Every year there are free agents that fly under the radar. While everyone is focusing on where Deron William will sign, quality players become an afterthought simply because they are not sure things. Instead of wasting our time trying to figure out convoluted trades for Roy Hibbert, SpursFanSteve and I decided to make a list of free agents that might not be flashy, but could be good additions to the team.
Also, since the Spurs don't have a first round draft pick this year, we came up with a couple young guys that might be available and could grow next to Kawhi.
The past few seasons, especially the season Tracy spent with Detroit, saw him move from being a scorer to a playmaker, and a pretty good one at that. Defensively, he's not a lockdown defender, but he does have the ability to cover both wing positions. Unless the Spurs lose Danny Green and James Anderson, and don't bring in Nando, he doesn't really fill a need. (SfS)
You said it all. Unless the Spurs lose a couple of wings, T-Mac is not needed. (Edg)
Roy is hinting about making a comeback. He has no cartilage in his knees, which means he can't play extended minutes and even if he does, he's not that dynamic scorer he once was. Every now and then, though, he can put together a throwback performance, and that's all the Spurs might need of him (Edg)
Nobody knows what Roy has left in the tank. He could still be an above average scorer and playmaker, or he could be completely useless. I'd think for the vet minimum that he would be worth trying out, though. If he's good (especially if we lose Green/Anderson), he would allow Pop to go back to starting Manu and Roy could play alongside Neal/Jackson easily. (SfS)
If we trade Gary Neal, Arenas could fill his instant offense/secondary playmaker role. This may come as a surprise to some, but Agent Zero would be an upgrade over Neal defensively as well. He's never been confused with an elite defender, but during the past season with Memphis he showed the ability to cover both guard positions. He realizes he's not the scorer he used to be, so he's putting out much more effort on that end. (SfS)
At his peak, Arenas was an unstoppable scorer. He won't be that again, but with improved conditioning and a defined role, he could be a decent 4th guard. Will he be happy in that role? (Edg)
Basically the same scenario as Brandon Roy. Young, loads of potential, but nobody has any idea if he'll ever be able to play a full season. My guess is no. I don't think he's worth the risk, considering that both Tim (rest) and Tiago (injury) will likely miss time next year. (SfS)
Oden might take next year off to try to finally get a clean bill of health, and that's a deal-breaker. But if he decides to play and can regain some of his athleticism, he could still be a game-changer defensively. It's still a no from me unless he has clearance to play this season. (Edg)
Odom had a nightmare of a season that ended when the Mavs released him before the playoffs. If he still has the motivation, he could be a godsend to the Spurs. Unfortunately, I can't see him signing here. (Edg)
Uncle Jeff, a prototypical ¾ combo forward, missed all of last season with a heart condition . There were some concerns about his attitude when he was traded from OKC to Boston, specifically regarding the number of offensive touches he wanted. Not a great defender, but definitely not a bad one either. (SfS)
Young, Mercurial Talents
I think Randolph is everyone's favorite "young guy with potential". At some point, don't you just have to say that potential isn't there, though? (SfS)
To be fair, there was a lot of dysfunction everywhere he went. Right now he's a 4th big at the most, but with a structured environment, I still think he could blossom into a quality starter. Yes, I'm still drinking the Ant Randolph Kool-Aid. (Edg)
Appears to have gotten his act together, and can play anywhere from shooting guard to power forward. If the Spurs had the cap room, he could be an excellent fit on the court. Off the court, who knows. (SfS)
B-Easy's talent as a scorer was never in question; that's why he was the 2nd pick in the draft. His lack of focus and commitment to doing the little things are what's holding him back. He can go off for 30 at any given game, but does he actually help his team get wins?(Edg)
Some Potential Running Mates for Kawhi
Donte Greene At 6-11 and with a guard's game, Greene has elite physical tools to be a match-up nightmare, but he doesn't seem to have a killer instinct and doesn't like playing under the basket. Considering the dysfunctional situations he was in with the Kings, there's still potential for Greene to become a great defender that could match the likes of Durant in terms of physical tools. (Edg)
Earl Clark I love Earl Clark. I think he's exactly the type of player the Spurs need, even if we don't necessarily need him. He can cover the 4 or the 5, is quick enough that he could switch on a screen to a smaller player, and produces at a decent clip per 36. Makes the occasional boneheaded mistake, but also doesn't get enough consistent playing time to learn from those mistakes. For the minimum, this would be the perfect type of pickup...assuming we don't get Bertans or Lorbek over this year. (SfS)
Daniel Orton Orton was Cousins' back up in Kentucky but still managed to sneak into the first round of the draft, thanks to his 6-10, 269 frame and above average athleticism. He struggled getting on the court with the Magic (who didn't pick up his option) and is clearly a long term project, but could blossom into a starting-caliber center and those are rare. (Edg)
Who Does Edg thinks the Spurs should pursue?
As you probably guessed from my comment, Anthony Randolph. The 23-year-old(!) can block shots and rebound and still has untapped potential. He's a restricted free agent but I doubt the Wolves are interested in matching an offer sheet considering he rarely saw the court this season.
Who does SfS think the Spurs should pursue?
As I mentioned earlier, if the Euro guys (specifically Bertans and Lorbek) either don't sign or turn out to be busts, Earl Clark could thrive in increased minutes. He could play with any of our other bigs, and his athleticism defensively should be what we need to match up with teams like the Thunder and the Heat when they go small. He was the Magic's most effective defender against Lebron James. If we need a wing, and Roy is willing to take whatever role Pop gives him, I say go for him. In order after those two are: Beasley, Green, and Randolph.