After the San Antonio Spurs recently added veteran point guard Andre Miller to the team and waived Ray McCallum, San Antonio’s final roster still may not be complete for the playoffs that are approaching after the final 23 games of the regular season.
Late Tuesday evening, the Minnesota Timberwolves announced they have officially waived Kevin Martin, just before the Playoff Eligibility Waiver deadline of March 1. Marc Stein of ESPN.com mentioned that while the Spurs remain the favorite to sign Martin, along with the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks are also trying to sign Martin for his shooting services before the playoffs begin.
Martin will be able to sign with any NBA team that is requesting his services until April 15, when rosters must be turned in for the playoffs.
If the Spurs and Martin were to come to an agreement in the near future, the franchise would have to face a tough task in determining who will be waived in order to open a roster space for Martin, since the team is currently capped at 15 players.
After McCallum was recently waived after making $947,276 this season, one of the two most likely candidates to be waived in the event Martin agreed to sign would be either Matt Bonner or Rasual Butler, since both of them each make $947,276 this season.
There’s obviously two different directions the Spurs will have to look toward if they did waive one of Bonner or Butler. With Bonner, he’s been the longest tenured Spur outside of the Big 3 of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. But, this season, with the addition of LaMarcus Aldridge, David West, and the emergence of rookie Boban Marjanovic, along with the staple big men in Duncan and Boris Diaw, there hasn’t been much room for Bonner to become part of the rotation. Bonner has only appeared in 20 of the Spurs’ 59 games this season, and he’s currently on the injured list with a lower leg injury.
While Butler too is a piece at the end of the bench, he’s seen more game action this season both early in the season and in the last few games. Butler was one of the first wings off the bench when the season started behind Ginobili, before Popovich began to start using Kyle Anderson and rookie Jonathon Simmons more and more. With Ginobili sustaining a lengthy injury, Bulter has been the steady Spur Popovich has called upon on nights when either Anderson or Simmons are having a tough game on the court.
With Bonner, the Spurs have six big men that make up their roster. If San Antonio were to waive Bonner and keep Butler, then San Antonio would have up to seven wing players in Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Ginobili, Anderson, Simmons, Butler and Martin. If San Antonio kept Bonner and waived Butler, then the wing situation would stay the same with six wings, as Martin would essentially be filling Butler’s place.
Should Martin and the Spurs reach an agreement, the choice of the odd man out will be a tough one for the front office and coaching staff to determine.