They say that when the great oak falls a new sprout begins to rise in its place. Thus is the state of the San Antonio Spurs. A great oak, whose branches have started to fall from it's bough, that will eventually fall over, eventually becoming only a memory. Fortunately for the Spurs, the seeds of the future have already been planted, awaiting to be sprouted and eventually grow into a new great oak. With time and a bit of effort on their part, these seeds can become the foundation that becomes a new Spurs Dynasty.
There are many different components needed to form a championship team, and even more needed to form a dynasty. However, every great oak has a center branch around which all other branches grow. In the same manner, every championship team is built around a superstar player. For the past thirteen years, the Spurs have been fortunate to have a strong, reliable player to build its team around. Unfortunately, Tim Duncan has long passed his prime. He can no longer carry this entire team, especially on his weakened knees. IN order to rebuild a dynasty, the Spurs need a superstar to build around. I think James Anderson can be that player.
James has intrigued me ever since I first saw him a couple years back in that classic Oklahoma State vs Kansas game. I've been a fan ever since. Even though he played sparingly during the season, which was mainly because of a serious injury, he opened a lot of eyes with his fantastic play, especially on the defensive end. For a rookie who missed both the Summer League and part of his first training camp, he showed a surprisingly good understanding of the Spurs system. His stellar play at the start of the season had many expecting him, had he not gotten injured, to be a starter by the season's end. This shows me that James is more than just an average player but has the potential to be a star. During the off-season/lockout James has been keeping himself busy and has had some very good games in the Vegas Impact League. With the proper development, as well as some cooperation from his coach, I see no reason why there can't be multiple All Star appearances in Jame's future. James may not necessarily be a Hall of Fame caliber player but, with the right teammates around him, he is very capable of being the center point of the team in the future.
No one wins a championship alone. For every Batman, there has been a Robin. Bird had McHale, Jordan had Pippen, Kobe had Pau. Even Timmy had Manu an Tony to help him carry the load. If James Anderson is to be our Batman, he has the perfect Robin in Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard is the perfect compliment to Anderson because their strengths and weaknesses match up so perfectly. Whereas Anderson shines on the offensive end, when the ball switches sides Leonard becomes the star. His hustle and energy on defense can take a lot of pressure off of James and help him to stay fresh to produce on the other end. Leonard is not just a defensive stopper. There have been several reports on him working hard during the lockout to improve his offensive game. Watching some highlights from an exhibition game he played, Leonard looks more than capable of being a threat offensively. The kin of work ethic Kawhi possesses can only help him become a tremendous player and a major part of the Spurs future.
Every team has to have a glue guy. Someone who doesn't always put up gaudy numbers but is still someone who the opposing team makes a note to plan for. These players are not always easy to find which is why the Spurs can consider themselves very fortunate to have already found their's in Tiago Splitter. Tiago had a rough season but still showed he hustle and do-everything attitude that glue guys are made of. Tiago is a winner, he does what is necessary to win. Whether it's grabbing a big rebound or drawing a key charge, Tiago just makes winning plays and ,when added to James Anderson and Kawhi Leonard, he helps make up the core of the Spurs moving forward.
In my Opinion, there are many sure things in the Spurs' future, but there are also several uncertainties. While players like Blair, Neal and Corey Joseph can be solid to great role players, I think there's still a need for another star caliber player; one more player to take pressure off of Anderson and Leonard. This is the main area of uncertainty. Does one of the Spurs draft-and-stash players pan out into a star? Does Ryan Richards or Davis Bertans become the Spurs' third guy? Or does the team end up drafting or trading for someone else with All Star potential?
No one knows exactly what the future holds but it is clear that the Spurs have put themselves in a position to have success in the future. Whether they win a championship or not, the Spurs of the future will be a very successful team and a very fun team to be associated with. If all turns well and these seeds pan out the way they should, the great oak of the Spurs Dynasty will stand once more.