Spurs Sign Key Free Agents. Now What?

Mar. 27, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard/forward Danny Green (4) and forward (33) Boris Diaw during game against the Phoenix Suns at the US Airways Center. The Spurs defeated the Suns 107-100. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

So it looks like the Spurs have locked up Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw, Danny Green and Patrick Mills for the next couple of years. San Antonio also appears to be bringing Nando DeColo over from Spain. Based on my limited knowledge of the Salary Cap, the Spurs appear to be more or less done with the signing of players. I think most Spurs fans would agree that these four signings were good and help the team for the most part.

However, the Spurs didn't address what many would consider their most glaring need. A defensive big man who ideally would help stretch the floor on offense and gobble up rebounds while patrolling the paint. The ever elusive big that can help switch on guys like Kevin Durant and LeBron James. Alas, it looks as if the Spurs are stuck with Matt Bonner and DeJuan Blair as their 4th and 5th big men. San Antonio couldn't even get Erazem Lorbek to leave Europe to join the team, although he was never considered a defensive player.

So what now? Are the Spurs going to roll into the 2012-2013 season with virtually the same roster as last season?

Albert Einstein once said:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Are the Spurs practicing a form of insanity? I don't think so. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking at the off-season for the Spurs thus far:

  • The off-season isn't over. The Spurs have some decent trade pieces in DeJuan Blair, Matt Bonner and Gary Neal. It would make sense to move at least one big and Neal with the guys the Spurs have on their roster.
  • A full season with Diaw will only help his defense and his offense. Diaw isn't a shot blocker and he probably isn't even a really good one-on-one defender, but when a guy can play good team defense, it makes everyone on the floor that much better. I'm hoping a motivated Diaw will drop some weight and be able to play better pick and roll defense, allowing Duncan to stay at home in the paint.
  • Green is still young and can improve. Danny is 25 and has only been with the Spurs one and a half years. He appeared to lose some confidence against OKC, but that doesn't mean he's done. He's not Winter Shoes. Let's give the guy a little credit - he's fought a long way to even be on a NBA team. I'm guessing he's got the intestinal fortitude to overcome a poor showing in the WCF.
  • DeColo should provide a boost to our second unit. I'm basing this off second hand information, but Nando can pass and shoot. In that order. He should be able to help any 2nd unit player with his ability to distribute, and if his shooting is as good as advertised, he should keep his defender from cheating too much.
  • Kawhi Leonard is just going to get better. His work ethic appears to be the kind we all want our kids to have. If he can continue to grow his game, both offensively and defensively, the Spurs may end up with a very, very special player. Last year's playoff experience can do nothing but help him grow and learn, and then the Spurs become even better.

Things may not be as different as we'd like, but let's not sit here and act like things are just the same as last year. One other note to help keep you from chewing your nails to the bone: The Spurs weren't far away last year.

You cannot convince me that both the Thunder and the Heat were vastly superior teams to San Antonio. The Spurs were a couple of bounces away from winning a couple of those games they lost to the Thunder and possibly getting back to the Finals. And let's not forget that Miami was down to both Indiana and Boston before they came back. This team can compete with any team going right now, and I don't think major changes were needed, thus the lack of them.

Remember how good the Spurs were last year. It's not like this team needed a major overhaul. Just let PATFO keep Pounding that Rock to find those gems that can help this team get back to the top.

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