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Patrick Bateman

2019 San Antonio Spurs Offseason Thread -- Rebuild or Run it Back?

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Welp, 2018-19 ended like a lot of us thought it would.  Playoffs?  Yep.  50 wins?  Nope. First round exit?  Yep.  Superstar found?  Nope.  We are a team and organization staring into the abyss.  What will we do?  Try and rebuild with a young core by trading one or both of LMA and Demar Derozan?  Or try and tweak some things, add a couple of rookies, hope Lonnie Walker can contribute and Murray can come back from a serious injury like gangbusters and try for one last run into the playoffs?  

Good news is we do have some young talent in the backcourt?  Murray, Walker, Forbes, and White

Bad news is we have two overpaid All-Star caliber players who are more like 3rd best players on a real contending team.

We've never been a team to really blow it up or go young.  We value experience.  We value corporate knowledge.  We value professionalism.  These have been the backbone to an unparalleled run these past 25 years or so, but without a generational superstar (Robinson, Duncan, Kawhi), what is the real upside of this group?  Can we hope we land a superstar with mid or back end first rounders?  Does Pop come back with his age and responsibilities to USA basketball?  This is an offseason where we need to find a direction for the next 5 years and be resolute in that direction, but are we equipped with the proper amount of self-awareness to make any necessary changes?  Can an organization who has gotten used to being the gold standard adjust to a new paradigm of being just a decent squad?  Are we happy with just playoff appearances?  What is this organization about?  Championships or just being competitive?

Salary cap for next year:

https://en.hispanosnba.com/salaries/san-antonio-spurs

Cap is expected to be around 109 million.  Without a trade, we're pretty much capped out.

 

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We need to get younger but that's damn near impossible with our cap situation.  I'd bring Rudy back on a MLE (unless there is a better, younger option, too lazy to research), try to off load Marco and Patty for pennies on the dollar, and pray Dejounte is worth a few more wins.

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I like our status as the NBA’s #1 winningest team by win percentage. Nobody is trading for LMA or DeRozan so I think we’re stuck running this back next year. Then again we turned George Hill into Fuckboi #2 one year.

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35 minutes ago, Patrick Bateman said:

 

Cunningham, Pondexter, and D-Mo are gone. I think they'll want Gay back. Patty needs to go, but we're stuck on that contract for two more years. 

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24 minutes ago, Radical Larry said:

Cunningham, Pondexter, and D-Mo are gone. I think they'll want Gay back. Patty needs to go, but we're stuck on that contract for two more years. 

He’s a good guy and he was a key piece of the 2013-2014 teams, but Patty is just atrocious now.

i can’t figure out if he’s worse on the defensive end or on the offensive end as a ball handler.  Each time down court I change my mind.

It’s a cruel twist to the old, “Could Kawhi get buckets on Kawhi?” thing.  Stoppable force meets movable object.

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You say “burn it down”, but what does that mean? What do you do with LMA, Derozan, and Mills, for example?

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There is a zero percent chance that anyone would want to trade for LMA or DD, so we don’t have much of a choice but to run it back. Maybe they can find someone to take their 2 picks for a higher draft position? Would you trade 2 for one to move up if there is someone you really like? I trust Pop and RC to find some quality rotation players with those 2 picks, but neither one would see the floor in 19-20 based on Pop’s hatred of playing rookies. I think we have at least a couple more years of 45-50 wins and 5-7 seeding position in the West. They probably max out at winning a series, but I don’t see how they can even expect to have a realistic shot at a WCF any time in the next few years. They are a collection of good players in a league where you need a collection of great players to compete for titles.

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I’d like to think that the addition of Murray and Walker, and another year of growth from White, would at least be enough to push us into the conference semis.  If you have those guys and stay relatively healthy all season, you have a shot at a higher seed which immediately boosts those chances.

But expecting a team led by LA and DeMar to be a real contender is foolish at this point.  We knew that in the abstract, but last night crystallized it.

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Every player should be available to any team offering young talent and draft picks. Ideally they keep a young core of Murray, White, and Forbes. I would have included Bertans had he not disappeared in the playoffs. If Poetl can add a hint of offensive production to his game he can be a quality big. Never really saw anything from Walker this year that made me excited. Errbody else either has no place in a rebuild due to age or lack of talent or both.

