After defeating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals in 2014, many questioned how the Spurs would do with a very old team only getting older. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker entered their 12th season as a trio with a stacked Western Conference in the hardest division in basketball. The Spurs looked old to start the season. They were winning games, but didn’t dominate the Western Conference like they have been doing the past 10 seasons. Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker were injured forcing Tim Duncan to play like he was young. Once the Spurs got healthy, the team took off and started looking like the championship winning Spurs. The Spurs ended the season going 22-4 and looked like the best team behind the Warriors and Cavaliers in the playoffs. The West was so good the Spurs ended up the six seed in the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Clippers took the Spurs to seven games and won that pivotal Game 7 to advance to the Western Conference Semi-Finals. This may be the end of the Tim Duncan, Manu Ginolili, and Tony Parker trio in San Antonio. It is time for the Spurs to think about their future. They will look to add a reliable three point shooter and a bench while keeping some core players. Lets take a look at who could be in San Antonio next season.
PG Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
Ricky Rubio is an international, crafty passing point guard who is in the wrong city. The Minnesota Timberwolves have young players like Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, and the #1 pick in this upcoming draft which they will use as building blocks for their future. Rubio is the odd man out. He only played in 22 games last season which is killing his trade value. This would be the time for the Spurs to trade for Rubio. He would be a perfect fit in San Antonio because He would play like a young Tony Parker whose age is getting to him. The Spurs need think about point guard for their future. Rubio would make an impact in San Antonio upon entrance.
SF Justin Anderson, Virginia
The Spurs have Danny Green and Marco Belinelli pending free agency who have been reliable three point shooters off of the bench. Belinelli could re-sign but I believe Green will leave to make more money. The Spurs need to acquire another shooter off of the bench. Anderson shot 45.2% from behind the arc in his junior season which is significantly better then his sophomore season where he shot under 30%. His 230 pound frame would make Anderson a nice defensive compliment to Kawhi Leonard.
PF Christian Wood, UNLV
Christian Wood is a lengthy, offensive minded power forward who plays as a stretch four. He can shoot from all over the court and the Spurs bench has always thrived with multiple three point shooters. This would be a nice season to acquire a power forward in the draft. If Duncan returns next season I believe that will be his last. Wood could use his rookie season to learn under Tim Duncan to ease his was into the NBA. Wood could speed up an offense that has been known for slowing down the pace of the game.
SF Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard is an NBA star and is the new building block for the future of the Spurs. He was on the NBA 1st Defensive team and named the 2014-2015 NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He has the size to cover multiple positions and covers the best, most athletic player on the opposing team. Leonard is the best player on the San Antonio Spurs. He will require a max contract and will get it in or out of San Antonio. If the Spurs let Leonard walk they will lose their identidy and the Spurs dynasty will end. This signing is a no-brainer.
PF Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
Duncan has played in 18 NBA seasons and has been on the Spurs his entire career. He still nearly averaged a double-double per game and was named to the All-NBA 2nd defensive team. Duncan is the most respected player on the San Antonio Spurs and one of the most well respected players in the NBA. There is still retirement rumors but Duncan proved this season he can keep playing. It is re-sign with the Spurs or retirement for Tim Duncan.
SG Wes Matthews, Portland Trail Blazers
With the speculation of Manu Ginobili to retire, the San Antonio Spurs will need to think about their future at the shooting guard position. Wes Matthews is a proven NBA shooting guard who averaged roughly 16 points per game in Portland before tearing his achilles. His three point scoring ability would make him a nice compliment to Kawhi Leonard. Matthews is from San Antonio and many NBA players have been leaving their teams to go back home. Matthews would definitely consider playing for the Spurs.
The Spurs will experience an identity change this offseason but with Gregg Popovich, the best coach in the NBA, the Spurs will find a way to be competitive. With the West as good as it is, the Spurs need to win this offseason to keep their dynasty going. The Spurs have a lot of expiring contract so they will have the cash to extend some free agents go stay successful. If Tim Duncan returns next season, he will be looking to win his sixth ring. Duncan will do whatever it takes with his contract or as a recruiter to make his dream come true.