Spurs current roster brings back winning team, trade options


With the Spurs likely re-signing Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Patty Mills and Tim Duncan in the coming days, while reportedly bringing in Nando De Colo on a two-year deal, the Spurs roster is fairly set. As far as the rest of free agency is concerned, the Spurs don’t have a lot of wiggle room left over.

Eleven players on the Spurs roster will enter next season with guaranteed deals. I don’t know what the first years of De Colo and Mills’ contracts are worth, but you can expect the Spurs to come close to the $70.3 million luxury tax line the NBA set for the 2012-13 season.

Throw in unguaranteed contracts for DeJuan Blair, Gary Neal and Derrick Byars, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full roster at this point. And that’s before we figure out what San Antonio ends up doing with second round draft pick Marcus Denmon.

As Zach Lowe said yesterday at The Point Forward, it’s not a bad idea for the Spurs to bring back essentially the same group as last year. The Spurs’ peak last season was arguably higher than any team’s in the league, the only problem being their peak started and ended couple of weeks too early.

But nonetheless, the Spurs were damn good last season and ran into what ended up being a bad matchup in Oklahoma City. Unfortunately for the Spurs, the Thunder don’t seem like they’re going anywhere in the Western Conference hierarchy. And as much as I would love the Spurs to transition back to being a more defensive team, we should still look at this as a successful offseason thus far.

San Antonio explored its options in trading up in the June NBA Draft, but didn’t find any deals to their liking, so they held steady with their second round pick. They explored several names in free agency, Marcus Camby among them, but didn’t commit themselves to any contracts that will hurt the team long-term, while bringing back several important pieces from last season’s team at a fair price.

With a full training camp and preseason for this team to gel together, along with 16 more regular season games, there is reason to believe that next year’s team could be an improvement over the one we just saw. Throw in some internal development from Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and possibly Tiago Splitter, and you’ve got yourselves a rotation.

But if that rotation leaves you wanting (I know you want the Spurs to get rid of Matt Bonner), look at it this way. By bringing back these players, the Spurs have given themselves arguably the most flexible roster in terms of trade pieces. The Spurs can offer nearly every type of contract and player for a team looking to trade.

San Antonio can offer a team any size of contract in a deal whether it’s large (Stephen Jackson, $10 million next season), medium (Tiago Splitter, $3.9 mil or Matt Bonner, $3.4 mil) or small (Blair, $1 mil or Neal, $850K). They’ve also got expiring contracts (Manu Ginobili, Jackson, Blair, Neal) and unguaranteed ones (Blair, Neal) that could be appealing to a team looking to shed salary at the trade deadline in February.

With the logjam of players at the two guard positions and DeJuan Blair’s recent admission that he doesn’t think he’ll be with the Spurs next season, San Antonio will probably make a deal at some point. Whether it’s this week or in February, the Spurs have assembled a roster with the flexibility to take advantage of any sort of offer that comes their way. Oh, and they have until July 17 to amnesty Matt Bonner.

All Spurs salary stuff comes from our friends at ShamSports.