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If we can't unload Demar and LA this summer we have to try and do it next year at deadline when there will be teams looking for their service for a playoff push or whatever. then just tank, try to get a good pick and try to land a superstar from the free cap. Keep White, Forbes, Murray & Poetl. Sign Rudy if you can get him cheap again. And suffer Patty until the contract end, he is a veteran, and a leader, atleast that can be his function with the young team.

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3 hours ago, Hate said:

Maybe they can find someone to take their 2 picks for a higher draft position? Would you trade 2 for one to move up if there is someone you really like? I trust Pop and RC to find some quality rotation players with those 2 picks, but neither one would see the floor in 19-20 based on Pop’s hatred of playing rookies.

Id be shocked  of they end up keeping both draft picks.  Based upon their drafting history sure they'd find some solid role players (in a year or two).  But the roster is stocked with role players.  

Package for a single higher pick, maybe package a player with it, or simply trade one or both for future picks .  

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, C-Man said:

I like our status as the NBA’s #1 winningest team by win percentage. Nobody is trading for LMA or DeRozan so I think we’re stuck running this back next year. Then again we turned George Hill into Fuckboi #2 one year.

Disagree a lot with nobody will trade for LMA or DD.  LMA is going into an expiring deal basically.  His last year in partially-guaranteed so tons of teams would want an expiring deal, even if we have to wait until the trade deadline next year.  His contract is actually pretty valuable and although everyone is a bit emotionally raw right now, he had another good season and is still a good (not great) player.  DeRozan's deal is a bit tougher to trade because after next season he has a player option so the team's exposure is 2 years at over 55 million, but he's still only 30.  The rub will be what we consider Fair Market Value for these two assets.  What do we prioritize?  What do we need?  What do these two players want (maybe they want a change of scenery)?  Trying to figure out what the Spurs would want for these guys is difficult, especially if Pop decides to concentrate on USA basketball.  If that happens and he kicks upstairs then I think all options may suddenly become on the table.  I admit I have no idea what direction we'll go but history would seem to inform us that we won't do much and try and run it back.  We don't generally trade All-Stars or haven't in like 25 years (excluding Kawhi who demanded out).

 

Edited by Patrick Bateman

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One thing that was painfully obvious during the series against Denver is the lack of rebounding. There’s these two guys on the roster that have the size, (but I don’t know about the athleticism), Metu and Motiejunas. So...why don’t they get any playing time at all? 

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When Dejounte went down, it was a real kick in the dick. His absence has somehow become underrated because Pop is a fucking warlock.

How many wins is DJM good for next season? 2? 5? That would put them at 50 wins and would've had them competing for a top-4 seed this season. Everyone just needs to calm TF down. They didn't get it done last night but they also were a wild supernova 4th quarter by Jamal Murray away from a sweep. So ya know shit happens.

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15 minutes ago, ZanTheFan said:

When Dejounte went down, it was a real kick in the dick. His absence has somehow become underrated because Pop is a fucking warlock.

How many wins is DJM good for next season? 2? 5? That would put them at 50 wins and would've had them competing for a top-4 seed this season. Everyone just needs to calm TF down. They didn't get it done last night but they also were a wild supernova 4th quarter by Jamal Murray away from a sweep. So ya know shit happens.

Even with improvement, you have to think about replacement value of who filled in and less minutes for all.  2 wins is probably fair.  Maybe 3.

 

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Posted (edited)

Early noise is Pop will be back.  If that's the case, money would be on the Spurs running it back with trying to get Murray back full speed, continued development of younger guys, and add a difference maker in the draft.  Again, there are no other option unless you can move some money like LMA, DD, and/or Patty.

Edited by Patrick Bateman

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51 minutes ago, Patrick Bateman said:

Early noise is Pop will be back.  If that's the case, money would be on the Spurs running it back with trying to get Murray back full speed, continued development of younger guys, and add a difference maker in the draft.  Again, there are no other option unless you can move some money like LMA, DD, and/or Patty.

Not sure if I forgot to embed.

Also, for anyone wondering what Pau will count against the cap next year.  5 million.

 

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Why do players’ salaries count toward the cap a full season after they’ve been traded?

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1 hour ago, XYZ said:

Why do players’ salaries count toward the cap a full season after they’ve been traded?

