Free agency discussions open, players return Thursday


More positive signs continue to unveil themselves as the NBA lockout comes closer to ending day-by-day. On Wednesday evening, a memo was sent out to multiple outlets informing them that team front offices would be able to begin discussions with agents regarding free agency; though no teams are allowed to sign or agree to any written or verbal contracts until December 9th when training camps begin.

As for when San Antonio Spurs players can make their return to the practice facility? It was also unveiled that players can use any practice facility for all 30 NBA teams whether their on a team or a free agent. That means Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and any Spurs players who are already in town can begin working together over a week in advance.

With this new information, Tiago Splitter might need to consider coming back to the United States as soon as possible so he can begin rebuilding chemistry with his Spurs teammates. 

Although players can return to the gym, coaches and front office executives are permitted from being in the facility until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is finalized. Only one media relations member and strength and conditioning coaches are allowed in with the players.

As for free agency, the Spurs will only have one spot open on their roster assuming Antonio McDyess doesn’t retire. If the team does get into discussions with agents, one would assume it would be to look at signing a backup point guard or second tier big man. The possibility of McDyess retiring opens the possibility of two open positions on the roster.

The last detail to keep in mind is the trade route. As our own Jeff Garcia recently reemphasized in Spurscast 262, General Manager R.C. Buford did say the team wasn’t done trading players after George Hill was traded to Indiana for Kawhi Leonard.

With reports rampantly firing of the New Jersey Nets offering Brook Lopez for Dwight Howard and Boston looking for a way to acquire Chris Paul on the eve of discussions, the Spurs could potentially be another team in the mix as their name was publicly entrenched in rumors on draft night with deals surrounding Tony Parker and Richard Jefferson.

As the lockout felt like it would never end, it’s going to be picking up drastically on all free agent and trade fronts, continue to follow us here on Project Spurs as we bring you the latest news and rumors of the 2011-12′ Spurs season.

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