We had so much fun discussing the Spurs draft picks yesterday, I thought I would come up with a new challenge. The Spurs offseason may appear pretty ho-hum to outsiders and pretty epic to 13 year old Spurs fans who like playing Halo or dudes who work for Nintendo (that's a reference to E3 and the AVGN...yeah, I went there). This is all about how great our Spurs management is, and taking a step back to look at the moves made this offseason (and some prior) by our FO to keep us a top contender for this season's title.
I think the Challenge is a no brainer in the end, but the field isn't any weaker for it.
I could so write song titles for Moneen. I'm talking about the Spurs FO and JA's fan group getting Manu to stay before the shit-icane (Trailer Park Boys, anyone?) LeBron created. Could you imagine Manu taking his sweet time with a gigantic offer on the table from NY or NJ while we wait biting our nails to our shoulder blades??? I'm freaking out just thinking about it and he's under contract now.
We're Going to Make an Offer You Can't Refuse, Probably, Give Us a Month, Trust Us....
Or maybe it went like this, "Hey, RJ, opt out of that 15 million dollars, and we'll offer you something to compensate for that." His open market value, unlike Manu's could have been, was not THAT high. The Spurs managed to keep him, look smart, make him look smart, keep him happy, and possibly even instill some (more?) confidence in him. Hopefully, this is what he took from the situation: "Yeah, we wanted you. Yeah, we still want you. Yes, even after last season. Go shoot 1,000 3's every day for the next 3 months and spend the rest of your time learning to guard a damn small ball 4. "
Now, we have a chance at being under the tax and at the worst, won't be paying a ton over. We've also put ourselves in a nice position heading forward. We're not just thinking about next season, like some teams....
Every player currently on our roster is under contract or has an option through next year except Tony and Dice is likely to retire. We can give Tony a raise (if the CBA allows it), and still use some of the MLE to hover around the tax line I figure. It might be hard with another draft pick coming in.
Those Guys Get Those Contracts Because That's All They Have to Play For
Somehow, our FO convinced Splitter to take pennies on the dollar (of his value) because we are his only option, we are competing for championships, and he gets to play with some super greats including one of his idols, Duncan.
Pop: RC, do we do the "Spurs" move and take some young dude in Europe?
RC: You know I'm a sucker for the classics, but Blair really gave me a craving for a second helping of, "Best Player Other Teams are Overlooking Because He is Currently Injured and Possibly Undersized for his Best Position."
Pop: That's what we're calling it? BPOTOBHCIPUBP....that's what we would have called it in the Military.
RC: .....Donatas dropped out of the draft.
Pop: Probably scared the Thunder would trade up and take him before us....
RC: Okay, let's just do mine first and we'll get the Euro in the second.
Pop: No more Frenchies. I'm tired of drafting based on amount of wine consumed over lifetime prior to draft.
RC: There is a young British guy who is tall and has a nice outside shot.
Pop: We have to get this guy so we can make WWII jokes about him, Tony, and Dirk and our Dallas rivalry.
RC: You're such the military historian....
Pop: So who do you want to take with the first pick?
RC: Big 12 player of the year, James Anderson.
Pop: Cool, but then you definitely owe me the British kid with all the upside....and you can't give Anderson 120% rookie scale because you didn't let me retroactively give it to Hill.
RC: Deal. Want to go shop for short sleeve button ups?
Pop: No, do you want to go shop for suits fit for yacht clubs?
RC: You never cease to amaze, and I'm curious as the fucking cat where you actually buy those ugly things....be at your place in 20. (Click)
You Could Say We're Specialists at Finding Guys Who Other Teams Have Given Up On Making It
Gary Neal was one of the top SG's in Europe. He was the leading scorer for his team in one of the best foreign leagues. We got him to come play for our Summer League team. He impressed. Other teams wanted him, yet we signed him for what? 500K next year and 3 years? Low risk, high reward scenario. Smart move.
Carmelo Doesn't Want to Sign, That Sucks for Denver. Tony? It's Sort of Don't Ask/Don't Offer Scenario.
The goal for the Nuggets, keep Carmelo Anthony. Goal for the Spurs, win the title. We don't need distractions and we aren't going to create them before the season starts. Tony, we like you and you are a great Spur who is very important to us. We'll see where that takes us as the season progresses, but right now, you are a Spur. Tony knows how the Spurs operate and the media knows how we operate. There is no chance this becomes a distraction even if Tony has to answer "It's not my focus right now. We'll see what happens. I like being a Spur, but I will look into my options when the time comes." after every away game. Only us die-hard Spurs fans will blow that out of proportion....
Pop's "Favorite Player": You Might Finish Second in the MIP Voting After Torching the Eventual Winner for Your Career High
This sort of happened last season, but D-League call-ups at the end of a season are about scouting for next season. We called up Cedric Jackson and Garrett Temple from other D League teams because we know about the talent on the Toros. We don't want to show Jerrels off and have him ripped away by another team. We'll take our D League opponent's best PG's when we need some PG to take some end of the bench minutes.
Garrett Temple was a lucky strike of the FO's hammer on the rock. He developed so fast in the D League and his early season call-ups (Westphal and Adelman are both really good coaches). He really wasn't draft ready a year ago. To think we stole an NBA role player from Houston's D League team on a 10-day contract is just amazing.
Now, Pop is going around like he did last year for George Hill calling Temple his "favorite player." That means he is a smart player who wants to be coached and has an immeasurable work ethic. Temple is going to be a major acquisition from last season to this season. He may even see as many opportunities as Anderson and Neal as he has a head start on them. He plays defense. He can play point. He has good size and wingspan. He shot the 3 well last season for us. His sky is bright.
Trimming the Fat: Who Says That's the Best Part?
Okay, that's not a fair title on a couple levels, but the Spurs let some non-crucial pieces in Mahinmi, Bogans, Ratliff, Finley, and Mason go during last season and this offseason in order to reload without altering the proven core.
All 5 guys better get cheers from the SA home crowd when they check in for their new teams. Actually, is Finley retired? Maybe Ratliff wasn't here long enough to warrant that too. Mason and Bogans then at least.
Search for the Hoagie Grail Renewed for Three More Seasons With A Fourth Year Option
But it means we still have Bonner....
I might have missed something. If so, let me know in the comments. I love being a Spurs fan, and maybe the best thing they did this offseason was keeping us all as excited and optimistic as ever following an elimination by sweep.