What Antonio McDyess’ retirement means for San Antonio

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I’ll keep this short. Jeff McDonald is reporting that Antonio McDyess is officially calling it a day.

The Spurs save 2.6 million on the non-guaranteed portion of McDyess’ contract. Unfortunately, other than the inherent benefit of saving 2.6 million, this doesn’t help the Spurs’ cap situation. The Spurs are still tax payers. Their payroll is approximately 73 million, assuming San Antonio keeps Steve Novak.

There are three takeaways from this news.

First, the Spurs just lost their most attractive trade piece. McDyess’ contract, only 50% guaranteed and expiring, could have delivered cap relief to another team in a trade package.  Obviously, the Spurs are still capable of trading anyone on their roster, it’s just that McDyess was an attractive, expendable piece.

Second, the Spurs currently feature a 4-man deep front court rotation of Tim Duncan, Matt Bonner, DeJuan Blair, and Tiago Splitter one week prior to the start of the season—a thin rotation during a typical NBA season and even more worrisome during this lockout-shortened campaign. (I’m not counting Steve Novak as a big.)

Third, apart from a trade scenario, the Spurs will have to improve their roster through minimum contracts and the tax payer’s MLE, a three million dollar exception.

Thanks to @filipefurtado for adjusting the Spurs’ cap numbers for me.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the run ‘Dyess. Enjoyed watching you as a Spur.

    I know Blair and Bonner are key roleplayers, but could they be used as part of a trade package now that ‘Dyess is out of the picture? Maybe even have RJ in the mix as well?

  • spurINhouston

    I’d say that’s a good idea. The other team in the deal would be getting some diverse pieces as well.

  • grego

    I would have thought the Spurs had offered Dyess (expiring)/Bonner (small but flexible contract)/Blair (young talent) for a player. That would get them near 9-10M range this season. 

    With Bonner/Blair, you are only in the 3-4M range. 

  • grego

    Maybe Spurs can land Kmart? Wishful thinking, but eeeeh, at least something to hope for…
    http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2011/12/19/could-k-mart-be-answer-to-spurs-inside-questions/ 

  • Bushka

    I know everyone is going to now demand a trade to improve our front court depth, and i’m across that as well, it’s a positive move that needs to happen..however…

    The spurs play a team brand of basketball.  At both ends of the floor the organizational knowledge required is immense.  Players generally get better then longer they have been in the programme.  

    We have basically four front court players for two slots.  Assuming rest occurs at some point for Timmy, we need more bigs.

    Heres the obvious rub as I see it.  Bonner/Blair/Splitter…we can’t trade those guys away at all.  They are what they are right now, guys that need to be between 3 and 6 on the depth chart of a good front line.  They know the systems, they have good chemistry with team mates…

    Things are going to move fast this season, if we can get two more bigs somehow somewhere..anywhere then hooray for us.  

    Unless it’s a really good quality big surely we don’t pull the trigger with dejaun etc…Next season we have cap space, flexibility to take on money, and some big moves are feasible.  This season I think we add whatever we can for the minimum, hold on to the sides and try to hang on…

  • captain_slow

    I, for one, will stop being a SA fan if they bring in a punk like Kenyon Martin. Better to lose with class, IMHO.

  • captain_slow

    I agree wholeheartedly. Further than SA’s playing style and learning curve, SA fans tend to value loyalty and continuity. The team is more like a family than just some cold collection of individual basketball professionals. RJ gets offered up frequently because he’s never really fit in. But Bonner & Blair are legit Spurs family. Mild fan rebellions occurred when we traded Malik Rose, Bowen & Fab, and even George Hill this season. So all this talk of “trade Tony” and “we need a new front court” just is not compatible with the Spurs personality, IMHO.

  • grego

    If he acts professional and non-punkish during his stint, then I’d be ok with it. 

  • Tyler

    IMO, I’d be shocked if a package of RJ, Blair and Bonner would even be considered by another GM, much less brought anything of value. Why would someone want those pieces? $14M and three very, very average players? 

    The Spurs couldn’t give away RJ before the draft. He’ll be next to impossible to move under a more restrictive and punitive luxury tax unless you throw in a talent like TP or Leonard, which is doubtful to say the least.

  • Tyler

    I agree that SA MUST retain financial flexibility leading into next summer (and the new CBA). That’s priority #1. Mark Cuban talked about it: 

    http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4681588/what-are-mavs-thinking-mark-cuban-explains

    Next offseason should be interesting.

