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The San Antonio Spurs, Their Roster, and The Draft

The San Antonio Spurs pulled off the big trade on Tuesday opening up a bunch of roster positions that need to be filled. The next step in this here offseason is the draft and it could be interesting for us Spurs fans.

Where is the roster right now?

Thin. The roster is thin. We really only have 8 guys under contract (Marcus Williams is on a non-guaranteed deal and I think the Summer League will be the determining factor on him).

  • Tim Duncan - C
  • Tony Parker - PG
  • Manu Ginobili - SG
  • Richard Jefferson - SF
  • Matt Bonner - PF
  • Roger Mason -SG
  • George Hill -PG
  • Ian Mahinmi - PF

That is one hell of a base to build from, but we are decidedly thin on the front line. Matt and Ian are not a strong set of power forwards. We have no backup center and no backup small forward. The back court, on the other hand, is pretty solid.

I fully expect Bruce and one or both of Fab and Kurt to be back. Those will help to shore up the depth. But that still only gives us 10 players under contract and the league minimum is 13. The Spurs usually run at 14 or 15.

The Manu Trade Phobia

Manu isn't getting traded. He just isn't. I can't think of one scenario, short of Dwight Howard for Manu, that the Spurs would pull the trigger on. We aren't trading him for draft picks. No draft pick will be able to help us win this year. Not unless we got Blake Griffin. Nobody else, especially not a big, would help this team get past the Lakers. Not happening. Nope, not happening. Manu is a great player at a great value. Plus, we love him and that counts for something.

I will absolutely guarantee you that the Spurs don't pull the reverse of the Jefferson trade. What I mean by that is the Manu for a pupu platter of role playing bigs and a pick. Say, oh, Etan Thomas, Nick Young, and a top 5 pick (I know Washington already traded it) for an all-star. The front office isn't that dumb.

I expect the Spurs will either wait until next summer to decide on Manu OR sign him to a 3-year extension this summer at something like 6-7 million.

Roger Mason - Possible Trade Chip

I think Roger is the most likely to be traded. It depends on two things. 1) Does Pop still consider him a viable option as a backup point guard? 2) Is Michael Finley coming back?

I know as a collective blog opinion, we aren't big fans of Romaju at the point. But, our opinion doesn't mean shit. What matters is whether or not Pop wants to consider him the third point guard? George will enter the season as the back up, but Pop always likes having a third point guard. Does he think Roger is that third point guard?

If he doesn't, and especially if FinDog comes back, then Roger becomes somewhat expendable. He's also valuable as a trade asset since he's in the last year of a $3.8 million contract.

Help in the Draft

It is very unlikely, given we have three picks in the second round, that we get any help in this years draft. I stated earlier that we wouldn't get anybody in the draft that would help us win this year. I meant that for picks in the top 10. Where we are, we almost certainly won't even come up with anybody who will make the roster. Here are the Spurs second round picks for the last several years:

  • 2008 - Malik Hairson, James Gist
  • 2007 - Marcus Williams, Giorgos Printezis (a dude we traded to the Raptors)
  • 2006 - Damir Markota (a dude we traded to the Bucks)
  • 2005 - None
  • 2004 - Romain Sato (now a solid player in Italy), Sergei Karaulov
  • 2003 - None
  • 2002 - He Who Shall Not Be Named
  • 2001 - Robertas Javtokas, Bryan Bracey

Outside of picking talent and stashing it overseas for a few years, it's very difficult to get anybody to help you in the second round. Rarely will they help you in the following year.

Getting Into The First Round

We can trade into the first round. I will bet very, very heavy money that we will NOT trade a rotation player to do it. Not even Bonner and definitely not Mason. I don't think there is a player not named Griffin who would help the Spurs win next year more than Mason. Think about that.

We may, however, package up some second rounders to move into the first. Or, we could buy a pick. Or, we could trade next year's pick. I think all of these are unlikely unless the Spurs have targeted one player they really want. My guess it is somebody who would be in selected in the 20 range. I would find it very unlikely that whoever they get will be in the rotation next year. I doubted George as well though.

This Should Be Fun

I think there is a decent chance the Spurs make some moves for the draft and it should be fun evening. Just don't expect us to get any help in 2010 out of this year's draft. Free agency, on the other hand, is another story and that is just a week away.