I spent most of the day on the run and away from the internet, so when I read “Davis Bertans traded” I stood for a moment in disbelief before my fingers could find the keys on my phone to dissect what had happened.
If you are like me, becoming invested in Spurs players and then watching them go is the least enticing aspect of fandom. Watching a player get traded is painful. I appreciate that the Spurs generally take a player up a notch and develop the talent. Seeing them send someone away hits a nerve associated with betrayal and giving up.
I realize of course that the NBA is a business as much as it is a game and no fifteen-man squad will stay together for very long. But I fondly remember that the last time my favorite team won an NBA Championship, they turned around and resigned everybody and added only Kyle Anderson, the 30th draft pick.
The Spurs had some offseason needs and trading Davis Bertans accomplished several things.
1. Bertans had one year left on his lower budget contract and was most likely going to be poached. The pangs of great player development is that other teams want your players as soon as their contracts are up. In particular, this happens repeatedly to the Spurs and most young players after rookie contracts cannot financially be retained. We saw Aron Baynes, Boban Marjanovic, and Kyle Anderson all pull up camp for greener pastures. Bertans was next.
2. DeMarre Carroll is now locked in for three years instead of two. Looking at his age, that may not appear to be the best news. But with the Spurs going younger, a veteran presence who will now most likely end his career in San Antonio is a serious asset.
3. The extra roster spot has now gone to Marcus Morris. Moody attitude aside, Morris is a tenacious player, a true asset to have on any team. He’s twenty-nine, he is strong, and he’s a baller. When either Los Angeles team comes to town, their star small forward will have his work cut out for him.
So, who starts? Obviously LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan and Dejounte Murray. If DeRozan is the shooting guard, then Rudy Gay and Jakob Poeltl could round out your five.
If DeRozan starts at the small forward position, then Derrick White could be starting.
If Aldridge starts as the center, we could see DeMarre Carroll or Morris starting.
Sounds like a good time to go around the room once for everybody to share their dream line-ups and bench support.
And of course, let Spurs nation know how you felt about Bertans’ departure and the addition of Morris.
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