season at that.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Splitter will be a 15-10 on a nightly basis. But now since he can’t be seen with Chip well he’ll be a 10-10. Still a double double.

  • Titletown99030507d

    He’ll be flirting with double doubles the next time he suits up, that is if he gets around 25-30 minutes.

  • Titletown99030507d

    TD who’s available at 10 mil/3 year. (That’s a little over 3 mil per year correct?) Are we talking FA’s?

  • Titletown99030507d

    Problem is they look worse in signing him a 2nd time. They really put the cuffs on themselves.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Problem is they look worse in signing him a 2nd time. They really put the cuffs on themselves.

  • badger

    Sure Tim can keep the $$.  I think he’s a fool if he keeps it though.  It’s the law of diminishing marginal returns.  What does the next million do for you when you have so many millions already?  It doesn’t change what you eat, what you drive, where you live, how many watches you own, etc.  The big contract only guarantees one thing…that you will NOT win another championship.

    If Tim looks deep inside, he knows that the game has been very, very good to him.  He also know that his talent level at this point is worth maybe 8 or 9 million per year, max.  I say he ought to redo his contract and play for $1 per game.  He’d go out a hero, an even bigger hero than he already is.  Might just pick up another trophy too if he had the balls to do it.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CO434G7AJUCIPX23EDHJWXWGKY yellowrose

    As much as we think RJ is the problem, the bottom line is the CBA might be the only solution.  Remember in a survey taken of the highest paid SF’s RJ ranks around 7 or 8 in paid.  The other SF’s in front of him are worst overpaid players.  If we can’t trade when the CBA is settle I say keep RJ and AMac.  Right now I’am  just hoping the FO is three steps ahead of everybody else.  There is still too much dead weight at the SF position. Now, if when the CBA is resolved we can problaly package RJ, Butler, Green and AMac contract, then get a Ugly Big a true 7’0 and a Nasty SF.  Pounder this Hawes, A. Jefferson.  (I know another Jefferson scarrrryyyyy) bring in Ryan Richards and N de Colo.

  • Axegrinder

    Didn’t Nando already sign another 1 year deal overseas?

  • cparton126

    I was against this deal when we originally entered into it!!!  The Spurs don’t utilize Jefferson’s talents, you say????  How about the fact that the guy can’t create his own shots- he played with Jason Kidd in New Jersey, you know.  Someone else has to open up the opportunity for him!  Pardon us that we have an actual offensive system!  I am not trying to be mean; I am just that frustrated with this whole RJ mess.  We had to change our offense Jefferson’s first year because he didn’t get it!  And he disappears in the playoffs.  I don’t understand why we kept him- was Pops and RC drunk or something or is Holt really just that cheap- because he is certainly hamstringing us now. And that sound we heard with the defeat against the Grizzlies was our window slamming shut.

    And Ballhog, don’t disrespect the Admiral where one of those banners is concerned.

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