There have been a number of huge acquisitions in the NBA this offseason, with those marquee signings not taking place for the San Antonio Spurs. But the Spurs have done a good job of improving their team regardless, picking up some players that should help them in their quest to get back to the playoffs. With a ton of talent on the wings, Gregg Popovich should have plenty of talent to mould in his image the way he has so many Spurs teams in the past.
At the top of the list of acquisitions that the Spurs made this offseason was the move to get Demarre Carroll. Carroll has been an effective piece of some quality teams in Atlanta, Toronto, and Brooklyn in his career. He’s an athletic perimeter player who can make a difference on both ends of the floor and never needing to be the first option on the team. In a way, he seems like an ideal Popovich player in that he doesn’t need to be a focal point to be impactful.
Marcus Morris, another Spurs acquisition this offseason, is a similar player. He has developed an ability to shoot the basketball, but has the strength and physicality to guard multiple positions and multiple sizes on the floor. Both Carroll and Morris possess a versatility that make a lot of sense for this Spurs team and for the current state of the NBA, where positionless basketball is increasingly becoming the norm.
The Spurs in the near future will come as close as possible to embodying that positionless ideal, as they are loaded with versatile talent. Everyone from their ballhandlers to LaMarcus Aldridge will be able to operate both from the perimeter and in the paint, creating an offensive atmosphere that is incredibly difficult to guard. On defense, the Spurs shouldn’t be hurt by having to switch on pick and rolls too often, as positions one through five should be able to move somewhat competently against guards or bigs.
Right now, a lot of the attention in the NBA is being paid to teams in the Western Conference like the Clippers and Lakers thanks to their more high profile acquisitions. Thanks to those flashier signings, the Spurs won’t elicit as many NBA picks as their rivals in the conference. But the Spurs are a more well-coached team than those squads, and have a roster that has the potential to contend with other squads in the NBA championship picture.
Without one of the stars in the game, the margin for error will be less for the Spurs than it is for teams that have a top-tier player. But having a roster full of consistent talent is often better than having a roster that needs to rely too heavily on one player. For proof of that, look no further than previous Spurs championship teams, who were able to rely on great players like Tim Duncan and Tony Parker who didn’t need star power to be incredibly effective. And when you look at those teams, you may just see a lot of the same qualities in this Spurs roster.