"I'm admittedly slow on the uptake, but Anthony gave me the impression he's singularly interested in playing for a team in the habit of inhabiting first place and bedding championships -- you know, like the Lakers, Celtics and Spurs. "
Could it be? Or just another Damon Stoudamire pipe dream? My reaction and analysis, after the jump.
As an introduction, I apologize in advance for my lack of flashiness in this post, as I am still relatively new to the site and don't know much about how to make my posts sparkle. Hopefully my words will invoke a similar emotion.
For starters, let's just think about this as if our Spurs weren't 8-1. Let's assume RJ 2.0 wasn't going all NBA JAM on us. The possibility of acquiring probably one of the top 5-10 players in the NBA--especially one young and on the upside--has to be something intriguing to the Spurs community, especially considering this is considered such a monumental and pivotal year in our franchise history. Admittedly, little whispers like this may mean much less than any of our hypothesizing, but if the interest in Melo to SA was indeed mutual (something few of us really have much intel on), we're suddenly much closer to a believable reality than we may think.
Let's first look over our roster:
PG- Parker- speedy, offensive/fast break specialist; knows our offense best at his position
Hill - also quick, but is more of a shooter and defensive specialist
Quinn- bench-relegated for life
SG- Ginobili - crafty, emotional offensive specialist who also can be a gritty defender; heart and soul of team
Anderson - new kid, also plays SF; already established as a good shooter/solid defender; Bruce Bowen role?
Neal - lights-out shooter; already budding in the system and so far is a major offseason pickup
Gee - bench-relegated for life (?)
SF- Jefferson - revitalized career after a lackluster first year in our system; versatile offensive threat, seemingly only SF
PF - Duncan - apparently he's been here for a while...
McDyess - one-time athletic and physical specimen who can still patrol the paint and shut down big-time stars (see: irk Nowitzki)
Bonner - 3pt specialist that stretches the D and probably plays more effectively than we will ever realize; sandwich connoisseur
C - Blair - when he's not putting a Thabeet down on other bigs, he's hustling and taking up space
Splitter - the next European savior that continues to grow game-by-game
With this in mind, do we really need Melo? The short answer, of course, is no. However, if you ask me, and have all the reservations that the Spurs must continue to succeed, even post-Duncan, I say the answer is a resounding YES. If the dude is interested in coming, at least look at the options and see what it would take to get him. (Keep in mind that this is probably one of the only possibilities, at least until Jefferson is eligible to be traded on December 15th) Are we really sold on an aging RJ? I know I'm not. I think Popovich is the kind of coach that can get the most out of Melo and his ego, and San Antonio is that kind of town. In the unlikely event that this IS a possibility, imagine 4 or 5 years from now and looking back and asking yourself, what if we did make the move for Melo? As assuring as the start to our year has been and as wide open as the NBA scene appears this season, this is something that might end up biting us in the ass down the road, especially if Melo goes to another contender*. He offers the offensive repertoire, rebounding prowess, defensive ferocity, and superstar standing to keep any team relevant--not to mention he plays a position which we only have 1 of. Like him or not, Melo is a true gangsta and a true warrior.
What do you think? If you were the Spurs FO would you roll the dice and make a move for him? Do you think he could fit with the silver and black? I'm not naive, and I realize making such a move requires more than just throwing out names and matching up salaries. I also realize that this is something that our FO would likely stay away from, which is why I ask you to play along!
*DISCLAIMER: with this being said, I was outspokenly all for the Jason Kidd/Jermaine O'Neal acquisitions in '03.