  • TD BestEVER

    Unfortunately for SPURS fans is that NO BIG NAME fa wants to here……….Nobody likes POP and the SPURS by then would be 5 years removed form a title……In a league where all the big names are joining forces to try to win it all, why would Anyone sign here…… Unless they don’t have any other options…… Look at the past 2 summers and the number of FA’s that we DID actually pursue that signed elsewhere….. And then we get TJ Ford(because no one else wanted him).   Unless we make a trade of find someone through the draft we gonna crash and burn for years to come

  • TD BestEVER

    Absolutely – One of the few good guys left in the NBA.  Your gonna be missed DICE

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  • Tetfal

    You are exactly right. There is only one player who could take veteran minimum, and He now the system: FABRICIO OBERTO !!!

  • grego

    Novak waived as well. Looks like they were trying to move Bonner and/or Blair. Now they don’t need Novak as he is redundant to Bonner at the moment

    http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/2011/12/19/spurs-waive-novak-after-only-four-days/. 

  • Beattown210

    I read Franisco Elson is free agent and Greeces center was offerd a contract from spurs

  • Beattown210

    Oh and Jackson from syracuse could get in the mix if holt or pop or Robinson wrote him an apology for not drafting him lmao.im shure you read about that one

  • Titletown99030507d

    Thanks Dyess it was fun watching you and having you part of the Spurs family. 
    PS: Thanks for that tip in by the way in that Laker game it was one the best moments of the season.

    http://youtu.be/6sfgaAWK7NU

  • Titletown99030507d

    Oh yeah, it felt better at their place. Good luck and God Bless.

  • Hobson13

    First of all, Dyess was a great person and player.  Although we were unable to get him a ring, I’m glad he spent the last two years with us.  With that said, Bushka has a point about not being able to trade Bonner, Splitter, or Blair for another big.  If there is any trade at all (and I just don’t see it being likely) then we will have to trade a wing player plus a pick for a big.  However, with all of Blair and Bonner’s weaknesses, I just don’t see how we get through this season without a 5th legit big man so something has to happen. 

    Like many have already said, the Front Offices lack of activity seems to signal that they are waiving the white flag on another championship run.  In fact, it will be VERY interesting to see how this team pulls through the multitude of back-to-backs this year.  I halfway expect a disaster by the last month of the season.   I guess only time will tell.

  • JT

    Holy crap, after watching Clippers/Lakers game… damn we have no chance against these guys. Way more athletic, big and seems like they all can shoot the ball

  • Anonymous

    A shame that a player of Dyess’ caliber and character never won an nba ring.  Would be nice to see a video clip of his entire career.  Prior to his injury he was the most dynamic post player in the game.  Good luck with your future Mr. McDyess.

    As far as the Spurs weak front line.  I’ve never seen this organization not be able to meet the demands of team necessity prior to last season.  Perhaps R.C. has lost his touch.  If nothing is resolved in being able to land a high caliber post player….should it be considered to looking for a new GM?  Dell Demps anyone?

  • Tim in Surrey

    I agree. I’ve been watching him since he played at Alabama. He was a great player before the injuries, shockingly managed to overcome them and become an excellent player afterwards, and still managed to be a better human being than a player throughout it all. I wish he had been able to get an NBA championship, but he does still have an Olympic championship–and make no mistake, if not for his defense at the end against Lithuania the U.S. would not have won the gold medal in Sydney. The league and the Spurs are going to be poorer for his absence.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Absolutely, Grego. People change and brash young men mature. Besides, you rooted for Steven Jackson, didn’t you? What’s the difference?

  • Tim in Surrey

    Yeah, that’s fine. But it’s going to mean precious little when we’re playing without Tim Duncan in the middle game of one of those back-to-back-to-backs and we have poor defensive play and only 18 fouls to burn from BOTH interior spots. We desperately need another solid interior defender for this year, or it’s going to be ugly at times.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Sorry man, but Oberto was done even before he was traded away–and that has been two years now. What was it somebody said about the Mavericks’ signing of Vince Carter? “It’s like getting a CD Walkman for Christmas.” Signing Oberto would be similar. A great move–for 2005, not 2011.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Do you mean Spanoulis? There were rumours about the Spurs negotiating with him this summer. But I haven’t seen anything since then. That could work, I suppose. He has some limitations, though, and wouldn’t be any better of a defender in the NBA than Blair or Bonner. But he could soak up some minutes and, after playing against him, the opponents would have to spend a lot of time soaking in the whirlpool themselves. He’s not quick-footed but he’s a rough customer.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Oh, let’s not go calling for RC. That’s just silly. He has run the most successful professional sports franchise in North America during his tenure. You don’t get rid of somebody like that. Ever. (And especially not for someone who learned everything he knows about the front office from the guy you want to get rid of!) Just be patient, RC and Pop know what they’re doing. 

