The NBA Draft is next week and though the Spurs do not have a First-Round pick, they do have 3 Second-Round Picks at 37, 51, and 53. Knowing this, there might not be someone available late in the draft to address the Spurs current needs — youth, Center and Shooting Guard.
However there are some decent Free Agents this summer the Spurs can realistically acquire. Aside from the obvious, youth, youth and more youth, Spurs do need a decent Center and an athletic 2-guard.
Let’s face it the Spurs do not have a decent Center. Ian is constantly injured and unproven on the NBA level, Bonner loves to shoot 3’s but does not rebound or have an inside game, Oberto is crap, and Thomas is servicable but you have to ask how much more does he have in the tank at his age.
As for the athletic shooting-guard again this is an area the Spurs need to address. Finley is ready for the retirement home, Manu’s ankle is unreliable, and Hill is young and might be a good player if Pop simply plays him more. We saw in the regular season and the playoffs the Spurs did not have someone to create his own shot aside from Manu, when healthy.
So let’s look at a few free agents who could come into the fold and contribute.
Zaza Pachulia — Hawks (Unrestricted). This guy is tough, young, can board and score. He does not back down, ask KG, and can be the “banger” the Spurs need to play along side Duncan. Pachulia is a big part of the Hawks recent success, helping them grab the number 4 seed in the East. His 2008-2009 avergaes were: 6.2 points and 5.7 rebounds. May not seem much but toughness is something the Spurs need in the paint.
Anderson Varejao — Cavs (Unrestricted). Might not be out of the realm of possiblity for the Spurs to target him. Like Pachulia, this guy is physical, active in the paint, young and can board. His 2008-2009 avergaes were: 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds. This is exactly what the Spurs need — someone to rebound! Plays decent defense and can be a great “energizer” player.
Dahntay Jones — Nuggets (Unrestricted). Hustle, defense, young and can shoot the three however needs to work on creating his shot. In the playoffs proved he can play defense against the Lakers. Will be an ideal role player for the Spurs. His 2008-2009 avergaes were: 5.4 points and 1 assist. Now those averages may not grab you but he can be the defensive 2-guard to play the likes of Kobe, Josh Howard, and Wade. “People have seen that the one thing Dahntay has is a toughness about him,” said TNT/YES analyst Mike Fratello, who coached Jones for 2 1/2 years in Memphis. He also has an reputation as “dirty” so I guess he fits right in the Spurs system.
Von Wafer — Rockets (Unrestricted). Young, energizer, quick, and is ready. He stepped up when T-Mac went down and provided some offensive punch in the playoff series against the Blazers and Lakers. He has the ability to create his own shot but needs to improve his defense. His 2008-2009 avergaes were: 9.7 points and 1.1 assists.
Pachulia, Varejao, Jones and Wafer all would provide the Spurs with youth, defense, rebounds and scoring. Aside from Varejao they won’t break the Spurs’ bank. More importantly, they give the Spurs a shot in the arm.