Pau wasn't traded he was waived. So the spurs pay him the remainder of the contract.  The only thing the spurs gained by waiving him during the season was the roster spot.  

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5 hours ago, XYZ said:

One thing that was painfully obvious during the series against Denver is the lack of rebounding. There’s these two guys on the roster that have the size, (but I don’t know about the athleticism), Metu and Motiejunas. So...why don’t they get any playing time at all? 

Well, Murray is a good rebounder 

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And Murray can rebound, take two dribbles and be on the other side of the court ready to score of kick out to a shooter.  If we can somehow come up with a rim protector\rebounder, I wouldn't hate this roster so much, 

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29 minutes ago, Hate said:

And Murray can rebound, take two dribbles and be on the other side of the court ready to score of kick out to a shooter.  If we can somehow come up with a rim protector\rebounder, I wouldn't hate this roster so much, 

Poetl shows promise in that regard.

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11 minutes ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

If anyone needs a good laugh the slap fighting about the refs has already begin in the rockets/warriors thread.

 

In all honesty, there should have been several calls against the Warriors in that first half. The Zaza rule should have been applied several times.

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Even with improvement, you have to think about replacement value of who filled in and less minutes for all.  2 wins is probably fair.  Maybe 3.
 
We agree.

I remember more stupid losses than fortune wins during the regular season. Maybe that's just how the human brain works, but this team dropped games to the Knicks and Bulls for crying out loud!

They lost in Denver because their 2 leading scorers had off nights. We want to shit on them in the aftermath, but it's not too dissimilar from what happened to the Rockets last season IMO. They happened to go cold on the worst possible moment. They clawed all the way back but couldn't quite pull it off. It happens.

PATFO is not moving LMA or DeRozan unless they force his hand. I have said before on this site that I believe Patty has reached Big 3 status within the organization. I stand by that. He's not going anywhere. Idiots will think I'm comparing his on-court ability to the B3. I'm not. There is some "bigger than basketball" stuff in play here. He is the embodiment of the team culture that will be Pop's legacy.

For literally decades, the Spurs have feasted on winning the games they are supposed to win. Roster continuity is one of the keys to unlocking that. Flip a handful of those games this season, and they probably have home court in round 1. I can see Dejounte producing 3-4 easy buckets per game off of transition opportunities and drive/kick. I really think this team bounces back in a big way.


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Yeah, Pop evidently likes Patty. Not sure why, because he doesn't stop anybody on defense and he clanks every shot he takes, but he does.

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They aren't making major changes and they aren't going to bottom out with a youth movement. It's just not happening. If they weren't going to do it when they dumped Kawhi, then they certainly aren't going to do it now.  They are going to keep building around what they have, develop their young core, develop some undrafted/ unknown guys, assimilate them into the culture and try to win. That is what they do. And I think Pop being there is irrelevant to this process. They are taking this route no matter if he quit tomorrow.

I also think they look around the league and see that the better teams in the league did not tank. They built through the draft, made shrewd FA acquisitions and trades, and got lucky. Golden State never really tanked. They drafted Curry at 7, Klay at 11 and Draymond in the second round at pick 35. Kawhi was pick 15. Giannis was pick 15. Jokic was pick 41 in the second round for crying out loud. Toronto never tanked. The Rockets never tanked. Denver never tanked. Portland never tanked. The biggest no miss guys of the last 15 years like Lebron, KD and Anthony Davis -- none of them are going to be playing on the team that drafted them this coming year. 

There have been more busts in the top 5 than hits historically. Tanking guarantees you jack shit. The Sixers pulled the biggest tank job in NBA history, screwing their fans over for half a decade and what do they have to show for it? They turned the number 1 pick in the draft into what is most likely a couple of second round picks. They have an uber talented center who can't stay on the court, a 6'9" point guard with no jump shot and a couple of 1 year rentals from the Clippers and Twolves. The Celtics got a godfather deal from the Nets to rebuild -- and good for them for what they built out of it -- but that trade was a bigger outlier than Kawhi or Giannis getting drafted at 15. 

So expect them to stay the course, make incremental improvements, develop their talent, win close to 50 games, make the playoffs and then get bounced in the first or second round again. Hopefully they get lucky in the draft and/or build enough assets to acquire a disgruntled superstar.