    Regarding Antonio McDyess, the real highlight of his long career has to be the Olympic gold medal in 2000, just before all the injuries robbed him of his extraordinary athleticism. If not for his play against Lithuania in the semi-finals, the USA would’ve had to settle for a bronze medal. If you watch this video starting at about the 2:58 mark you can see the final play, a 3-point attempt by Sarunas Jasikevicius, who had been beating Jason Kidd all day long. Dice comes over at the last second and forces a miss from a red-hot assassin. That was perhaps the biggest defensive play in USA Olympic history. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EXo7FGZyMo

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the link.  I really enjoyed watching Dyess play over the years.  But the most amazing story is how he changed his game after his injury to still remain a potent player in this league.

    As far as the RC comment.  It was just (as if he reads any of these sites or needs my injection) a hope he’ll get something accomplished in getting what this team needs most.

  • Tim in Surrey

    I understand your frustration. I’m pretty worried about a compressed season with Lawal and Hassell fighting it out to be our fifth big man. But Pop makes a good point when he says that the Spurs don’t want to add someone just to add a body. Maybe they could make a play for Chuck Hayes? If ever there was a player that Pop would love, it would be him.

  • Thomasholdren

    The only way this hurts us is the trade piece. Unfortunately no one would take Bonner, or Jefferson, so we werent trading anyway. Novak might as well never have been signed, I am sure he will be gone ASAP. 

    McDyess was our worst big last year, statistically and EYEBALL wise. We actually LOST THE SERIES because POP tried to get him his glory by maxing his minutes… REMEMBER? 
    All we can do is thank GOD he is gone and pray we do not sign another WASHED UP, OLD, big just for the sake of signing a big. This has been our MO the past few years and has NEVER worked. Play Blair and Splitter and let them learn. 
    The coaching was as bad as McDyess play. We played an uptempo game and had 60 wins. Then we tried to change our identity in the playoffs. WHO DOES THAT? Coaching cost us last year whether any one wants to admit it or not. 

  • Titletown99030507d

    Your right. And we will be ignored for years to come like we had been before the Championship years until we actually bottomed out and got lottery picks on two separate occasions then got lucky with two more great picks. So in my opinion the only way to get back to elite status and on a Championship contending level is to bottom out instead of putting high risk bandaids on this team putting a stranglehold on progress. I will give them this season to say our goodbyes to Tim that is if he want’s to retire. Then we go all out with the young guns even if it means bottoming out. At least they’ll get the experience until the superstar comes along in a lottery pick. Keep the core of young talent and go from there. We have plenty of money with Timmy off the books and RJ probably gone next season  to recruit at least 2 great players not superstars but great. and if Timmy decides to go another year or two I hope they don’t give him the farm again. I could live with two great players and our young talent at least it will be fun to watch and we would be more competitive than what we got now.

    If we have 31 mil to throw at 2 great players I would like to see the FO with enough MONEY to sign JaVale McGee and OJ Mayo in 2012 because it’s money these guys want more than the bright lights. Hope fully there be enough left over money to care of the up and comings we now have. I like those two mentioned. Just my thoughts.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Now or two years ago?

  • Titletown99030507d

    I would like to see them tank the season  and go for the 1st lotto pick. Who we fooling? Add that to  $31 mil off the books next year oh my.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Yeah I saw it too. That Clipper team will be in the top 4-5 in the west. We need lotto picks and cap money next season.

  • Titletown99030507d

    Did it ever occur to anybody that maybe Pop don’t want to add another seasoned big just for the sake of adding one like he stated but to rather sign someone in camp and not affecting the luxury tax more than they already are? Signing someone in camp for only 1 season only so they can have the option of not bringing that person back and their contract. I think the word for today is “dump salary” for next season. It’s the NBA craze at the moment.

  • dasgferaq

    I don’t know what moneyball gibberish you’re using to claim that McDyess was our worst big last year.  And your eyeballs may be deceiving you.  If you sub Bonner for NcDyess, you’re going to find out just how mistaken you are.

  • Thomasholdren

    McDyess took Blairs spot and we instantly started losing. Comparing Blair with McDyess in stats (Blair wins) and eye (Blair wins). Comparing TD with McDyess really? I would take Splitter to (eye) since he is younger, can move, and score. 

    The only “big” that McDyess was better than is Bonner. Actually they were equal. Bonner can shoot a 3 sometimes and his scoring could sometimes eliminate the points and rebounds he gave up. 

    McDyess is a nice guy who was a horrible pick up for us at the end of his career. He is much like Chris Quinn, good person, not a good ball player. Character doesnt win you games. This is the misfortune of debating, and giving analysis with “fans.” You all overvalue the players/coaches that we have. Which is fine, but not logical. You all struggle with separating yourself from your team hence the word “homer.” 

