Stock Market crash: Sifting through the Spurs trade assets

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Finality; the San Antonio Spurs have been written off before but the Game 6 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies had the feel of goodbye. It would appear the Spurs gave their best punch (61 wins) and still fell well short of an elusive fifth NBA championship.

If not completely dead yet, the Tim Duncan era is in the terminal stages of old age. The question is whether or not to sign off on a DNR. Kidneys, livers, hips and knees; tricky operations all, but ultimately replaceable. The grey matter that makes everything go, the brains behind it all, is a different story.

Tim Duncan is that system. Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are the heart and lungs. Together the three will never function as they once did, but is what’s left enough to justify switching out a few more organs and joints?

Over the past year the front office made a commitment to the core of this team, extending Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker to remain with the Spurs through the rest of Tim Duncan’s NBA life. Richard Jefferson was given an extension in exchange for providing the Spurs the financial flexibility to go on this last run (61 wins aren’t cheap after all).

At this point the Spurs are still vital enough that an end blow would still be more Dr. Kevorkian than pulling the plug. What is apparent is the Spurs need an infusion of something. Capable as his hands are, R.C. Buford does not exactly have much to work with — the 29th pick in a weak draft and whatever salary exceptions might remain post lockout.

That leaves the trade market as the best means through which to acquire talent. But before looking to what can be acquired, we must first look to what assets the Spurs have.

The Big Three

In a future not as distant as those associate with the San Antonio Spurs organization would like, the numbers of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker will hang in the rafters of the AT&T Center. But will either of them wear another jersey before then?

Short of the sort of sweetheart deal that ended the Spurs, or taking advantage of a team with a disgruntled superstar, it will be near impossible to returning equal value for any of the three in a trade. Should the Spurs opt to move one then the onus on the front office will be to remove them all. Any combination of the two is likely good enough with this roster to compete for at least the eighth seed, keeping the Spurs out of the deep lottery that would get them out of mediocrity hell.

Tim Duncan: The NBA is, first and foremost, a business. But exceptions exist to every rule and Tim Duncan is that rare exception. Duncan — age and production be damned — is the Spurs. Due diligence requires the front office to take phone calls, but unless LeBron James, Dwight Howard, or Kevin Durant are on the other end (the exception to Duncan’s exception) then it’s not worth selling the franchise’s soul.

From a basketball value standpoint Duncan’s production falls well short of his contract. But he remains the rare expiring contract that retains significant basketball value. Realistically there is no equal return for Duncan, sentimentally or systematically.

Manu Ginobili: Manu Ginobili appears to be the second best player on a championship team capable in brief spurts of being the best player on a championship team. The problem for the Spurs over the past few seasons is aligning those spurts of near-MVP play with the playoffs. The trouble with trading Manu is two-fold. One, he legitimizes anything the Spurs would hope to do competitively the next two seasons. Two, he’s old.

Turning 34 to be exact. And while still productive Ginobili is the sort of gamble a team with immediate championship aspirations might take. The problem is any team with immediate NBA championship aspirations is not likely to gut their roster enough to make it worth a move, except for James Dolan (who already went all in). The contract extension was the right move for the Spurs. And a good one. The length and cash likely make it untouchable though.

This is also where the basketball as a business point is turned on its head. The Spurs are a small market team that needs to fill seats. Ginobili is the biggest draw. What sounds reasonable in the blogs is not necessarily viewed similarly at the gate.

Tony Parker: The lone member of the Spurs core still in the middle of his prime, Tony Parker is the most likely of the Big Three to be moved because he’s the one with the most good years ahead of him. On the flip side, he’s the one with the most good years ahead of him.

In Utah Derron Williams netted the Jazz a talented project in Derrick Favors and multiple draft picks. Tony Parker is not Derron Williams. Any first round picks are likely to be of the mid-to-late variety. Given a three-guard rotation of George Hill, Gary Neal, and Manu Ginobili, Parker might be expendable. But the return would have to be for an impact starter just short of his level and depth.

