Reevaluating What To Do With Spurs’ Third Amigo


Editor’s note: Please welcome Trevor Zickgraf to the Project Spurs family. Trevor comes from Going Glass 21 and will bring his brand of insightful posts on the Spurs to Project Spurs. We’re delighted he decided to join us. Please enjoy his debut post on Tony Parker’s recent comments about the Spurs.

I don’t disagree with what Tony Parker said recently that the current Spurs team can be good but not a championship contender. Any San Antonio Spurs fan who is honest with his or herself has to appreciate Parker’s honest answer. At the same time I can’t help but feel a little discouraged he essentially said, “I’m the Spurs best player and that’s not good enough for us to win a title.” This team just won 61 games and while Parker probably wasn’t trying to send a message of any sorts, he essentially waved the white flag on the Spurs’ title chances for the remainder of the “Three Amigos” era.

Of all the nicknames Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Parker have garnered over the years, I’ve always felt “Three Amigos” was the best. Duncan is Steve Martin. He’s been doing it the longest and has been making us laugh for the longest time and continues to do so. Ginobili is Chevy Chase. A more physical/slap-stick routine, sometimes provides the biggest cheers, but ultimately you’d still take Martin over Chase in most situations. Then there’s Parker, who is definitely Martin Short. Short is very funny, but sometimes not nearly as funny as you want him to be. He’s not at Martin and Chase’s level.

In keeping with the movie comparisons, the best movie where Martin is the lead is Innerspace. A highly entertaining movie, but not on the level of some of the classics that Martin and Chase have given us. That’s Parker. He’s an All-Star, a joy to watch, but he’s no Duncan or Ginobili.

As I was saying, Parker is right, the Spurs aren’t a championship team. Though it’s tough to imagine them not beating Oklahoma City and Dallas. Two teams they’ve owned the last two seasons but I digress.

He’s also right when he says he’s the most likely to be traded since he’s still younger than 30 and has a very manageable contract – 12 million a year for the next four years is very fair.

The Spurs are strongest at the guard spot. George Hill and Ginobili proved that last year. When Parker was hurt for a month, Hill and Ginobili led the Spurs’ offense as San Antonio played their best basketball of the season during the month of March. That was the month the Spurs solidified their spot in the playoffs and really gelled as a team. This allowed them to upset the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. Though it should be noted that Parker was excellent in that series as a sixth man.

The tough part now is to figure out what you could get for the Spurs’ Ned Nederlander. David Kahn has already expressed an interest in moving out of the second spot in the upcoming NBA Draft and getting some veteran help since he can’t get Kyrie Irving. If they find out Ricky Rubio isn’t coming over for another couple of years, wouldn’t trading for a top 10 point guard make sense if you’re looking to compete and get out of the lottery?

Derrick Williams could play either small forward or the stretch four for the Spurs. Would the Rockets be interested in taking Parker for Luis Scola and a younger big like Jordan Hill? Is Atlanta looking to upgrade at point guard and willing to give up a guy like Josh Smith? Are the Lakers really looking to revamp their team and would Pau Gasol for Tony Parker be something they’re interested?

You could even say the Spurs have a plethora of options when it comes to trading Martin Short, er… Tony Parker. I’d love to know what everyone else thinks.