It's been quite an eventful offseason for the Spurs, who saw as much roster change in two weeks as they've seen for what seems like half a decade. They snatched the biggest free agent in LaMarcus Aldridge and became the co-favorites to win the West in 2015-16. Here's what pundits had to say about free agency and more.
Free Agency Links:
If you're not done reveling in the signings the Spurs made.
I've seen some hand-wringing over how Aldridge's ball-stopping post-ups fit into the Spurs' beautiful game, and about the depth San Antonio sacrificed — Cory Joseph, Aron Baynes, Tiago Splitter, Marco Belinelli — to make way for Aldridge. It's fine to be cautious, but good god, Lemon, the Spurs' old starting five was one of the best lineups in the NBA, and they just replaced Splitter with an All-Star who can defend almost as well, space the floor with a silky jumper, hit 3s, and bail out the offense with late-clock post-ups. This team is going to be ridiculous.
The Spurs? They always win. It's too early to declare them undisputed favorites, especially since the reloading Cavs have a much easier path to the Finals. The Thunder could earn their way back into this stratosphere fast. The defending champs are young, and the Spurs are leaning on at least five key players over 30. But the Spurs have a chance to be devastating.
- Zach also talked Spurs with Kevin Arnovitz on The Lowe Post. The part about the Spurs starts a little after the 40 minute mark.
The starting lineup is going to be outrageously good at every position, with so many options offensively and so much talent defensively...If things go right for them, I think they will, could, emerge as the favorites by the end of the season.
- SB Nation's Paul Flannery writes that the Spurs play by their own rules:
What they do, they do exceedingly well. They scouted Europe earlier and better than everyone else. They developed players and prolonged their careers by dealing with the schedule on their own terms, not anyone else's. They've been progressive on social issues without seeking adulation or praise. They've also been adaptable. After a string of good but not great seasons, the Spurs didn't just reinvent themselves. They shook up the whole league by incorporating elements of Mike D'Antoni's Suns into their trusted defensive framework and created a latter-day juggernaut in the process.
Yet, one can praise the Spurs and think highly of West's decision without lapsing into lazy sportswriting tropes. One can think that valuing a work environment above all else is as much a blow for individual freedom and control of the system as anything LeBron James is doing in Cleveland. San Antonio is an ecosystem unto itself and its players have empowered themselves as much as anyone by choosing this path of their own volition. There's a place for that in this league and it speaks to its uniqueness that there's only one.
- Dan McCarney wrote about super teams. Here's what he had to say about the Spurs:
Usually limited to augmenting their veteran core with value additions, a rare foray into the free-agent market could scarcely have gone much better for the Spurs. Not only did they land the biggest available prize in four-time All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, they attracted the attention of hard-nosed veteran David West, who eschewed more lucrative offers elsewhere to chase his first ring in San Antonio. And to keep Danny Green on a reasonable extension as well? Let's just say it's been a big summer in San Antonio.
- Hardwood Paroxysm's Ian Levy wrote that with West, the Spurs have an embarrassment of riches.
- Becky Hammon is the first woman to be the head coach of a Summer League team and she's done well so far, leading the team to a 4-1 record and a spot in the semifinals. She's gotten quite a bit of attention from the national media -- The New York Times did a piece on her and she did a Q&A with USA Today that I recommend. She also did a Q&A with Fortune.
- Hardwood Paroxysm's Brian Schroeder wrote about the Summer League, and was high on Kyle Anderson and Jonathon Simmons.
- The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote about Kyle Anderson embracing a leadership role with the Summer Spurs.
Coach Nick breaks down how LaMarcus is going to fit into the Spurs offense.
- Prior to being re-signed by the Spurs, Matt Bonner sat down with Michelle Beadle on her podcast, BeadleMania, to talk Pop, The Basketball Tournament, his role on the team, red hair and where he spends his offseason. Here's a link to the audio only.
If you haven't had the chance to see Jonathon Simmons in action yet, he can dunk. The Spurs may have found another hidden gem.
Danny Green did an interview at Summer League with NBA TV. I can't embed the video here, but it's a great interview and you should check it out if you haven't seen it.
If you saw or read something interesting, let me know in the comments and I'll add it.