How Will San Antonio Spurs Use Their Last Roster Spot?
With the NBA free agent frenzy coming to a close, most teams are now putting the finishing touches on their rosters for the 2013-2014 season. Barring the few free agents that still do not have homes and the potential trades that happen over the next few months, these are the rosters most NBA teams are going to compete with next season.
Such is the case with the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have been moderately active over free agency, re-signing Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili, while also acquiring Marco Belinelli and Jeff Pendegraph. With Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair and Tracy McGrady all set to walk, the Spurs roster currently sits at 14 out of 15 players.
How will the Spurs use this spot to round out the roster? Let’s break down the options.
The Spurs have constantly been linked with big man Greg Oden over the past few weeks. Oden is reportedly going to decide where to sign in the next couple of weeks and if he chooses the Spurs, he’d be the one to fill the final roster spot. So, it’s possible they could be holding it for him. One thing’s for sure: Oden is the player with the most potential impact that the Spurs are contemplating filling out the roster with.
Another option, which I believe to be the least likely, is the Spurs filling the spot with a veteran other than Oden. There have been reports of the Spurs being linked to the likes of Ryan Gomes, Timofey Mozgov and Antawn Jamison. None of these names are as exciting as Oden, but it’s another possibility to consider.
2013 second-round pick DeShaun Thomas is another candidate for the last roster spot. Thomas tore up Summer League in his first three games, showing tremendous polish on the offensive end. He struggled in the last two and it remains to be seen if he can defend NBA small forwards, but don’t be surprised if the Spurs do end up signing him as early as this season.
Finally, the most likely scenario is that the Spurs do nothing and leave the spot open.
This will give the Spurs more financial and roster flexibility going forward, and it is something they have tended to do in the past. Maybe a Training Camp invitee makes it like Gary Neal a few years ago, or maybe they swing a trade during the season and take advantage of the open spot. I actually consider this the most likely scenario, particularly if Oden signs elsewhere, but we will have to wait and see.