At 11:01 pm STTOTTM, free-agency begins. Teams can begin negotiating with players but trades can not be made and most free agents can't sign with teams until the NBA sets the salary cap and the July moratorium ends. On July 9th, teams can complete trades and sign free agents.
As you probably know, two thirds of the Spurs' roster will become free agents. With the Spurs usually doing little of note to the roster during the offseason, this sets up what could be the most exciting offseason in franchise history. Since only five players have guaranteed contracts, the Spurs have many options available to them from clearing some cap space to sign a max-deal type free agent to bringing back the entire squad.
Let's round up the rumors as well as what we think we know.
Tim Duncan is likely coming back
The signs point to Duncan returning for a 19th season. The veteran was named to the All-NBA second team in 2014-15 and was the best, most consistent player for the Spurs during their lone playoff series. If Tim surprises everyone and retires, it won't be because he can't play. If he does come back, it's been reported that a 2-year deal with a player option for the second year will be inked.
Manu Ginobili may or may not come back
The Argentine may still be making up his mind on whether to come back for one more run or start the next chapter of his life. We do know that Popovich told him that he'd like him to return and the coach also said that he expects Duncan and Gino to come back. Ginobili also wrote that he'll probably come back if Tim does. If he does come back, it will probably be for significantly less than the $7M he made last season, perhaps for the room exception (~$2.8M)
He's going to make his announcement exclusively in the Argentine newspaper, La Nación, "when the time comes."
Kawhi Leonard is not going anywhere
The Spurs will offer Leonard the 5-year max and he'll accept, but he'll be the last to sign for cap purposes. That's that.
Danny Green might be heading out of SA
Tom Ziller of SBNation wrote that Spurs rivals should do everything possible to steal Danny Green. Green hasn't gotten much press as a free agent as Ziller notes:
But here's the real reason Green is getting such little play in the rumor circuit: the damn Spurs! Even though San Antonio is chasing LaMarcus Aldridge and must pay Leonard a huge salary to keep him, everyone assumes the Spurs will find a way to keep Green. He's a vital cog, he's not a huge name and the Spurs have pretty incredible roster stability. Teams have been trying to lure away key Spurs for 15 years. It usually doesn't work. Whether GMs assume Green will take a discount to stay in San Antonio or that the Spurs will pay to keep him and waste suitors' time, the very presence of R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich in the proceedings tamps down the intrigue. The Spurs just don't lose players they don't want to lose. (And if the Spurs are willing to let them go, do you really want them?)
This week, a possible replacement [for Ellis] has popped up. According to CBS Sports' Ken Berger the Mavericks, are interested in Spurs guard Danny Green, who might be the odd-man out in San Antonio.
The Blazers' big man looks like he's getting out of Portland and the Spurs have been rumored to be in the running for the All-NBA power forward. The Spurs were named the favorites to acquire his services, but a new report from Ben Bolch of the L.A. Times suggests that the Lakers are now the favorites to land Aldridge.
Heard that LaMarcus Aldridge was leaning toward Lakers, a sign that their brand is not only back but never went away despite appearances.— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) June 30, 2015
If you're of the belief that Aldridge was never coming to San Antonio, well, there you go. If you're hoping that the Spurs can make a deal to bring LMA to the River City, remember to take that tweet with a handful of salt as it is an L.A. Times writer saying that L.A. is where it's at.
Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich will meet with Aldridge in L.A. on Wednesday morning.
UPDATE: Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Spurs have emerged as the frontrunners to land LaMarcus Aldridge.
SB Nation predicts where the top-50 free agents will go
You can check out the whole piece here. Here's what they predict that involves SA
- Kawhi Leonard will sign with the Spurs for a 5-year max
- LaMarcus Aldridge will sign with the Spurs on a 4-year max deal.
- Tim Duncan will return to the Spurs for three dollars and fifty cents.
- Danny Green will sign with the Blazers on a 4-year deal worth $48M.
Just what are the Spurs up to with the Cavaliers?
The Spurs have also reportedly contacted the Cavaliers about a potential trade for Brendan Haywood.
Because of a technicality, Haywood's contract for next season is $10.5 million and completely non-guaranteed. That means on July 1 the Spurs could agree to a trade involving Splitter or Diaw and perhaps Patty Mills for Haywood, waive him and make room to fit a maximum contract for LaMarcus Aldridge. The fact that these talks are going on is further proof that the Spurs consider themselves serious contenders to land Aldridge and are not willing to part ways with Danny Green to do so.
UPDATE: Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal tweeted that he was told that a trade involving Haywood was "never discussed."
Stay tuned. We'll keep you updated throughout the day and into free-agency.