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The complete guide to the Spurs 2016 offseason

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The season is over, so it's time to take a look at the salary cap numbers and assets the Spurs will have when the draft and free agency arrive.

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The Spurs' season was an unqualified success, but it's now over. That means it's time to focus on the future and that starts with taking a close look at the cap situation going forward. The core is in place, with LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker headlining it, but there are a lot of question marks on the periphery.

Until we know for sure whether Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will retire, it's impossible to know exactly what the roster needs will be or what resources the Spurs will have to fill them. We can, however, take a look at the different scenarios and make informed guesses about what R.C. Buford and the rest of the front office will have to face once free agency starts.

What's the Spurs cap situation?

There are two distinct scenarios to consider, depending on whether Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili return. It's unclear what David West will do at this point, so let's assume he opts in only if Duncan and Ginobili stick around. Let's also assume that the Spurs are intent on keeping both Jonathon Simmons and Boban Marjanovic.

The latest projections have the salary cap for the 2016/17 season set at $92 million

(All cap figures are courtesy of Eric Pincus from Basketball Insiders.)

If Duncan and Ginobili return

LaMarcus Aldridge $20,575,005
Kawhi Leonard $17,638,063
Tony Parker $14,445,313
Danny Green $10,000,000
Boris Diaw $7,000,000 (partially guaranteed)
Tim Duncan $6,393,750
Patty Mills $3,578,948
Manu Ginobili $2,940,630
David West $1,551,659
Boban Marjanovic $1,500,000 (qualifying offer)
Kyle Anderson $1,192,080
Jonathon Simmons $874,636 (not guaranteed)
29th pick $983,400
Total $88,673,484

In this scenario, the Spurs are over the cap thanks to cap holds and exceptions. They could save $4 million by waiving Diaw and his partially guaranteed contract, if they do so before June 30th.

If Duncan and Ginobili retire

LaMarcus Aldridge $20,575,005
Kawhi Leonard $17,638,063
Tony Parker $14,445,313
Danny Green $10,000,000
Boris Diaw $7,000,000 (partially guaranteed)
Patty Mills $3,578,948
Boban Marjanovic $1,500,000 (qualifying offer)
Kyle Anderson $1,192,080
Janathon Simmons $874,636 (not guaranteed)
29th pick $983,400
Roster spot charge $543,471
Roster spot charge $543,471
Total $78,874,387

The Spurs would be about $13 million under the cap, provided they renounce the cap holds to Ginobili and Duncan as well as the rest of the other free agents. And they could save that $4 million by waiving Diaw.

So can the Spurs sign a max free agent or not?

Not without making some big moves. Keep in mind that this is all built around the estimates we have. But with the cap projected to be set at $92 million, a maximum salary for Kevin DurantAl Horford or Mike Conley would start at $27.6 million. Even if Duncan and Ginobili retire, the Spurs would have to cut some salary.

Here's what it would take to make room in the scenarios explored above:

If Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili opt in

If all three of Duncan, Ginobili and West opt in, the Spurs would need to salary dump (trade to a team under the cap that can absorb salary without sending any back) Tony Parker, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw to free up enough room. Moving Danny Green instead of Parker wouldn't be enough.

It's fair to say this won't happen, as Parker isn't going anywhere. That said, here are the numbers.

Max free agent $27,600,000
LaMarcus Aldridge $20,575,005
Kawhi Leonard $17,638,063
Danny Green $10,000,000
Tim Duncan $6,393,750
Manu Ginobili $2,940,630
David West $1,551,659
Boban Marjanovic $1,500,000 (qualifying offer)
Kyle Anderson $1,192,080
Jonathon Simmons $874,636 (not guaranteed)
29th pick $983,400
Roster spot charge $543,471
Total $90,836,165

If Duncan and Ginobili retire

If Tim and Manu say goodbye, salary dumping Diaw and Green is enough to get them far enough under the cap to offer a max contract. You could replace Green with Parker to get more room to make other additions but, again, it would be completely out of character for the Spurs to dump Parker.

Max free agent $27,600,000
LaMarcus Aldridge $20,575,005
Kawhi Leonard $17,638,063
Tony Parker $10,000,000
Patty Mills $6,393,750
Boban Marjanovic $1,500,000 (qualifying offer)
Kyle Anderson $1,192,080
Jonathon Simmons $874,636 (not guaranteed)
29th pick $983,400
Roster spot charge $543,471
Roster spot charge $543,471
Roster spot charge $543,471
Total $90,017,858

The team's depth would take a serious hit, but if Diaw really is on the way out, then it's the replacement of Green with the remaining cap room that would be tough to accomplish.

What if Duncan and Ginobili return and take pay cuts?

It's technically possible for Duncan and/or Ginobili to opt out only to re-sign for smaller salaries. It would be the best case scenario, as they would not make a big dent on the Spurs' cap room while helping them get solid depth for cheap. Dumping Green and Diaw wouldn't be as costly. But it's hard to see that happening.

It would require both players to decide what they are going to do before free agency even starts, since the deadline to pick up player options is in June. Leaving more money on the table -- when they could simply opt in on a contract they signed just last offseason -- would be almost too selfless, even for those two.

If Duncan and/or Manu return, it's likely that they simply opt in.

Would stashing the first round pick help create cap space?

Yes, but it won't likely make much difference. The 29th pick in the draft is slotted to be paid under $1 million in his first season, and the charge for a roster spot is just over $500,000. The savings are not significant enough to change any of the scenarios above. if the Spurs draft and stash someone, then it's because they feel like that's the best player available.

What's the best case scenario if they can't sign a max free agent?

If Duncan and/or Ginobili return

Even if just Duncan opts in, there wouldn't be much cap flexibility. The best move would probably be to trade Diaw for immediate help instead of dumping him, remain over the cap, keep Marjanovic and Simmons and use two exceptions -- the mid-level and biannual -- to add role players who can contribute right away. The clock would be ticking.

If Duncan and Ginobili retire

But If the two retire, the Spurs could carve out a decent chunk of cap room to make a signing by salary dumping Diaw. The Leonard-Aldridge championship window won't close for a few years, so going younger would make a lot of sense. Gambling on players with potential like Festus EzeliBismack BiyomboEvan Fournier and Jordan Clarkson might be the smart play. That would be the long term play.

Can you answer my salary cap/free agency-related question?

Maybe. We'll do our best. Ask in the comments and we'll try to answer it there or in another post.