The Rotation

A decade of building around Duncan, Ginobili, and Parker with nothing more than spare parts and late first round picks has left the cupboard pretty barren in terms of trade value. The few young assets with potential are on rookie contracts that cannot return equal value and the veterans not enticing enough to merit anything in return that wouldn’t merely be rearranging chairs.

George Hill: George Hill is the San Antonio Spurs most promising young player, but his ceiling screams role player on a playoff team. Hill is the Spurs fourth best player who unfortunately plays the same position as its best two players.

If the Spurs are to get an impact player it likely would have to come at the expense of Hill. Given the lack of perimeter defense, unless the return is a two-way starting quality small forward a move would not be advisable. Because he is currently on his rookie contract, Hill would have to be packaged with Richard Jefferson, Matt Bonner, or Antonio McDyess to make the numbers work.

DeJuan Blair: DeJuan Blair still has the same knees that kept him out of the first round. He still has the same height and weight issues. Two years into his career he remains a defensive liability without a true position. And while he is a great rebounder with some special abilities he’s not likely to return an athletic, defensive minded power forward. Or a small forward.

The Spurs showcased Blair’s talents in the starting lineup until shortly after the trade deadline. His value is not likely to grow much higher. And yet no matter how great he is at his skill set (rebounding), undersized rebounding is among the easiest and cheapest skill sets to find in the league.

If Blair is the price to pay for getting someone to bite on a bigger contract it might be worth it. But in terms of getting back a better player? The Spurs are probably better served hoping he develops.

Gary Neal: Currently part of the solution as opposed to the problem. Too good a value to give up.

Matt Bonner: Criticize Bonner for his performance if you wish, but Bonner remains one of the few valuable trade chips the Spurs have: a viable (if overused) rotation player on a reasonable (under the current CBA) contract. On his own he is not enough to fetch anything but he is a good piece to package with underpaid young talent or draft picks to make the numbers work as part of a bigger deal.

Richard Jefferson: The Spurs gave Richard Jefferson a contract extension so he would opt out of his previous cap killer. It probably enabled the Spurs to workout extensions for Parker and Ginobili, as well as bringing in Tiago Splitter. That extension is also hanging like an albatross around their financial necks. Chances are the Spurs will try to move Jefferson, but if there is a trade to be made understand it might take dangling draft picks and younger talent. Also, you’re really just trading your problem for someone else’s problem and hoping that problem fits in well enough to go from bad to liveable.

At best such a move is extremely shortsighted (The Charlotte Bobcats trading for Stephen Jackson for a lone playoff push), at worst highly combustible (Gilbert Arenas and the Orlando Magic).

Antonio McDyess: The last round of expiring contracts were not as valuable as teams wielding them may have hoped (see Dampier, Erik). What value they will hold under a new CBA remains to be seen, but a retiring McDyess on a partially guaranteed contract could be a useful part of a bigger deal.

McDyess signed a similar deal to the one the Spurs gave Bruce Bowen in the same summer they used Bowen’s only partially guaranteed contract to acquire Richard Jefferson.

Tiago Splitter: This time next year Tiago Splitter might be the Spurs best defensive big man. Players of his size and ability don’t come as cheap as he is currently signed for (see Petro, Johan). The intrigue might be there from potential suitors, but it’s probably too early to pull a trigger unless a perfect opportunity presents itself.

The Filler

James Anderson leads a group of training camp bodies and end of the bench players (Steve Novak, Chris Quinn, and Danny Green) who are too young and unproven to hold any trade value currently, or simply have none at all.

The problem with acquiring players that only make sense on contending teams is when it comes time to trade them in those pieces only make sense for contending teams. It is possible for the Spurs to move some players around, but if the aim is to start anew realize it’s not lottery picks that are coming back.

If the goal is to try and make one more push then, as Popovich said would be the case, don’t expect many changes to the roster.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Don’t rag on Splitter dude he didn’t even play starter minutes this season and had plenty of DNP-CD’s. His minutes averaged out during the season is so deceiving. It’s not like he played the 12 minutes per game on night in night out basis. How about a few 5 minute games, some 29 second games and throw in strings of DNP-CD’s and then a 15 minute game and repeat the process. Totally not right and representing his average. Granted if he played those 60 games at 12 per he’d be getting more minutes 3/4 of the season on consistent basis and would be further developed. At the salary he’s getting he’s probably the best the Spurs can do right now. I don’t see anybody better at 3 mil per.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I hope he leaves.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Pop has a tendency to fall in love with players and sometimes with the wrong ones.

