5 Tough Decisions San Antonio Spurs Must Make This Offseason
Five Tough Decisions the Spurs face this Offseason
It was a bitter end to an amazing playoff run, but the San Antonio Spurs came just short of capturing their fifth NBA title earlier this month. There’s no real use thinking in hypotheticals, but one can’t help but think that if certain sequences were re-played 10 times from the last two games of the Finals, particularly ones from the end of Game 6, the Spurs would come away having won more often than not. But, that’s sports. There’s no use spending too much time focused on the past, and the Spurs front office brass is surely already looking to the immediate future: this offseason.
In what promises to be an intriguing NBA offseason in general, the Spurs also have a number of tough decisions to make. While the Spurs generally do not tend to be major players in the free-agent market, they do have the potential cap space to be players this offseason. They also have a number of core rotation players that are restricted and unrestricted free agents, who are crucial factors to their future plans. The Spurs front office, undoubtedly one of the best in the league, is known for making smart, albeit conservative, offseason moves. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, or, if they try to do whatever it takes to win Tim Duncan a fifth championship before he retires. Being that they got so close to winning it all last year, it’s fair to say that if the Spurs make the right tough decisions, that they have a very good chance of reclaiming the Larry O’Brien Trophy next summer. Here are the top five tough decisions the Spurs will face in this offseason.
How Much Does Manu Ginobili get Paid?
How much does Manu Ginobili get paid? I say how much will Manu Ginobili get paid, because I don’t think it’s a question whether or not Ginobili will re-sign with the Spurs. He has been with them his entire career, and has expressed no desire to play elsewhere. As long as Ginobili does not retire, he will be back next season. He will certainly come back at a step discount from the team leading 14.1 million he made last season. The question is, how much do you offer a hall of fame player in the twilight of his career? You don’t want to insult him by offering the veteran’s minimum, but you can’t break the bank for him. I’d say the price range of 6-7 million per year is fair for Manu, but we will have to see what the Spurs think.
Is Tiago Splitter Worth Re-Signing?
Tiago Splitter is frustrating. At times, he is great; finishing at the rim, defending the post well and running the floor effectively. But at other times, as we witnessed throughout the majority of these Finals, he becomes a complete non-factor and seemingly loses all of his confidence. He got blocked by Shane Battier on one play, for Pete’s sake. This marks the second straight year Splitter has all but been out of the Spurs rotation by the end of the playoffs. But, Splitter also played a crucial role in getting the Spurs through the regular season and to the Finals. He really flashed his worth in the Memphis series, defending Zach Randolph almost perfectly. The market will be there for Splitter, a restricted free agent this offseason, as big men are a rare commodity in today’s NBA. The question is, is he really worth it?
Is Gary Neal Worth Bringing Back?
Gary Neal is a great success story, going from an undrafted free agent to lighting up Game 3 of the NBA finals. He has clear deficiencies, mainly on the defensive end, but Neal is one heck of a confident shooter, and always a threat to go off. I’d certainly like to see the Spurs bring back Gary Neal, but will another team make an offer they can’t match?
Do The Spurs Have a serviceable backup PG?
The Spurs have a number of young point guards in Cory Joseph, Nando De Colo and Patty Mills who were all in and out of the rotation all season long. The question is, are any of them good enough right now to back up Tony Parker? Parker was clearly worn down by the end of the Finals, and the Spurs will look to make sure that will not happen again. They have options in Joseph, De Colo and Mills, but they need to decide if they are viable options next season, or if they need to address this issue with a trade.
Should the Spurs Pursue a Big name Free Agent?
The Spurs tend not to attract the big name free agents. In fact, they haven’t really ever signed a marquee free agent during all of Duncan’s tenure with the team. Despite that fact, they have remained extremely successful. But as Duncan nears retirement, is it time to bring in a big name? Depending on what happens with Ginobili and Splitter, the Spurs could have enough money to sign anyone, even Dwight Howard. While there’s a 99% chance that won’t happen, I do think the Spurs could realistically make a run at players such as Andre Iguodala, Josh Smith and Paul Millsap. It’s an intriguing prospect, one that might make the Spurs even more formidable than they are today. We will have to wait and see how it turns out.