With all of the comments and questions coming in from Project Spurs’ readers regarding the offseason plans of the San Antonio Spurs, I thought a mailbag answer session was the most effective way of communicating back with all of those who submitted questions.
I selected the best five questions to reply to, and if you didn’t make the mailbag this week, submit a comment under this article or email a question in and you can make next week’s edition.
• Josespurs sends in a question regarding the much talked about 19 year old Brazilian prospect Lucas ”Bebe” Nogueira:
If the pick Lucas Nogueira as tall man in the draft, will he play with Spurs next year? – Josespurs
”Bebe” withdrew from the draft yesterday a couple of hours before the deadline. So no one will be drafting him this year. Lucas is a very raw prospect so he wasn’t going to help anyone this year anyway. It was a wise decision for him to withdraw and come back next year. He will only get better and likely will be a solid first round pick next year.
• Stewart77 is fed up with the Spurs lack of a shutdown defender on the wing since Bruce Bowen left.
….being a spurs fan I have a high standard when it comes to defense. Are there any good defensive prospects at the small forward spot that could come in the spurs this year? And by prospects I mean draft, or free agency. – Stewart77
There are a bunch of suitable options via draft or free agency for a good defensive wing. Finding a player the level of a Bruce Bowen is unrealistic, however. He was a once in a decade type player. In the draft you have a couple of defensive prospects in the Spurs’ draft range. David Lighty of Ohio St, Tyler Honeycutt of UCLA and Chris Singleton of Florida St all project to be good defensive player’s in the pro ranks. Chris Singleton is the most promising of all these player’s listed as he can guard the post and the wing. He reminds me of Josh Smith without the handle. Free agency brings a couple of options that could bring a upgrade to that position defensively. Tayshaun Prince is a unrestricted free agent, as is Shane Battier, Grant Hill, and Andre Kirilenko. A really good value could be had in Luc Mbah a Moute who is a unrestricted free agent as well. He could be had for rather cheap compared to the top tier wing defender’s listed here. So lots of options here for the Spurs.
• Soto1ncrtol feels a immediate trade is necessary to upgrade the Spurs defensively.
We must make a trade and i am guessing TP and hopefully RJ it wouldn’t be bad to trade Bonner as well we NEED to get back to a Defensive identity. – soto1ncrtol
While I agree with you that tightening up defensively needs to be a priority. I don’t agree that it needs to come via trade. There are plenty of options in the draft and free agency. When you trade a player at the level of Tony Parker you have to get the best possible value for him, whether that be a great offensive big man or a good two-way player. With San Antonio being a small market team, they have less margin for error than most.
• Jtshoopsblog thinks the Spurs championship window is closed and they are middling at the level between contender and a team that needs to be broken up.
The problem with the Spurs is that they are stuck in the middle. The are not good enough to be considered championship material, but they are not bad enough to the team getting blown up. Their championship potential is all but over. That was shown in the Memphis series. Despite that, the Spurs can still win 50 odd games in the regular season. They’ll always be a playoff caliber team, it’s just their championship[ hopes are all but gone. All the Spurs can hope for is to ride out every season squeezing what little left from Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker have while ushering new players such as George Hill, Tiago Splitter, Gary Neal and DeJuan Blair to take over later. – jtshoopsblog
I don’t think you can use the Memphis series as a barometer of the Spurs’ current viability as a team. The Spurs’ best player (Manu) was playing with a fractured elbow and players who were hitting shots all year – and against better teams - weren’t in that series. Was some of that due to Memphis’ defense? Yes. But I agree with Pop in saying that with a healthy Manu the Spurs win that series. And from there who knows what the Spurs could have done? If the Spurs had a healthy Manu and made it to the Finals and then lost to the Heat, would you be saying the Spurs window is closed? I think the majority of Spurs fans would say “no” and would be looking forward to next season with optimism. So I’m going to have to disagree with you jtshoopsblog. I think the Spurs need a few adjustments and will have as good of a chance as anyone next season.
• And to round out the mailbag my fellow Project Spurs staff writer Trevor Zickgraf offers up this gem regarding Spurs trade scenarios:
I think it’d be hilarious & infuriating if the Spurs got Luis Scola & Goran Dragic for Tony Parker. -Trevor Zickgraf
Would the Bucks trading Dirk Nowitzki to the Mavs for Robert Traylor be more infuriating for a fan base then Tony Parker to the Rockets for Luis Scola and Goran Dragic? That’s a tough call.