  • Baguette

    I agree with you that some intangibles can be taught. Furthermore, moving Al Jefferson to his more natural PF position would help him. To be honest, I would trade half our roster for him if he was in pre-injury form but he never really recovered from tearing his ACL.

    At last, I only don’t see any trades landing us a good player for RJ (or including RJ).

    Thank you too for the discussion. First post here, nice to have a friendly debate with another fan.

  • Bry

    How is Blair “very tradeable”? He makes less than a million per year, has no ACL’s and is a tweener. He’s far more valuable to the Spurs than ANYbody out there making a million/year (maybe Shaq). Trade-value means you’ll get something of value in return. The only way I see that happening with Blair is if he’s packaged with some other player, and even then it would be difficult for such a trade to be a net positive for the Spurs.

  • Bry

    @Ballhog You’re all over the board here, and most of it is fickle sour grapes. Pop adjusted and coached the team quite well throughout the regular season, and then got out-coached in the playoffs. I’m confused why everyone is screaming that he needs to be thrown under the bus all of a sudden. (Not a single Spurs PLAYER has even hinted at wanting to leave or get a new coach) He was understandably and justifiably in the argument for coach of the year this year and has a long and impressive record of good production and respect from his players. He’s run a tight efficient ship every year (INCLUDING this year) and people are calling for his head out of short-sighted desperation. They DON’T need bad character guys. Did you see the Lakers series this year? And Tiago Splitter made 3.4 million this year, not 5. He is one of about 5 guys that are underpaid and therefore should only be traded if they bring back a sweet deal.

  • Bry

    I think one of the primary problems the Spurs have now that is pretty fixable is their defense. They have very little defensive talent. Duncan is BY FAR their best defensive player, and he is getting long in the tooth. Then they have a number of guys who are mediocre (Jefferson, Parker), old (Dice) or undersized for their position (Blair, Neal, Hill). Splitter should be fine, and Ginobili has always been more of a gambler than I’d like. And Bonner… well, he’s Bonner. So, as the roster is now, they really don’t have the pieces to play lockdown D. Duncan is fine defening one post-scorer, but the Spurs got the worst first-round match-up possible with Memphis. And, they still have no wing defender since Bowen. Defensive guys are not that expensive (probably because a lot of what they do is simply exhausting hustle). The Spurs should be able to pick up (or develop) one wing and maybe one big (I still think Splitter’s potential may be enough) this off-season. You can’t expect Pop to craft championship-caliber defense with no championship-caliber defenders….

  • Colin Rigney

    Not likely……..unless the Grizz would like to supplant their place in Clipper-lore as the worst decision-making NBA franchise in history.

  • Bob

    I think the issue is more than that. I don’t think Popovich is emphasizing defense as much. There are some parts of defense which involve athleticism. However, alot of defense is effort and concentration. I don’t see the Spurs putting that effort in and that is entirely coach-able. Stuff such as keeping your hands up for deflection, making all the rotations, and closing out hard can be corrected. If guys aren’t putting forth the effort on the defensive end you play guys who are hungry for playing time who will. Ultimately it’s better to play good defense and have passable offense than to play bad defense and expect to have good offense.

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  • Titletown99030507d

    How bout Gallinari and Kosta koufos for Bonner and Blair. Worked in the Trade machine and it even has us losing 11 games from this trade and + 4 for Denver. DO IT DENVER!