  • Bushka

    RC really already has accomplished it.  Everyone that is talking short term gain here is missing the boat.
    RC is looking at a 10 year game plan.  He is looking beyond the horizon.  Do you think its an accident that we have this enormous wad of cap space coming up next year?  Or that we turned George Hill into 2 years of productive play plus  a lottery pick athlete like Leonard?

    Suck it up this year.  Get a few minimum level bigs try to make the playoffs with as much rest for Manu / Tim as possible

  • Hobson13

    Seriously man.  I almost wish the same thing.  Next year’s draft could be insane.  I dream about the Spurs trashing the season and trading Parker to get two of the top 5 picks (pipe dream I know) because that along with our current group of young guys could develop into a monster team in 2-3 years.  I really think there could be as many as 5 big time players come out of this years draft.  I’d love to see a guy like Andre Drummond or Perry Jones or Harrison Barnes in a Spurs uni…

  • grego

    Bonner (<$4M) and Blair (<$1M) have very cap friendly contracts. Now, RJ's is a different story, but a deal with McDyess/Blair/Bonner ($9-10m), if offered (during the past week or so) would shed a lot of cash off a team's roster if it had happened. I'm sure this is why they re-signed Novak (to replace Bonner). Then they dropped him once the deal never happened. 

  • grego

    Not sure what games you were watching last year, but McDyess was not the worst big last year. It was a mistake to weaken the second unit by putting Dice in the first unit. Sure, it bolstered the first unit, but that left a weak balance once Duncan/Dice sat. 

    That left the Spurs with the worst frontline they have, Bonner/Blair. Blair needs Duncan to succeed because he holds too many cons. He can rebound, but he doesn’t box out well, he reaches far too much (stupid fouls or the player gets by/team scores) or takes too many chances by going for the steal (Duncan or some other Spurs ends up with foul/other team scores). Also, Spurs lost players to injuries down the stretch which slowed their winning as well.   

  • grego

    Also, Blair ate himself out of shape and playing time. 

  • thx for da memories Antonio!

    loss of antonio = more SMALL BALL

  • Colin

    The days of getting the “coveted” overall pick are over after the 19 y/o limit passage.  There is no one next year who will be our Duncan or Robinson. 

  • Colin

    Maybe I’m just getting old but should people really need to be asking for clips of this dude?   I would nearly rank him side by side with Barkley as far as post skills go (emphasis on NEARLY).  He was/is an absolute stud.  His early Denver days were something to behold.

  • Colin

    You’re clueless……….do you even read what you post?

  • Tim in Surrey

    Oh my goodness, you clearly haven’t watched Kentucky play this year. I watched Tim and David play as freshmen and Anthony Davis is absolutely in that ballpark as a big man. He’s very similar right now to where Tim was back then–a bit more polished offensively but not as strong on the boards. He’s possibly even a better shot blocker at this point than either Tim or David were. He’s the real deal. And this, btw, is coming from someone who can’t stand Kentucky.

    Drummond I’m less certain about. He’s more like a shorter Bynum (not much shorter, but still) and he doesn’t seem particularly motivated. He’s young, but I just don’t get a good vibe from him. I’m not a Barnes fan, either. I’d rather skip him and use a much later pick on Jeffery Taylor, who is similar but a better athlete and much stronger on defense. (He dominated Barnes when they played early last season.) Perry Jones is impressing me so far this year. Last year’s humiliation seems to have lit a real fire under him and he’s an extraordinary talent. He was already looking like another Lamar Odom. Now imagine if Odom had a bit of an attitude. Scary.

    There are going to be some good big men available a little later, too. Festus Ezeli, from the team I love best after the Spurs (Vanderbilt), would look great in a Spurs uniform. Pop would love his personality and he’s a long, smart, and extremely athletic 6’11” shot blocker who just needs to learn more about offense to be a star. Jared Sullinger’s a slimmer and quicker Elton Brand-type, John Henson is a Marcus Camby clone, Thomas Robinson is Otis Thorpe 2.0, and there are several more (the Zeller brothers, Arnett Moultrie, James McAdoo, etc.) who would’ve been in the lottery this year but might even slip out of the first round. That’s a LOT of quality big men in one draft.

  • Tim in Surrey

    I have to disagree. They’re very thin up front now and none of their front court players is a plus defender right now. Jordan is too sporadic and fouls like crazy, Griffin can’t be bothered with that end of the court, and Caron Butler? Defense? I don’t think so. Their backcourt is better but still, who’s going to guard Manu? Who’s going to guard Tim? For that matter, who’s going to guard RJ?

    They’re still better on the highlight reel than in the win column. That will change over time, with Billups and Paul around, but it will take a while. And, not that I want to slag any beloved former Spurs, but has everyone in the world forgotten who their coach is? That’s a very serious problem.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Amen. And yet, astonishingly, still a better person than a player.