Free agency negotiations can officially begin Monday August 2 at 5 PM CT. The San Antonio Spurs will enter free agency with potentially the second most cap space only behind the New York Knicks.
Let’s dive into the Spurs’ situation entering free agency.
Players on guaranteed contracts
Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson, Jakob Poeltl, Tre Jones, Lonnie Walker IV, Devin Vassell, Luka Samanic, Joshua Primo (once he signs his NBA contract)
That’s 9 players on the roster.
One note on Walker IV: Beginning August 2 until the first game of the regular season, the Spurs have all offseason to decide if they’ll sign Walker IV to a contract extension. The Spurs signed Murray and White to extensions during this time of the offseason when they were up for extensions. However, they didn’t sign Poeltl to an extension, and instead let him become a restricted free agent before re-signing him last offseason.
Drew Eubanks’ non-guaranteed contract
Drew Eubanks has a $1.7 million non-guaranteed contract which has a decision deadline by the Spurs on August 19. Considering Eubanks was a rotation player off the bench last season, his deal will likely guarantee by that date unless the Spurs needed as much cap space as possible this offseason.
With Eubanks returning, the roster would be up to 10 players.
What type of deal will Joe Wieskamp get?
Since Wieskamp was drafted in the second round, he doesn’t get a rookie scale contract like Primo. The Spurs can go in two directions with Wieskamp for a deal. A) Sign him to a full NBA deal, like they did last offseason with Jones, or B) Sign him to a two-way contract.
If the Spurs were to sign Wieskamp to an NBA deal, that would put the roster up to 11 players.
The reason we went through all these decisions for Eubanks and Wieskamp is because depending on what happens with each player can determine how much roster space the team has open before even signing any free agents.
An NBA team can only carry 15 full NBA contracts and two two-way players by the first game of the regular season.
This means the team could begin free agency with just 3-6 open roster spots depending on what happens with Eubanks, Wieskamp, and Jeffries.
Now let’s look at the Spurs’ upcoming free agents.
Unrestricted Free Agents
DeMar DeRozan – DeRozan will have multiple teams with interest in signing him, with rumored teams being the Spurs, Lakers, Clippers, Bulls, Knicks, Heat, and Wizards. If DeRozan wanted to sign with a team that is over the cap, he could look to see if the Spurs would be willing to work on a sign-and-trade deal. For a sign-and-trade deal to be completed, there has to be agreement from DeRozan, the new team, and the Spurs.
Rudy Gay – The Lakers, Celtics, and Heat have been teams so far reported to have interest in Gay. Other playoff teams will likely have interest in Gay as well.
Patty Mills – The Celtics have been reported as a team with interest in Mills. Like Gay, other playoff teams could have interest in Mills. With Mills’ long ties to the organization, it’ll be interesting to see if he walks in free agency to a new team or if he and the Spurs want to work on a new deal together to keep him in San Antonio.
Gorgui Dieng, Trey Lyles, Quinndary Weatherspoon, DaQuan Jeffries
Restricted Free Agent
Keita Bates-Diop – The Spurs made Bates-Diop a restricted free agent. They have until August 13 to pull the qualifying offer without Bates-Diop’s permission.
How much cap space will the Spurs have?
The Spurs can open up to $49 million in cap space if they were to renounce all of their free agents.
Which free agents do the Spurs reportedly have interest in?
When looking at wing players, there has been reported mutual interest between the Spurs and Kelly Oubre Jr.
The contract projection for Oubre Jr. is $24.2 million per ProFitX.
A report from HoopsHype states the Spurs, Thunder, and Timberwolves have interest in Markkanen.
The Spurs and Thunder can send an offer sheet up to the max to Markkanen. The Timberwolves would need a sign-and-trade since they’re over the cap, but Chicago is willing to work on a sign-and-trade with Markkanen.
Markkanen’s contract projection is $16 million per ProFitX.
Multiple publications seem to indicate John Collins will likely re-sign with the Atlanta Hawks. Zach Collins is currently injured after fracturing his foot in late June.
John Collins’ contract projection is $29.2 million per ProFitX, though he can only sign a max of $28.1 million since he’s been in the league for less than 7 years.
Allen’s contract projection is $23.4 million per ProFitX. Zach Collins’ contract projection is $2-4 million partially guaranteed per Bobby Marks of ESPN.
Keep in mind if the Spurs send an offer sheet to a restricted free agent and the free agent signs it, the amount of money for the deal would be tied up for 48 hours, until the former team decides if they want to match the offer sheet, or let the player sign in San Antonio.
Spurs General Manager Brian Wright recently said the Spurs want to add shooting in the offseason and more size, with players who can play inside and outside.
The contract projection for Porter Jr. is $9.6 million and the contract projection for Korkmaz is $9 million per ProFitX.
Olynyk’s contract projection is $20.5 million according to ProFitX.
The Spurs can go in all sorts of directions with their $49 million in cap space this coming week.
ProFitX is a dynamic financial and performance index powered by Artificial Intelligence with front-office optics displaying 17 visual and time-series models for 480-plus NBA athletes. The Athledex models historical, dynamic, and future performance data to monitor and project insights on contracts, performance, injuries, team fit, development, and potential. Follow them on Twitter at @ProFitXAI and on Instagram.