The last time we left the San Antonio Spurs, they had answered one off season question, still had one unanswered and had created another question about the 2011-2012 roster. The question answered was how were they going to find more productivity out of the small forward position. Kawhi Leonard should help Spurs fans sleep better at night knowing Richard Jefferson isn’t the only small forward on the line up.
The team still could still use some help down low, especially if Antonio McDyess does indeed decide to retire.
Currently, the Spurs have 15 guys under contract. Though Danny Green could be let go with minimal cap implications. So we’re looking for help at the 4 and 5 spots on the floor. The Spurs presumably will only have the mid-level exception to go after one or two free agents. Before you ask, had the Spurs used the amnesty clause on Jefferson, it still wouldn’t have gotten the Spurs under the cap.
I think going after a big man is the best play here. As far as big man depth goes, the Spurs are either going to be in the same spot as they were last season or even worse if Dyess retires. You have to go get a big or two. With at least one back-to-back-to-back coming this season, depth at the four and five spots are going to be critical.
For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume McDyess is not returning to the team, where the Spurs need more help? Obviously they need another center.
That means the power forwards/centers available start at Samuel Dalembert and go down from there. Dalembert is going to be targeted by at least a half dozen teams starting with the Knicks and Miami Heat (his home country of Haiti is about a 90 minute plane ride from South Beach). So the law of averages says the odds of signing “Slammin'” Sammy aren’t awesome.
That takes us to the next rung of big men who might be able to sign with San Antonio considering the team’s financial situation. Joel Pryzbilla (might retire, often injured but super tough on the inside), Kris Humphries (isn’t that bad of a player if you get past the Kardashian fiasco), and possibly Fabricio Oberto (hasn’t ruled out playing again, but his health is a concern).
If you sign any of the above guys you’re basically saying Splitter and Blair are your second and third best big men and you’re looking for some bench depth. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing a guy like Oberto on the Spurs, but none of these guys seem like they’d make much of a difference for an extended amount of time.
Next we’ll crop of guys are younger and more one dimensional, guys like Gray, who our own Jason Rogers wrote about this summer, D.J. Mbenga (has a couple rings, good for 6 fouls), and the special international unintentional comedy sub section of Kyrylo Fesenko and Yi “The M’Fing Chairman” Jianlian! “The Chairman” jokes write themselves and Fesenko would be the most awkward San Antonio resident since Rasho Nesteorvic but with half the talent.
The most important idea is to remember the Spurs cap situation looks much better in 2012 then it does now, so the best play is to find some depth on the cheap and make sure it’s a short term deal.