  • Titletown99030507d

    That’s because Pop has used his jedi mind tricks on the guys and has them like little grade schoolers marching in a line. LOL.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I posted this in a reply in regards to trade value some where here but just want to put it out so more people can see this. You almost have to start a new thread to get others involved. anyhow hows bout this trade (it doesn’t involve RJ but he’ll have to moved some other creative way) Bonner and Blair for Gallinari and Kosta Koufos. Works on the trade machine. It has us losing more games and Denver winning more games because of this trade. (Good – We’ll just not show how disappointed we are about the trade) Gallinari adds what Bonner was supposed to be , add defense to that and Koufos a 7 footer that can play behind Splitter and Timmy. This kid needs minutes to bust out his true potential he had at Ohio state. We all know what Gallinari can do. Here’s a little Koufos. He can dance too!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LQJzvs5gcs

  • Ar950

    I only deal with reality, I have been begging the bloggers on here to talk about the Spurs real probem, they havent had a decent big man next to Duncan since David Robinson. When Duncan was young, he could hold down both positions but now he needs real help. He could be 20 and 10 for the next 4 yrs with the right frontcourt mate. Even when they were way above everyone in the regular season, I saw this coming. Manu and Tony have been holding down there positions since their last championship (the media disrespectig them can get these nuts they are both hall of famers :) and Tony really needed and wanted this Ring bad because of all the Eva drama (do you believe she already put on the next man? dont worry Tony, you shouldnt have been with her in the first place she’s too old for you, get a 20 yr old supermodel, that will be the cure lol, its a shame when a young dude wastes his time with an older chick, no disrespect but it kind of shows a Mother complex. Tony “young fresh and green” player ).
    The Spurs have a decent bench but they need someone like a Tyson Chandler to get rebounds and catcha an Alley (David West and Chandler are free agents) when the defense is cheating. Richard Jefferson has to go he will never play good under Pop, he’s a corn ball but he is a real dude and he is just not going to be happy in this system. Popovitch needs to realize that if he is a great coach like his rep, he must make adjustments and check his ego, Pop has shown his success is basically him just falling into a good situation, Duncan sholud have more championships, why did they get rid of Stephen Jackson? I dont care what Mangaement thinks, Pop you should be on this, for real. I dont give an F what the situation is, how could you go into the playoffs with Splitter not ready and no other real big man on the roster? I love the Spurs forever, no really im from NY, I will love them as long as they have Duncan,Manu or Tony. This playoff matchups were custom made for them to go to the finals,Memphis OKC and Dallas? No Lakers?No problem, but Spurs ownership lost touch. Its a shame.
    If anyone who has any contact with the is Spurs reading this, tell them they messed up a dynasty. But if they make the right decisions they could win a couple more, maybe.

  • Colin Rigney

    I agree. Splitter came in and did well in the series although he was not would not have been the difference maker if he had played from game 1. Now, he needs more minutes, more touches, and more opportunities. He could be a player similar to Luis Scola without the jumper.

  • Colin Rigney

    Brent Barry effed that play up by not selling the foul like a pro should. No luck involved with that one.

  • Bruno

    Pop really needs check his “strategy”.

    D.West would be a great help for Timmy

  • Bob

    Lakers swept the Spurs in 2001 and beat them 4-1 in 2002. If they Spurs could have gotten by the Lakers they could probably have won. The reality is the Spurs could have gotten a whole lot more championship last decade. If they come out of the West they probably win each year.

  • pastrypride

    I say don’t make another championship push. Start strategizing for long-term rebuilding. Not sure exactly what that would entail, but I think that should be the goal. The championship window is clearly shut. Tim Duncan is not championship caliber frontcourt player anymore. That became clear as day in the Memphis series.

  • Bob

    It’s clear now that the Spurs won in the regular season by taking advantage of teams making mistakes such as defensive rotations. If the other team didn’t make as many mistakes it was usually a dog fight and the Spurs had a much greater chance of losing. After those games Pop would say our shots didn’t fall.

    The reality of playoff basketball is that you impose your style of play and prevent the other team from doing what they like to do. Whoever does that the most wins. That’s why the Spurs and Lakers lost.

  • Bruno

    Danny Ferry were in Spain watching the Euroleague Final Four and
    Nike International Junior Tournament.
    He liked of Sario Daric(17 years, 6-10 SF, very skilled/high BBIQ/good defender), Daric registred a triple-double(30 pts, 11 reb, 11 assist) in the final of Nike International Junior Tournament.

