In response to Phil Naessens' post on what will happen when Tim Duncan is no longer a Spur, a PtR regular with a exceptionally appropriate handle, td4life, made an excellent point about the dire circumstances that PATFO will find themselves in:
Enjoy these next two seasons ... [because] the next all-star the Spurs convince to take a free agency offer will be the first. If they struck out on lesser caliber players when they were actually contenders with Duncan, I can't imagine they will be a stronger destination without him when they become a team just hoping to make to playoffs. A guy like Lamarcus Aldridge might as well stay on a young team like Portland if he's not going to join a contender like Houston or Chicago. Right now, you are looking at Leonard, a 33 year old TP, and bunch of role-players. They need to find big time steals late in the next two drafts, or it's going to get very ugly, and by ugly I mean middle-of-the-pack mediocrity.
I hear these arguments, and they are strong. But there's one possibility td4life is not considering and to be honest, I hadn't thought of until now. It has obviously been a difficult thing to get a top-tier FA to join the Spurs with Tim Duncan ruling the roost, but it could be a different thing to get a franchise guy to come to San Antonio in order to be the man after Duncan has hung them up.
Aldridge is the kind of guy that Pop could surely build around, but we're kidding ourselves if we think Pop requires an elite power forward to make a contender. The style change the Spurs have made over the last three years should be enough to show us what the old man is capable of. He needs elite talent, period. Not talent at a specific position.
And all he needs is one elite FA who sees the possibilities inherent in coming to a team with all of the role players already in place. And Pop ready to pull the strings like the puppet master he is.
Just one player.