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The buyout market won’t save the Spurs

Some intriguing names have recently become free agents, but should the Spurs try to add anyone at this point? The PtR staff discuses potential signings.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Utah Jazz Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade deadline in the past, now it’s time for the buyout market. There are some relatively big names already out there, like Isaiah Thomas and Dion Waiters, among others. Some veterans like Wayne Ellington, Reggie Jackson, Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe, just to name a few, are also expected to at least entertain buyouts.

The Spurs are one of the few teams who can offer more than the minimum, since they still have over $3 million left from their mid-level exception available, but they would have to waive someone — likely Chimezie Metu — to create a roster spot to add anyone.

Is there anyone currently in the buyout market or likely to be available soon that the Spurs should try to sign using the rest of the mid-level exception?

Marilyn Dubinski: There are two scenarios I would consider looking at the buyout market. One is if they suddenly go on a run, get back in the playoff hunt, and feel there is someone available that is that “one piece away” type of player who can get them over the hump. The other is if someone they see as a potential part of next season’s squad becomes available, and if that is the case I would like it to be another forward. (I’m not really in the loop on who is or might become available, but all the players listed above are pretty much repeats of what this team already has: guards or undersized small forwards.) Other than that, if this season continues to spiral out of the playoff hunt, I would rather the Spurs just go all in on the youth movement and work on developing the players they have.

Mark Barrington: The biggest if is whether the Spurs decide to buyout DeMarre Carroll, since they’re not going to play him. I’m not ready to give up on Metu yet, but if the Spurs can free up a roster spot by parting ways with Carroll, then why not pick up a shooter like Crabbe or Jackson? After the Rocky Mountain low in Colorado*, I’m resigned to the idea that this season is over, so they need to think about picking up someone that can help them in the future. I’m not super excited about any of the available guys, but there are a few available that would be upgrades for some of the current Spurs.

*Hey, a John Denver reference ... I’m old.

Bruno Passos: He’s past his prime, universally liked by teammates, would fill something of a need as a big wing, and I’m pretty sure the Spurs are the only organization he hasn’t played for, so here are the four words so many GMs have asked at least once before: Why not Jeff Green?

Jesus Gomez: I don’t think it makes sense for the Spurs to pursue anyone on the buyout market, simply because they seem committed to the group they have in place, for better or for worse. There was an opportunity to go all in on a youth movement at the deadline and they decided against it. Had they embraced the tank for this season, trying out someone like Dragan Bender would have been interesting. They also didn’t upgrade their roster with a trade. If they had decided to go all in on this season, maybe letting Metu go and adding a veteran big like Kyle O’Quinn, who wants out of Philadelphia, would have been the way to go.

Right now, after the inaction at the deadline, I think they just need to play the season out with what they have on the roster. Sure, there might be as small upgrade out there, but since the Spurs decided against making big changes that were likely needed, it feels unnecessary to make smaller ones that will have very little impact on their playoff chances.

Charlie O’Charles: As with most of their decision points over the last two seasons, whether or not the Spurs should pursue a player on the buyout market is wholly dependent on how they plan to get back to playing competitive basketball. Surprisingly, though, given that we’ve already reached the All-Star break, it’s still completely unclear what direction the Spurs are headed in. They appear stuck between the win now urges of their coaches and veteran players and the still burgeoning potential of their young core. Moving in either direction requires a sacrifice on the other end they’ve been heretofore unwilling to make.

It definitely wouldn’t make sense to add a player at this point just to make a belated and likely unsuccessful push for the playoffs. There just isn’t anybody available who’d move the needle that much. Once the Spurs give in to the realization that this is a lottery season, perhaps it will be worthwhile to take a flyer on a young under-performer if one is available. They’d have to create a roster spot to do that, though, and it’s hard to imagine the team cutting bait on any of the young talent it already has on hand. In the end, the best course of action is probably to just hold what they’ve got, which also happens to be by far the most likely option when it comes to the Spurs.