  • manufan

    I say that we should ship Parker/Bonner/Quinn to Nueva York for Billups/Turiaf/Shawne Williams. That way you still have decent team that will make the playoffs next year. You get rid of defensive liabilities in Parker and Bonner and get experienced PG, hard working big man and young wing player. Also, this way in 2012 you would have Duncan/Billups 30-35 mill of the books, just in time for big name free agent.

    Also, I would try to ship RJ/McDyess to Kings for Dalambert/Whiteside(former Marshall center).

  • manufan

    I say that we should ship Parker/Bonner/Quinn to Nueva York for Billups/Turiaf/Shawne Williams. That way you still have decent team that will make the playoffs next year. You get rid of defensive liabilities in Parker and Bonner and get experienced PG, hard working big man and young wing player. Also, this way in 2012 you would have Duncan/Billups 30-35 mill of the books, just in time for big name free agent.

    Also, I would try to ship RJ/McDyess to Kings for Dalambert/Whiteside(former Marshall center).

  • manufan

    If only second trade would work I would be more than happy because Dalembert’s contract will expire in 2012 and I like Hassan Whiteside.

  • John T.

    Just an observation, but I was reading the ESPN article on Shaq and how this could be the end of his career and wondering if next season is completely erased by a lockout in a few years we could have an amazing hall of fame class. I think you could have Shaq, Duncan, KG, possibly Ray Allen, and Jason Kidd. Plus Steve Nash, Billups, and Vince Carter all would be at the end of their current deals with Nash being a lock. They wouldn’t even have room for the usual Italian league referee that no one has ever heard of. Could rival the 2009 class with Jordan, Robinson, Stockton, and Sloan. And I am sure KG’s bitterness could give Jordan’s speech a run for its money.

  • Steve (EP Spurs fan)

    Spurs should take a chance on Greg Oden. If he gets healthy, he could be an eventual replacement for TD. Especially with a couple of years in training. He is a restricted free agent. Portland has to offer at least 8mm which they are not likely to do. His value is ranging from 3mm – 10mm per year. A sign and trade deal for RJ would be comparable contracts. Throw in McDyess and/or 2011 draft pick if necessary. Then all we need is a defensive specialist.

  • Master7727

    His grandkids are already set for life. He’s made over $150 Millions while he’s been with the Spurs, not including endorsments. We’d all be happy to make 1/10th of that in our lifes.

  • Clark

    Yeah, Chris Singleton sounds good and Sario, amazing stats for a 17 yr old.

    We definitely need a big athletic, highly skilled player on both ends of the floor. I’m really looking forward to the draft day. It’s really time for them to stop playing small with a
    6’7″ center.

    Trade Bonner or just simply ask him to change his career like open a lemonade stand outside the AT&T center :)

  • Titletown99030507d

    No.

  • Titletown99030507d

    You mean Dario Saric from Croatian team. Have you seen him play Bruno? You think this is a player that the Spurs would land and hope to be successful and good as Tony was at a young age? Would be nice to get another Manu and Tony deep in the second rounds in the coming years. These guys will always be a good gamble in the second round of drafts.

  • Bruno

    Yeah, Dario Saric, my mistake.
    I didn’t saw, just read the information and watched youtube highlights… Looks like he is good, and a 6-10 SF isn’t easy to found…Still 17 years old, he will grow at least 2 inches…He will play the European Championship by Croatian team, after this we can really know if he is good or not…Can u imagine a 7-0 SF as a Spurs? 2 weeks ago Draftspress.com noticed Spurs was looking for Lucas Nogueira(7’0 Center – 7’6 wingspan, 18 years old, quick/great shot blocker and rebounder but skinny for his height). He is from Brazil(another good name to watch), probably will play the American Championship by Brazilian team with Splitter. He would be a great draft, but is listed to be top 20 in this draft… But who knows…

  • Bruno

    Wow for some reason my edits below didn’t work… I will try fix.

