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2022 San Antonio Spurs Offseason Thread -- We're Young, Scrappy, and Hungry


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We gonna throw away our shot?  Well, well, well..... we finally did it last offseason, we jettisoned our old dudes, we opened up cap space, and we acquired draft picks.  Now, some of this worked out, some probably didn't and some is TBD, but it happens when you realize your fate 3 years too late.  We're headed in the right direction, even if progress ain't straight line.  Let's hope the ping pong Gods are good to us and let's start the rebuild!!!  Or continue it....

Some info:

Draft picks!  3 of them.  Probably makes sense to turn two of these into a higher pick or trade one of them for a pick later in hopes it turns out higher.

 

Cap space!  We gots them as well!  

Now, all we need is to draft or trade for the players..... Can we somehow acquire someone who turns into one of these guys?  

image.thumb.png.d7df63f1902dbdb1174fdb4901c0aad1.png

Questions remain:

What do you do with Lonnie?

How do we draft?

How can maximize our 3 draft picks?

Can we continue incremental improvement or do we need to get that top 5 pick?

Fun time, but a lot of different avenues exist.... how should we proceed?

 

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12 hours ago, Patrick Bateman said:

Questions remain:

What do you do with Lonnie?

How do we draft?

How can maximize our 3 draft picks?

Can we continue incremental improvement or do we need to get that top 5 pick?

Fun time, but a lot of different avenues exist.... how should we proceed?

 

1. If you can sign him to a contract non-detrimental to the team, you do it. I don't think he's going to get much better with regards to his offensive acuity. Defensively, he's a goddamn sieve, and that's never going to change. Dude can be an excellent offensive bench player, much in line with Vinnie Johnson (best case scenario). Just don't overpay. 

2. Have, have, have to get a quality forward. Hopefully through the draft, but also explore free agency. This team is too goddamn small. If we draft another guard with a high pick, I'm going to choke a chicken. 

3. Don't draft Luka Samanic. 

4. I don't think the Spurs have much of a choice. There isn't a seismic player that's going to come here willingly, so you have to draft well and hope that you continue to improve. Just don't be Sacramento. A top 5 pick would be nice, but they're never going to tank that much to get one guaranteed. 

 

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Spurs: What Would a Perfect Draft Night Look Like?

By Cal Durrett        Apr 21, 2022

The 2022 NBA Draft is fast approaching, and the San Antonio Spurs have a lot riding on June 23rd. After all, the Spurs will have four picks in the draft: a projected 9th pick, plus 20th, 25th, and 38th overall, giving them the opportunity to add to an already talented group of young players.

Those picks also give San Antonio plenty of options, whether it be using them to trade up, or keeping all of their picks and using them to take chances on players with high ceilings. With that being said, let's take a look at the dream scenario for the Spurs in the 2022 Draft.

After acquiring Toronto and Boston's 1st round picks at the trade deadline, the general consensus among fans was that the Spurs may look to move up in the lottery. That would be great, but perhaps not as realistic as it might seem for a couple of reasons. One reason is that San Antonio is one of three teams in the top ten that has multiple firsts, with Houston and Oklahoma City being the others.

While the Spurs may be willing to trade up, neither would likely trade back for a collection of picks. The same almost certainly goes for the other teams in the top five who'd rather have the chance at selecting a star. That means that barring a jump into the top four in the draft lottery, the Spurs aren't likely to select Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, or Jaden Ivey, even in their dreams.

Who should the Spurs select?

There are several prospects deserving of being selected 9th overall, but of those players, Jalen Duren makes the most sense. This is the case even despite the Spurs already having Jakob Poeltl, who's one of the best centers in the league. That said, I believe that Duren can eventually be better, considering how good he is now. Plus, he's eight years younger than Poeltl.

Better yet, he could even help the Spurs next season, providing them with another stellar rim protector and rebounder, ensuring that one is on the floor at all times. He also has a fairly high offensive ceiling and can score in several ways, including by being a big lob threat and consistently getting easy second-chance points by dominating the offensive glass

Duren even has a jumper that he uses when he faces up in the post to score, and that could eventually make him a pick and pop threat, particularly if paired with Dejounte Murray. Thus, Duren would make for a great long-term option at center if selected 9th by San Antonio while Poeltl would become expendable as he enters the final year of his contract.