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Anyone expecting a trade involving LMA or DeRozan is delusional, they're not going anywhere. Essentially the Spurs will have a nearly identical roster next season with some small tweaks, the only players that could possibly be moved are Bertans or Marco they hold value because of expiring contracts and they're both good shooters. LMA/DeRozan are going nowhere and the younger players are essentially untouchable. Rudy Gay should be back, the Spurs will be over the cap and under the luxury tax so they can use the MLE to snag someone who can contribute. Perhaps a wing?

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17 minutes ago, Radical Larry said:

Just got an ESPN alert saying Pop is negotiating a new deal.

SAN ANTONIO -- Coach Gregg Popovich is negotiating a new deal with the San Antonio Spurs.

The 70-year-old Popovich just finished his 23rd season with the Spurs. The team has made the playoffs in each of the past 22 seasons, a streak that ties for the longest in NBA history, and there was some speculation about whether he would return. He has won five NBA championships with San Antonio.

He said Monday that negotiations are underway.

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Pop may never quit at this rate.  

 

28 minutes ago, Chad said:

LMA/DeRozan are going nowhere and the younger players are essentially untouchable

I dont think that's absolutely true.  Spurs will have 4 young combo-ish guards (plus patty) next season.  I don't think they keep all of them. Would not be surprised if Forbes and or white get george hilled to move up in the draft or to get some more size or shooting.   

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37 minutes ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

Pop may never quit at this rate.  

 

I dont think that's absolutely true.  Spurs will have 4 young combo-ish guards (plus patty) next season.  I don't think they keep all of them. Would not be surprised if Forbes and or white get george hilled to move up in the draft or to get some more size or shooting.   

Forbes possibly, White? Not a chance. If any any player form the back court is unloaded I would bet money it would be Marco. He would be appealing because of an expiring deal and he's still an adequate shooter.

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35 minutes ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

Pop may never quit at this rate.  

Would not be surprised if Forbes and or white get george hilled to move up in the draft or to get some more size or shooting.   

lolwut

 

6 hours ago, ZanTheFan said:


PATFO is not moving LMA or DeRozan unless they force his hand. I have said before on this site that I believe Patty has reached Big 3 status within the organization. I stand by that. He's not going anywhere. Idiots will think I'm comparing his on-court ability to the B3. I'm not. There is some "bigger than basketball" stuff in play here. He is the embodiment of the team culture that will be Pop's legacy.

For literally decades, the Spurs have feasted on winning the games they are supposed to win. Roster continuity is one of the keys to unlocking that. Flip a handful of those games this season, and they probably have home court in round 1. I can see Dejounte producing 3-4 easy buckets per game off of transition opportunities and drive/kick. I really think this team bounces back in a big way.

 

I agree that Patty is the culture of this team. I have no problem with him staying put because of it. He's not the player he was, but he understands the culture in a way DeMar and LMA don't. That's important.

I'm also surprised nobody has mentioned the defensive improvement that we'll have with White and DJM next year. In a league run by guards it's going to be important to have those two to battle the killer guards in the West. We're not rebuilding anything, and honestly I'm ok with running it back and playing with the team we were supposed to have this year (+DJM) and a newfound quality youngster in Derrick White. Forbes goes back to the bench (or further than the bench), and we get two quality guards to start.

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58 minutes ago, Chad said:

Forbes possibly, White? Not a chance

George hill was "pops favorite player" and he traded him.  The only thing keeping any guy on the team from being traded is not getting a decent offer, not some emotional attachment.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Mitch Cumsteen said:

They aren't making major changes and they aren't going to bottom out with a youth movement. It's just not happening. If they weren't going to do it when they dumped Kawhi, then they certainly aren't going to do it now.  They are going to keep building around what they have, develop their young core, develop some undrafted/ unknown guys, assimilate them into the culture and try to win. That is what they do. And I think Pop being there is irrelevant to this process. They are taking this route no matter if he quit tomorrow.

