Limited Roster Space for Spurs Entering Free Agency

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After drafting rookies Luka Samanic and Keldon Johnson Thursday in the 2019 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs’ roster will have 13 players on guaranteed deals once Johnson and Samanic sign their contracts.

According to a recent report by the Athletic, the Spurs are also expected to bring back unrestricted free agent Rudy Gay on a contract that will reportedly pay him over $10 million per season.

If Gay does indeed re-sign with the Spurs, the team would have 14 players on guaranteed contracts, which would allow for the team to add just one more player to the 15-man roster, while the two-way roster is also half full with Drew Eubanks returning on another two-way deal.

Assuming Gay and the two first round draft picks re-sign, here’s what the Spurs’ roster will look like.

GuardsForwardsBigs
Dejounte MurrayRudy GayLaMarcus Aldridge
Derrick WhiteDavis BertansJakob Poeltl
DeMar DeRozanLuka SamanicChimezie Metu
Patty Mills Drew Eubanks (Two-way)
Bryn Forbes  
Marco Belinelli  
Lonnie Walker IV  
Keldon Johnson  

 

When free agency begins next Sunday June 30, the Spurs at the moment would have just one vacant roster spot to add a player on a guaranteed contract, assuming Gay is re-signing. Before even looking at adding a free agent, let’s look at the situation for some of the Spurs’ other players and prospects that are available.

Quinndary WeatherspoonWeatherspoon was selected with the 49th pick in the second round of the draft Thursday. The Spurs typically draft-and-stash their second-round picks, or the picks end up playing in the G-League. However, last season that expectation changed when Metu was signed to a multi-year contract after being drafted in the second round. For Weatherspoon, the Spurs can either a) sign him to a multiyear NBA contract, b) see if he’d sign a contract in the G-League where they’d retain his rights with the Austin Spurs, c) he could look at signing a two-way contract with the Spurs, or d) he could explore his options overseas while the Spurs would still retain his rights.

For Weatherspoon, a strong summer league performance like the one Gary Neal and Bryn Forbes once had would help his case in getting the full NBA contract.

Ben Moore – Last season, Moore played for the Spurs on a two-way contract, though he never saw any minutes with the San Antonio team. Before the offseason begins June 30, the Spurs can tender Moore a $1.4 million qualifying offer to make him a restricted free agent. If they do, they’ll have the ability to match any offer sheet he receives from another NBA team. If another team doesn’t offer him an offer sheet, then he’d be returning to San Antonio for that $1.4 million offer on the full NBA squad.

Nikola Milutinov, Adam Hanga, Nemanja Dangubic – The Spurs also have three draft picks stashed overseas right now in Milutinov, playing in Greece, Hanga, playing in Spain, and Dangubic, playing in Germany. Of those three players, only Milutinov was a first-round pick, meaning the Spurs have a first-round cap hold for him if they were to buyout his contract with Olympiacos and sign him with their team.

Due to the limited roster space at the moment, it’s unknown whether the Spurs intend to bring any of their draft-and-stash players overseas to the NBA this coming summer.

Free Agency – Barring any trades, the Spurs are expected to be an over the cap team whether Gay returns or not with access to the $9.2 million non-taxpayer mid-level exception. This means they can offer a free agent a four year deal up to $9.2 million in the first year of a new contract, with 5% raises going forward. The one name that has been mentioned among targets the Spurs will look at in free agency is Bojan Bogdanovic, though his market could be more than the Spurs have available to sign him.

With one week until free agency begins, keep an eye on any word of Gay re-signing, whether the team makes Moore a restricted free agent, and whether the team is involved in any trade rumors to open some roster spots with the current limited roster space.

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