With three other selections, I could see the Spurs keeping the 20th pick and dealing picks 25 and 38. Trading the 25th pick for another team's 2023 first and the 38th pick for two future second-rounders are certainly options, but so is combining them in a deal to acquire the 21st pick from the Nuggets. Were that to happen, San Antonio should choose E.J. Liddell and Nikola Jovic with back-to-back selections.

Liddell is a 21-year-old, 6'7, power forward who had a terrific season for Ohio State, averaging 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks. Liddell is a little on the small side for an NBA four, but he plays bigger than his height and can even score consistently in the post by facing up or using turnaround jumpers. He has perimeter skills too, connecting on 37.4% of his 3.8 3-point attempts, and is a physical driver, throwing his weight around on his way to the rim.

On the defensive end, he can guard on the perimeter, protect the paint and even hold his own in the post, making him very versatile. All of that makes him an excellent fit for San Antonio, who could use a two-way power forward who can pick and pop from three, drive, score in the paint, and defend multiple positions. In fact, he could theoretically start for the Spurs next season.

As for Jovic, he's an 18-year-old, 6’10, small forward who has repeatedly been projected to go to the Spurs in mock drafts. It makes sense when looking at the Spurs' history of drafting international players, and they should be enthralled with his ability to create shots, particularly in pick-and-roll situations.

 

That skill combined with his size makes him a distinctive player, but it's also difficult to project how good he could be. In the NBA, Jovic probably won't play with the ball in his hands as often. Despite that, he could still be very effective because he's an impressive shot-maker, knocking down pullups and step-back threes even with a hand in his face.

Those tough shots resulted in an underwhelming 3-point percentage, but he should be much more accurate when primarily spotting up or running off screens. Jovic should also prove effective attacking closeouts, given his ability to handle the ball. Plus, he'd still thrive in pick and rolls. The potential is definitely there for him to be an excellent offensive player.

Overall, although San Antonio may not be able to move up into the top five via trade, there are still a number of intriguing prospects including Duren, Liddell, and Jovic. They could all turn into very good players, and the Spurs are in a position to select each of them.

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I don't think Lonnie is going to get a ton of traction in free agency. The good news is that he's gotten better every year and he's still only 23. Lots of room for growth but if they draft more wings they run into the same playing time logjam they had before they traded White. I'm OK with whatever they do with him, barring some terrible long term overpay. 

I do hope their non tanking karma pays off in the lottery. But regardless of what happens I can't see them keeping all four picks unless they have a couple of draft and stash guys. They are so young already and most of the guys seem like at least rotation level nba players. How much younger can they really go and who of the current guys are they going to bail on? Maybe that's the Lonnie answer but you can't keep recycling through rookies forever. I guess it's great to have all these picks just to have more rolls of the dice, but they are going to have to make some decisions to get to 15.

I have lots of opinions on guys in the draft that I posted in the draft thread. They do need size and one of Duren, Sochan or Eason should be there at 9. I'd be happy with any of them but they'll probably take another wing like the guy from Wisconsin and I will have to talk myself into liking him. 

Not discussed elsewhere is Pop coming back. I'm pretty sure he is based on what my friend down there told me a couple of months ago and since we haven't heard anything to the contrary. I do wonder if his returning changes their calculus on how they use their cap and picks. They've always taken a long term approach. I hope they don't do anything stupid with their cap room. I think they still need to be in asset collection mode.

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Posted (edited)

Boston got fleeced in the D White trade. Dude has given them almost nothing. (was decent today though - just looking at his playoffs so far overall)

Edited by ztejas
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10 hours ago, Michael Knight said:

 

So apparently this was super contentious and city and county officials aren't picking up good vibes from Spurs ownership/management.