I also think they look around the league and see that the better teams in the league did not tank. They built through the draft, made shrewd FA acquisitions and trades, and got lucky. Golden State never really tanked. They drafted Curry at 7, Klay at 11 and Draymond in the second round at pick 35. Kawhi was pick 15. Giannis was pick 15. Jokic was pick 41 in the second round for crying out loud. Toronto never tanked. The Rockets never tanked. Denver never tanked. Portland never tanked. The biggest no miss guys of the last 15 years like Lebron, KD and Anthony Davis -- none of them are going to be playing on the team that drafted them this coming year. 

There have been more busts in the top 5 than hits historically. Tanking guarantees you jack shit. The Sixers pulled the biggest tank job in NBA history, screwing their fans over for half a decade and what do they have to show for it? They turned the number 1 pick in the draft into what is most likely a couple of second round picks. They have an uber talented center who can't stay on the court, a 6'9" point guard with no jump shot and a couple of 1 year rentals from the Clippers and Twolves. The Celtics got a godfather deal from the Nets to rebuild -- and good for them for what they built out of it -- but that trade was a bigger outlier than Kawhi or Giannis getting drafted at 15. 

So expect them to stay the course, make incremental improvements, develop their talent, win close to 50 games, make the playoffs and then get bounced in the first or second round again. Hopefully they get lucky in the draft and/or build enough assets to acquire a disgruntled superstar.

So, I agree the Spurs subscribe to your thought process, but here's the other end of the spectrum.  The greatest tenure in our franchise history revolved around 2 #1 picks overall.  If we don't get David and Tim, there are no Spurs....  period.  So even our own history provides that there are times in which you need to rebuild or reload (whatever you want to call it).  The other issue is people conflate "tanking" with rebuilding or reloading and therefore create straw men argument.

Thank about the dynasty's which have been built the last 30 years, they were all built around either a top 5 pick (draft) or pushing off enough salary to entice an elite free agent (or forced trade).  Let's review:

80's Lakers:  Built around KAJ who forced Milwaukee to trade him (preferably to LA) and Magic Johnson, the #1 overall pick.

80's Celtics:  Built around Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, all top 10 picks (8 actually) and Bird was only 6 because the draft was different back then and you could draft guys and continue to keep their rights if they went back to college if they were 4 years from HS.

80's Sixers:  Built around Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Andrew Toney, and Mo Cheeks.  Awesome drama and stories around how Erving got to Philly but rest assured this alternative isn't available to the Spurs at this time.  Neither is the way Moses matriculated there.  Andrew Toney was a top 10 pick.  Cheeks a 2nd rounder.

But Bateman, the 80's was a different time and because of the ABA folding, hardship rules, and expansion, it's not really a great comparison, right?  Absolutely, so let's not give a ton of credence to those examples, but fun to look back.

90's:

Chicago -- MJ picked 3rd.

Houston -- Olajuwon picked 1st overall, before aforementioned MJ.  Rockets also had some very lean years with Dream and used it to select or trade for Kenny Smith, Horry, Otis Thorpe and then Clyde Drexler.  All of them top 11 picks.

Utah -- Built around Stockton and Malone.  Two top 15 picks who panned out although if you really inspect, what they didn't do is hang on to aging, expensive players and shipped off guys like Adrian Dantley and Sidney Green at different times trying to build around youth.

New York -- Ewing, #1 overall.  They would accumulate some older high picks who were getting past their primes but their focal point was Ewing.

But Bateman, the 90's was a different time because of expansion, no real salary cap rules.  You know, you're probably right, but it's still interesting that only Utah was able to build around middle round guys and they had 0 titles.

00's:

Spurs -- We know our history.

Lakers -- Built around Shaq, #1 overall pick and Kobe, another lottery pick.  Jerry West accumulated enough salary cap to lure him West by trading Vlade for some kid named Kobe (another lottery pick) earlier in the year and trading away George Lynch, a good player to clear cap space.  This could be an example to follow but let's remember that one of Shaq's desires was to go to a big market.  The Lakers also had Jerry West calling the shots and Orlando made maybe the worst strategic salary negotiations in history.  If you read the account, it's like the Magic were trying to be a failure.  It would have been like us only offering Tim 70% of the max when he was thinking of going to Orlando the one summer.

Celtics -- Again, a team built around 3 lottery picks.  Ainge sought a long-term vision of having enough picks and free cap space to lure at least one max level star and then got two!  Paul Pierce (10th), a lottery pick was still on the team and in his prime.