    Yeah, Dario Saric, my mistake.
    I didn’t saw, just read the information and watched youtube highlights…
    Looks like he is good, and a 6-10 SF isn’t easy to found…Still 17 years old, he will grow at least 2 inches…He will play the European Championship by Croatian team, after this we can really know if he is good or not…Can u imagine a 7-0 SF as a Spurs? I read 2 weeks ago in Draftspress.com that Spurs was looking for Lucas Nogueira(7’0 Center – 7’6 wingspan, 18 years old, quick/great shot blocker and rebounder but skinny for his height). He is from Brazil(another good name to watch in this Summer), probably will play the American Championship by Brazilian team with Splitter.
    He would be a great draft steal, but is listed to be top 20 in this draft… But who knows.

  • Bruno

    Trying fix again:
    Yeah, Dario Saric, my mistake. I didn’t saw, just read the information and watched youtube highlights… Looks like he is good, and a 6-10 SF isn’t easy to found…Still 17 years old, he will grow at least 2 inches…He will play the European Championship by Croatian team, after this we can really know if he is good or not…Can u imagine a 7-0 SF as a Spurs?.

    I read 2 weeks ago in Draftspress.com that Spurs was looking for Lucas Nogueira(7’0 Center – 7’6 wingspan, 18 years old, quick/great shot blocker and rebounder but skinny for his height). He is from Brazil(another good name to watch in this Summer), probably will play the American Championship by Brazilian team with Splitter. He would be a great draft steal, but is listed to be top 20 in this draft… But who knows.

  • PabloSpurFromUruguay

    Hello guys, I thought a lot about this:
    Retire Mc Dyess and try to renegotiate Tim´s contract in order to get cap space (I read somewhere he would be willling to consider this in order to help the team improve the roster, but maybe it´s just a rumor.)
    Then, knowing that S.Jackson is willing to come back and the Bobcats are in rebuilding mode maybe we could pull a trade in order to bring him back, but we would have to make it good enough for them so they can take RJ. It could cost maybe George Hill (as a young player with all around skills) and our two pics, but I would take it in order to bring Jackson (together with a backup guard, maybe Henderson) and get rid of Jefferson´s contract. I think it could happen since they are rebuilding, taking a good young role player, a couple of draft pics, getting a couple millons of cap space in the process, and having and experienced player like RJ to help the young guys develope. Probably he would be better in a different role than the one he has with the Spurs right now.
    Then, I would go after David West (I assume he is recovering from his injury) in order to help us, specially on the offense, since we are lacking scoring power right now among our bigs. So, Tim could focus more on defense and rebounds (both which he is still quite good). He would have to play center, though, with Tiago taking bigger minutes in order to help him rest. I assume that if Tim is really willing to help this team by renegoatiating his contract, and together with keeping the Big Three core still intact (and with Jackson´s addition) we could have a very good chance of bringing West.
    Then, I would try to get rid of Bonner too, since we can´t count on him in the playoff, and also is a liability on defense. Maybe we could trade him for a draft pick (even if it is a second) That way, we could accumulate more cap space to go for another wing player with good defensive skills who can make open three pointers. Tayshun Prince comes to my mind, but he could be too expensive at this point. Anyway, we could attract him with the chance to become a part of a top contender again.
    I know that it is a long shot, and that I am too optimistic, but this plan would make us a top contender again, and keep the window open for our big three for a couple more seasons, before blowing up the roster once they are done.
    The key, though, is Tim willing to give up some money in order to have a chance to win one more title (again, I read this and could be a rumor – I wouldn´t blame Tim at all for sticking to his contract, he has earned every cent). Anyway, I don´t know how much would have to give up in order to make this posible. Maybe, someone better aware of contracts situation can tell if all this is possible or not.