The Spurs are going through a small market rebuild and all that comes with it including poor attendance, discounted tickets, free ticket giveaways and now management looking for ways to generate revenue, including expanding or giving it's footprint some consideration.  Be interesting to track.  The franchise has been a bit spoiled (as we all know) as it had been largely competitive for 30 years, but there was a time where a certain Lieutenant in the Navy literally stopped a relocation.... Hope it doesn't get to that level, but team needs to improve.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Michael Knight said:

San Antonio is freaking out that the Spurs will move, Spurs are probably using this as leverage to get more concessions from the city

San Antonio should be freaking out. We have puffy tacos, the Riverwalk, and the Spurs here. And the Riverwalk sucks shit through a straw. 

Edited by StruggleBus
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The Spurs have been amongst the highest priced tickets in the league for years and have done it in a small, low income market that doesn't have a ton of corporate infrastructure. They have gotten away with it because they competed for rings for 25 years and they were (and continue to be) the only game in town. But nobody wants to pay top dollar to watch a shitty product and with as much load management and games missed due to injury as there are, the allure of seeing the greatest players in the world on the other team is diminished as well. It's a fucking pisser to pay top dollar to see Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and you get Damion Lee and Otto Porter instead. And then you get to watch the Spurs lose to them.

I commented on it regularly in the season thread how empty the charter section was. Hell, I was offered (for free) as many tickets as I wanted mid court 10 rows up for more than one game this year. And I'm a freaking nobody. I don't blame them for wanting a few games out of market. Their schedule is so screwed up anyway with the rodeo road trip that they end up stacking games on either side of it. It's brutal for a season ticket holder. Nobody is going down there 3 times a week, I don't care how much you love Jakob Poeltl. And you can't sell them for what you paid for them, either. Honestly, if I were still a season ticket holder I would be thrilled that I didn't have to pay for 3-4 more home games because of this. 

I guess people are freaking out because of the potential for re-location. I just don't see it. The city/county will always bend over and give them whatever the hell they want. They may try to balk at a couple of home games, but the Spurs aren't going anywhere. Ultimately, this city will do whatever they want to keep them here. They are also in the midst of building a $500 million training facility. They sure as shit aren't bailing on that.

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4 hours ago, Patrick Bateman said:

As it had been largely competitive for 30 years

Longer than that.

And yeah - I don't see the Spurs moving. I also don't see how sellout crowds at Moody or somewhere in the DF is in any way shape or form bad for the Spurs.

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3 hours ago, Mitch Cumsteen said:

The Spurs have been amongst the highest priced tickets in the league for years and have done it in a small, low income market that doesn't have a ton of corporate infrastructure. They have gotten away with it because they competed for rings for 25 years and they were (and continue to be) the only game in town. But nobody wants to pay top dollar to watch a shitty product and with as much load management and games missed due to injury as there are, the allure of seeing the greatest players in the world on the other team is diminished as well. It's a fucking pisser to pay top dollar to see Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and you get Damion Lee and Otto Porter instead. And then you get to watch the Spurs lose to them.

I commented on it regularly in the season thread how empty the charter section was. Hell, I was offered (for free) as many tickets as I wanted mid court 10 rows up for more than one game this year. And I'm a freaking nobody. I don't blame them for wanting a few games out of market. Their schedule is so screwed up anyway with the rodeo road trip that they end up stacking games on either side of it. It's brutal for a season ticket holder. Nobody is going down there 3 times a week, I don't care how much you love Jakob Poeltl. And you can't sell them for what you paid for them, either. Honestly, if I were still a season ticket holder I would be thrilled that I didn't have to pay for 3-4 more home games because of this. 

I guess people are freaking out because of the potential for re-location. I just don't see it. The city/county will always bend over and give them whatever the hell they want. They may try to balk at a couple of home games, but the Spurs aren't going anywhere. Ultimately, this city will do whatever they want to keep them here. They are also in the midst of building a $500 million training facility. They sure as shit aren't bailing on that.

Don’t sell yourself short, buddy. You’re our nobody.

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Thought it read "downtown hookers."  I have disappoint.