10's:

Heat -- Built around Wade (4th pick) and then again, accumulated enough cap space and assets after some lean years to attract Lebron James, a top 5 overall player in history, and Bosh, another top 5 pick.  Do we have any best friends of Giannis or Anthony Davis?

Dallas -- Dirk and stuff.  I don't consider Dallas a dynasty but like some other teams on the list, they were good for a long time.  Dirk was the 9th pick.  Tyson Chandler was the 2nd pick, Kidd was the 2nd pick, Butler and Marion were lottery picks.  Good GM'ing go some of those guys there but again, everything revolved around Dirk and Dallas won 20 games the year before Dirk.  After the Mash, JJ, and Kidd blow up, they had to reset and start a rebuild.

Cleveland -- Lebron.  Kyrie.  A bevy of first round picks (and misses) but lucky enough to ship off an overrated #1 Wiggins for Love.  They truly tanked and got lucky.

Golden State -- They won 29 games and got in the lottery to pick Steph Curry, 7th overall.  They then won 26 games with him as a rookie.  Won 36 to get Klay in the lottery at 11.  Then won 23 games to get Harrison Barnes at 7.  Was there some great GM'ing and some luck (no salary cap easing) involved in getting KD?  Absolutely but their core was built around young perimeter players who were all lottery picks.  Draymond in the 2nd was a fantastic pick but he's was the bow to tie it together.  Golden State had a long build (hard to call it a rebuild) with young players.

As far as your other examples, Toronto sucked for years after Bosh and was a slow rebuild.  DeRozan, who they turned into Kawhi was the 9th pick.  Valanacius, who they turned into Marc Gasol was the 5th pick.  Toronto won 45 games total in two seasons to rebuild and reset their salary cap and get draft picks after Bosh left.  Toronto is an example of rebuilding with youth and then looking to be opportunistic.  They don't prove your point at all because they indeed tanked like shit.  The Rockets is the same thing.  They went young and made sure they had crazy cap space to try and lure or trade for a potential superstar and it worked with Harden.  But after McGrady, the Rockets stayed somewhat competitive, Morey was slowly and stealthily reworking their cap for space.  They let go or traded away guys like Camby, Lowry, Dragic, etc to stay nimble realizing you couldn't build a true contender without a true superstar.  Houston had a good sense of themselves as they hunted for a superstar via trade or draft and keeping their cap in a good place, not maxed out.  They don't really support your ideas.

At the end of the day, there are all sort of ways to build a true championship team but few, as in none, do it without at least one lottery pick and usually multiple ones on their roster unless you have an all-time great (Lebron, MJ, Timmy, etc).  You can try to acquire these players via the draft or trade.  To orchestrate a trade in a salary capped world, you generally need to keep your cap situation nimble with not a ton of long-term contracts for B level stars on the roster. 

When folks say rebuild, people will come out of the woodwork to erroneously point to "tanking" in the vein of Philly or Cleveland but that's generally isn't what folks are advocating.  Most of the time, they want the franchise to have a long-term vision and work a plan which can hopefully build a championship contender.  So we have to ask ourselves, is there an elite level potential player currently on our team?  What about in 2-3 years?  If not, how would we get one?  Maybe a trade, maybe a top 15 draft pick, maybe free agency.  What are the odds or likelihood of each happening?  If we have guys who won't help us achieve this plan long-term, should we look to move them if the situation arises?  Do I think PATFO trades LMA or DD or even Patty?  I don't think it's likely and therefore I don't think we will be real contender for a championship unless something very unexpected happens like Lonnie blossoms very quickly or DJM comes back with a killer jump shot or we land the best player in the draft this year.   

I understand folks have different desires.  I get some folks want to go for the possibility of 50 wins and one and done playoff appearances.  I get it, it's just not what I think is the best course of action with the roster we've assembled.  We'll be 2 years removed from when the whispers started around Kawhi wanting out and a year removed from us having to eat shit and take what we could get.  Maybe it's time to start considering how we can get back to championship level?

And Mitch, I'm not trying to single you out personally, simply refine and add context to the thought of what a real rebuild can look like and also to give an example that reasonable minds can disagree although we agree on what we think the Spurs will do, not what they should.

Edited by Patrick Bateman

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Posted (edited)

Pop hopes to bring back Rudy.