  • PabloSpurUruguay

    Hello guys, I thought a lot about this. What about the following scenario:
    Retire Mc Dyess and try to renegotiate Tim´s contract in order to get cap space (I read somewhere he would be willling to consider this in order to help the team improve the roster, but maybe it´s just a rumor.)
    Then, knowing that S.Jackson is willing to come back and the Bobcats are in rebuilding mode maybe we could pull a trade in order to bring him back, but we would have to make it good enough for them so they can take RJ. It could cost maybe George Hill (as a young player with all around skills) and our two pics, but I would take it in order to bring Jackson (together with a backup guard, maybe Henderson) and get rid of Jefferson´s contract. I think it could happen since they are rebuilding, taking a good young role player, a couple of draft pics, getting a couple millons of cap space in the process (at least this season), and having and experienced player like RJ to help the young guys develope. Probably he would be better in a different role than the one he has with the Spurs right now.
    Then, I would go after David West (I assume he is recovering from his injury) in order to help us, specially on the offense, since we are lacking scoring power right now among our bigs. So, Tim could focus more on defense and rebounds (both which he is still quite good). He would have to play center, though, with Tiago taking bigger minutes in order to help him rest. I assume that if Tim is really willing to help this team by renegoatiating his contract, and together with keeping the Big Three core still intact (and with Jackson´s addition) we could have a very good chance of bringing West.
    Then, I would try to get rid of Bonner too, since we can´t count on him in the playoff, and also is a liability on defense. Maybe we could trade him for a draft pick (even if it is a second) That way, we could accumulate more cap space to go for another wing player with good defensive skills who can make open three pointers. Tayshun Prince comes to my mind, but he could be too expensive at this point. Anyway, we could attract him with the chance to become a part of a top contender again.
    I know that it is a long shot, and that I am too optimistic, but this plan would make us a top contender again, and keep the window open for our big three for a couple more seasons, before blowing up the roster once they are done.
    The key, though, is Tim willing to give up some money in order to have a chance to win one more title (again, I read this and could be a rumor – I wouldn´t blame Tim at all for sticking to his contract, he has earned every cent). Anyway, I don´t know how much would have to give up in order to make this posible. Maybe, someone better aware of contracts situation can tell if all this is possible or not. Maybe I´m just crazy..

  • Mpitts2k1

    I saw the Strickland pass but at the time i watched  Sean Elliott every so slighted moved as if he was going to streaked to the basket and that’s what RS saw too. I blame SE for faking out his own point guard and for being too chicken to test Jerome Kersy with his speed. The Memorial Day Miracle bailed out SE in my book and that’s the only reason he ‘s a Spurs icon now.   

  • Bob

    Q&A: What does Pop do now?  – An interesting interview with Pop by Express News

    I like the fact he finally acknowledged the defense wasn’t up to par and he hated seeing the team unable to lock down defensively late. All season he tried deferring attention from it. I think if they really focus on improving the defense and go back to the offense they had at the start of the season they could go back to being the best team.

  • Colin Rigney

      “Spurs should take a chance on Greg Oden”

    No, they shouldn’t.  

  • Pablo

    crazy to think that the 2011 free agency has FOUR former #1 picks, all centers, available (either as unrestricted or restricted status).  too bad neither of them are likely to join us or guarantee an upgrade.  sometimes there are just injury bugs or things don’t pan out for high draft picks.  so even if we do horrible after Duncan era we are not guaranteed our picks will turn out.  we are very fortunate that Robinson and Duncan turned out as they did.

    who are the four #1 pick centers available this offseason and why they aren’t likely to help us.

    1992 – Shaq,  Too old to contribute. 

    2001 – Kwame Brown.  An example of why top draft picks aren’t guaranteed success. attempting to prove MJ   made right choice and likely to stay with Bobcats.

    2002 – Yao Ming.  sad to say injuries and excessive wear and tear on his body fail him.  he is a great player and seems to be a nice individual.  who knows where he’ll end up.  but unlikely to be All-Star again. 

    2007 – Greg Oden.  i thought it would be perfect if SA continued the every ten years top pick 1987-1997-2007, but guess it was good Spurs didn’t trade for him.  there is still hope for him, but it looks like the Blazers will keep taking that chance. although with hard salary cap rumors under next CBA, he might be available.

    i would like to see if there is the one-time exemption to cut a player like they did in 2005 when we ended up having Finley drop into our laps.  who would the Spurs consider renouncing?

  • Titletown99030507d

     I would first find a miracle of a way to move RJ mainly because of salary, tank the next two seasons to get two lottery picks and freeing up Manu’s and Tim’s contracts by then and go for some nice free agents. I’m starting to think I don’t want them to start putting band aids on this team for the next two years and just to try to finish above .500 and lose chances at lottery picks. This way at least you’ll have Manu, Tim, and RJ off the books all the while getting two lottery picks, and a chance for some great free agent opportumity such as DHoward when RJ, and Timmy are gone. Who said dreaming was illegal?