I grew up in San Antonio and much of that letter rings pretty hollow to me.  He's a generation younger than me though so maybe the city and its history are viewed differently through the lens of a millennial.  Regardless, sounds like change in some form or fashion is a comin'.

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3 hours ago, Kermit said:

Is there a consensus on which player would fit us best (if we have the top pick)? I’ve been watching a lot of Jabari Smith highlights. One can dream…

I would take any of Chet, Jabari or Paolo. I don't want Ivey or that Canadian kid.

I honestly think Paolo might be the most natural fit even though I don't think he's the #1 prospect. 

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2 minutes ago, Radical Larry said:

Oh well. We actually had a higher chance of dropping down than moving up, so I’ll take it.

Yeah, #9 pick is more valuable than #11 or #12.  Maybe Spurs package #9 with another pick to move up a couple spots if they need to...

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As of now, it looks like the first four guys in the draft are pretty well set. Barring something unforeseen, the next two are probably Murray and Sharpe,. After that, I have a feeling that shit is going to get weird.

I'd be pretty happy with Sochon. He checks a lot of boxes especially if they think they can fix his shot and he's got his head screwed on straight.

I'd also be happy with Dieng or Eason (both might be a reach at 9) or Dyson Daniels. I'm not that fired up for AJ Griffin or Johnny Davis. I'm meh on Mathurin but I could talk myself into him. He seems like Lonnie Walker redux. Keegan Murray should be long gone before 9, and I sort of hope he is because I'm not that excited about him. I don't think there's any way Sharpe lasts until 9 either, but I find him at least intriguing in a swing for the fences / complete mystery way.

I don't want the big guy from Duke (Williams) - he seems like a relic of a bygone era. I go back and forth on Duren. I could talk myself into him if they think he's quick and mobile enough to guard multiple positions, but otherwise I put him in the same camp as Williams. He could get played off the floor in this era, but he's also one of the youngest guys in the class and owns a pretty ridiculous build for an 18 year old. That's a roll of the dice that might be worth it.

They desperately need size on the roster but I still think that they need to take the best player available, regardless of position or fit. I'm going to be pretty bummed if they draft another 6'5"ish wing, but I'm preparing myself if that's the way it goes down. 

Also... while I'm bummed they didn't get to move up in this draft, the real prize is next year with the French kid. If you're going to win the lottery, you might as well do it when there is a player like David Robinson or Tim Duncan as the ultimate prize. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

As we head into the draft, here is an offseason primer....

 

https://projectspurs.com/2022-san-antonio-spurs-offseason-primer/

With the NBA Draft approaching next Thursday (June 23) and then free agency following shortly after on June 30, it’s time to look at the San Antonio Spurs’ roster heading into the offseason.

June 23 – NBA Draft 

Heading into the NBA Draft, the Spurs will have four picks, with three picks in the first round and one in the second round.

The Spurs will draft 9th in the lottery, 20th in the first round via the Toronto Raptors, 25th in the first round via the Boston Celtics, and 38th in the second round via the Los Angeles Lakers.

One scenario to watch is whether the Spurs make any trades involving any of these picks. The Spurs already have 8 players under guaranteed contracts for next season, and when you account for the three first round picks, that’s already 11 players on the roster.

Screen-Shot-2022-06-17-at-6.12.20-PM.png

While teams can carry up to 20 players on their roster in the offseason, by opening night, the roster has to be trimmed to 15 players and 2 two-way players.

Because first round picks have cap holds, those three slots are already added to the Spurs’ roster. So again, 11 players on the roster, and the Spurs still need to make decisions on four players who don’t have fully guaranteed contracts (Zach Collins, Keita Bates-Diop, Tre Jones, Jock Landale).

That’s 14 players now on the roster when you add the players  who don’t have guaranteed deals. Now throw in the fact that the Spurs will have 5 players entering free agency.

So with a roster that’s already almost full before free agency begins, will the Spurs move some of those first round picks, whether that be moving up or down in the draft, or trading for a future pick?

June 24 – Zach Collin’ Contract Guarantee Date

Following the draft, the Spurs will have to make a decision on Collins’ $7.4 million contract for next season. If the Spurs were to waive Collins, he would still have $3.4 million of his contract partially guaranteed for next season.