We have a bevy of combo guards!  May need a trade just to get minutes for everyone. 

 

Edited by Patrick Bateman

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20 hours ago, Patrick Bateman said:

When folks say rebuild, people will come out of the woodwork to erroneously point to "tanking" in the vein of Philly or Cleveland but that's generally isn't what folks are advocating.  Most of the time, they want the franchise to have a long-term vision and work a plan which can hopefully build a championship contender.  So we have to ask ourselves, is there an elite level potential player currently on our team?  What about in 2-3 years?  If not, how would we get one?  Maybe a trade, maybe a top 15 draft pick, maybe free agency.  What are the odds or likelihood of each happening?  If we have guys who won't help us achieve this plan long-term, should we look to move them if the situation arises?  Do I think PATFO trades LMA or DD or even Patty?  I don't think it's likely and therefore I don't think we will be real contender for a championship unless something very unexpected happens like Lonnie blossoms very quickly or DJM comes back with a killer jump shot or we land the best player in the draft this year.   

I understand folks have different desires.  I get some folks want to go for the possibility of 50 wins and one and done playoff appearances.  I get it, it's just not what I think is the best course of action with the roster we've assembled.  We'll be 2 years removed from when the whispers started around Kawhi wanting out and a year removed from us having to eat shit and take what we could get.  Maybe it's time to start considering how we can get back to championship level?

And Mitch, I'm not trying to single you out personally, simply refine and add context to the thought of what a real rebuild can look like and also to give an example that reasonable minds can disagree although we agree on what we think the Spurs will do, not what they should.

It's okay to single me out, I'm not offended. In fact, I agree with most of your points. If it were up to me, I would have traded Kawhi for as many young assets as I could have and tried to rebuild. Pop and RC obviously didn't consult me. Still, if anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, it's them. They may be sniffing their own farts after drafting Tony (29), Manu (56) and Kawhi (15), not to mention the other rotational players they found late in the draft (George Hill, Cory Joseph, Kyle Anderson, Tiago Splitter, etc.) and all their developmental success for guys they pulled off the scrap heap (Danny Green, Stephen Jackson, Boris Diaw, Patty Mills, Jon Simmons, etc, too many to name).

But overall, if you look at what they are doing, they are investing in and building value in some young players -- White, Murray, Walker, Poetl, Forbes, Metu, Bertans, plus two first rounders this year -- and not capping themselves out long term. Counting the two picks (if they don't draft and stash either of them), that would be 9 (NINE!) guys on the roster with 4 or fewer years of experience in the league. For a team that was long considered geriatric, that's a ridiculous youth movement. Now none of them may turn out to be worth a shit, but at least they are making an effort.

After that, they've got Aldridge and Derozen on the books for a couple of more years, and then they should theoretically have some assets to move and cap space to work with. If they build some value in these young guys, they can either go to war with them or use them to move up in the draft if they fall in love with someone (e.g., trading George Hill for Kawhi) or have assets to trade for a vet. I think that is where they are at -- try to win with what they have, keep the culture of winning and accountability, don't kill your flexibility with bad contracts that yield marginal returns on the court, develop your young guys and hope you either get lucky with one of them or buy low on them and sell high after you've developed them to improve the roster via trade. 

Also... to your point about having low draft picks and that's where the talent usually is. I didn't mean to imply that they were worthless. I agree with you, but it's not like those guys stay married to the team that drafted them. Hell, right now they have Aldridge (pick #2), Derozen (pick #9) and Gay (pick #8), none of whom were drafted by the Spurs. 

And one final omission from your list of great teams was the mid 2000's Pistons, who is a huge outlier in terms of how you build a championship team, but did win one and played for another one nonetheless. I'm not suggesting that they are a model to follow, but just noting their absence.

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Thx for this thread..... Lots of great posts!!!

Glad Pop has another year with Spurs.... Spurs players are kind of like his family and he appears happy, which is great to see after losing his wife last April.

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That article about food and wine says that Pop makes $11 million, and I just about fell out of my chair. How much is the average NBA head coach salary?

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18 minutes ago, XYZ said:

That article about food and wine says that Pop makes $11 million, and I just about fell out of my chair. How much is the average NBA head coach salary?

Median is about 3.5 million.

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