  • Titletown99030507d

    Can we get 20 points off our bench? If so than ok with me. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    I don’t like putting band aids  on our team just for Timmy but if we can secure this lineup then I’d like to see it. CP3 tends to make everyone on his team on the floor better. I’d like to go for the lottery picks the next two seasons but if CP3 would be in Spurs uni. Why not.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Nice lineup but, DHoward don’t need a mentor in this stage of his career. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    LA is going for either CP3 or DHoward. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    Yeah not bad considering he is not even in game shape yet after rehabing those two shoulders from surgery. That is his first few times on the court since that long layoff from surgeries. It’s not easy doing what he’s doing play after play. It just sucks the life out of you repeating the drills over and over with out rest and not being in shape. and that coach is not letting off. There’s like 10 videos of that coach working Richards over. He’sworking him out good.

  • midwestfan

    RJ needs to go. Do You think someone will be willing to take RJ, Blair and Dices expiring contract. Get him out without giving away any key pieces. I would also like to see them bring nando over and start grooming him in the spurs system while we have Tony and Manu to teach him and learn under 

  • Ar950

    Please stop bashing Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. Don’t you understand if you get rid of Tony Parker, this whole Championship run is over? If we arent getting back Chris Paul or Rajon Rondo it would be a wrap. Don’t ever sleep on a Finals MVP, never. Now let’s talk about the real problem, why don’t the Spurs have another good Front court player besides Duncan? They havent had one since David Robinson. Not one. It’s not fair to Talk about Tony,Duncan and Ginobilli when they have been playing 3 on 5 for several years with a limited bench.
    The answer for this upcoming season is to get 3 or 4 good frontcourt players to play next to Duncan. Antonio McDyess should be traded or released for the roster spot. Package Blair with Jefferson and bring back Stephen Jackson who is bored with the Bobcats and would step up to win 2 more Rings at the 3 spot, I would even give up Hill or Neal in this deal if they throw in Diaw or Tyrus Thomas . Draft only big, over 6 10 only, Can you imagine if Duncan discovered 2 young apprentices to help as he teaches them. They need to do their draft homework on the big men coming out this year. There will be alot of mature Seniors who will get a chance because the underclassmen are worried about the possible strike.James Anderson and Quinn can go to clear spots for some big men. They are straight at the 1 and 2 right now Duncan shouldnt have to play 2 positions anymore.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Timmy will be less effective, older, with less endurance next year to go 82 games plus and trying to bandaid this thing together without any major and I stress “major” pieces is a waste of time . I love my Spurs but it’s over for now and it doesn’t look like we are getting anywhere close to a championship with those three and some bandaids. Just humbly accept the reality and wait 2 seasons worth of lottery picks as well as major players off the books and start a new winning era. And if Pop wants to go well that Messina guy can take over. He knows how to get the best out of Euros (Splitter, Nando, and some wild cards) add some killer free agents when Timmy’s gone and the draft picks to boot and we are up and going again. The core 2, 3 need to bow out when it’s their time instead of trying to believe they are the fountain of youth. I’ll never forget these guys and the great memories they brought us not mention those gold looking trophies. So start making the tribute DVD’s Spurs FO you’ll sell a butt load. I’m buying one. So lets get the rebuilding under way Holt! Love you Timmy, Love you Manu, Love you Tony!

  • Titletown99030507d

    We definitely need to unload RJ before Timmy leaves. When Manu leaves we need to have RJ and Timmy off the books by then to give us a fair chance to get a real piece to the Spurs puzzle. Put the right pieces in the puzzle and you start too see Dwight Howards face.  

  • Titletown99030507d

    Some people think Timmy is going to get better if we get the right pieces. But it’s not the getting better they should be concerned about. It’s the getting older they should take in account. Flesh and bones tend to hurt more at 36 than at 35 not the other way around when you play a pro sport. Not to mention move slower.