June 29 – Restricted Free Agent Qualifying Offers

The Spurs have until June 29 to tender the following players qualifying offers so the players enter free agency June 30 as restricted free agents.

Lonnie Walker IV – $6.3 million qualifying offer

Devontae Cacok – $2 million qualifying offer

Joe Wieskamp – $1.8 million qualifying offer

DJ Stewart – $1.6 million qualifying offer

Robert Woodard II – $1.6 million qualifying offer

For this review of how restricted free agency works, let’s use Walker IV. First the Spurs will tender Walker IV the qualifying offer by or on June 29. Once free agency begins June 30, Walker IV can start negotiating with the Spurs or other teams. Let’s say Walker IV and Team X agree to an offer sheet, so Walker IV signs the offer sheet. On July 6, when the NBA lifts the moratorium, the Spurs have 48 hours to match the offer sheet for Walker IV to the terms on the sheet, or they could refuse, and then Walker IV would now be signed to that new team to the terms of the offer sheet.

As long as Walker IV doesn’t sign an offer sheet, there’s also the possibility of the Spurs, Walker IV, and Team X to come to an agreement on a sign-and-trade agreement. This would only be the case if the Spurs knew Walker IV wanted to leave San Antonio and they had no intention of matching a proposed offer sheet. This would give the Spurs the opportunity to help Walker IV land with his new team while also trying to get back some assets from that team.

There is also a date in July when the Spurs are able to pull the qualifying offer if they decide to go in a different direction from a restricted free agent. If they do this, then the player would become an unrestricted free agent.

If a player doesn’t sign an offer sheet, but he also doesn’t want to re-sign in San Antonio, then he can accept the qualifying offer for next season, play out the season, and then next summer he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.

June 30 – Free Agency Begins

At 5 PM CT, NBA free agency negotiations begin, which means teams can start communicating with their own free agents or other free agents.

The Spurs will be one of the few teams with the ability to open significant cap space this summer. Depending on what the Spurs decide to do with their free agents and players on non-guaranteed contracts, they will be able to open anywhere from $15.8 million to $37 million in cap space.

That $37 million in cap space is enough to offer a max contract to players with 0-6 years of experience, like Deandre Ayton, or a players with 7-9 years of experience, like Zach LaVine.

Operating as a team with cap space will also give the Spurs the ability to use the room exception worth $5.3 million once they use the cap space. The room exception can be used to sign one free agent, or split to sign two players.

August 1 – Tre Jones’ Contract Partially Guarantees

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, as long as Jones is on the roster still by August 1, his contract will partially guarantee for $500,000.

October 17 – Keita Bates-Diop’s Contract Guarantee Date

The Spurs have until this date to guarantee Bates-Diop’s $1.8 million deal for next season. There aren’t any guarantee dates for Jones’ $1.7 million contract and Landale’s $1.5 million contract for next season per Marks of ESPN.

October – Keldon Johnson Extension Deadline

The Spurs will have from July 1 to the day before the regular season begins in October to extend Keldon Johnson’s contract.

The Spurs recently extended Dejounte Murray and Derrick White’s contracts (before he was traded) in October when they were extension eligible, but they didn’t for Jakob Poeltl or Walker IV when they were extension eligible.

Murray’s extension was for 4 years, for a total of $64 million. He hadn’t made an All-Star team by that point, but he had made the All-NBA defensive second team in a previous season. White was signed to a 4-year extension for $70 million per spotrac.com.

If the Spurs don’t extend Johnson’s contract this offseason, then he’ll be a restricted free agent next summer.

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After watching lots of videos of guys we're not going to draft, I've made peace with the Duren pick. We haven't had someone in the dunker position, and that dude can yam it on people (provided they're not Chet Holmgren). Plus, he has an actual jump shot. Jak will made a nice trade piece, and we need to put our money elsewhere. Dieng scares the shit out of me, granted he looks talented as fuck in the Australian League. And Sochan is from Baylor. 

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