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Spurs RFA and FA decisions’ predictions.

This offseason, 8 of the Spurs player will be either FA or RFA. The team is struggling to make the playoff for the second season in a row but with Pop still at the helm, they will probably continue to try to reach them next season. That goal will impact the decision on those 8 players.
To make those predictions, I try to answer the following questions:

What does the player wants?
Does the Spurs need that player?
Does other NBA team need/wants that player?
Can the Spurs pay that player?
Can other NBA team pay that player?

Without further ado, let’s jump directly to each player situation.

The one that are likely gone: Weatherspoon, Lyles.


Lyles
While being more experience and a former lottery pick, Lyles is in the same situation as Weatherspoon: last year of his contract with Samanic planned to replaced him in the rotation. I didn’t understand why the Spurs kept him this year (despite being an injury insurance) when the bubble show they didn’t need him to compete. Just like Weatherspoon Lyles doesn’t really have any leverage to convince the Spurs to keep him.


Weatherspoon.
Being on the second year of a two-way, Weatherspoon has no leverage and can’t get another two-way. Also his skills set and position overlaps with all the other young guards. Even more importantly, Tre Jones have already leap frog him in the rotation (74mpg. Vs 129mpg for Tre, tre got inserted into the game earlier systematically).
He is on such a cheap contract that almost all NBA team could add him but being a fringe NBA player right now it doesn’t matter.

The one that will likely stay: Mills, Eubanks, Dieng, Jones


Tre Jones
The other second round pick on the roster is in a totally different situation: first year of his NBA contract, impressive showing in the G-league Bubble, unique skills set as a pass first point guard, only 2 other PG on the team. With a 1.5 million salary for next season keeping him is an easy decision.

To answer (my own) question:
What does the player wants? Irrelevant
Does the Spurs need that player? YES
Does other NBA team need/wants that player? Not enough to go out of their way to snatch him.
Can the Spurs pay that player? YES
Can other NBA team pay that player? YES

Patty Mills.
The oldest tenure Spurs will likely sign a new contract and finish his career in San Antonio. The Spurs needs his skillset, his leadership, his experience and his role in sustaining the Spurs culture. The Spurs will also have cap space and Bird rights to keep him. Most signs point to Patty wanting to stay. So unless a crazy offer is made in FA, he will probably stayed.


Eubanks
Eubanks earned his contracts in the bubble last year and proved this season that it was a wise decision. The Spurs did get Dieng after buying out Aldridge but it shouldn’t change the outlook for Drew: he was sign to be the third big and has fulfill that role well enough to get his second year of contract guarantee. He is a good teammates, accept his role and knows the system.

Dieng
The newest member of the team was added to take Aldridge role: space the floor off the bench and play some defense, two things the Spurs need. He also give the roster a third big. Other teams wanted him but he chose the Spurs so there is a good chance he wants to stay there.
Still he will need to fit and perform well to get another contract with the Spurs. A playoff team in need of depth could also decide to pay him next season.
The Spurs and Dieng are getting an extensive look at each other. If that’s a match, the partnership could be extended, if not both parties will be free this summer.

The mysterious one: Gay and Derozan


Rudy Gay
For the 6 previous player, it is fairly easy to have an educated guess about their future with the Spurs. For Rudy it is not that clear, so let’s start with the question first:

What does the player wants? Not clear
Does the Spurs need that player? YES
Does other NBA team need/wants that player?YES
Can the Spurs pay that player? YES
Can other NBA team pay that player? YES

We can answer most of the question and that gives us a pretty good idea of the situation: San Antonio, like most NBA teams needs a big wing who can shoot 3 and defend. The Spurs have 2 advantages: they have both cap space and Bird Rights. They also have minutes available. However, should the Spurs really re sign him? After a very high 3pt% it wouldn’t stun me if he is not that accurate next year. IN his career his career high from 3 are follow by career low (https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gayru01.html). His 2pt% also dipped this year, which could be a sign of time catching up to him.
Still Gay could fit into most NBA playoff teams (with Boston and the Clippers being exception). If he wants to chase a ring he might be gone.

Demar Derozan
He is in a similar situation. Just like Rudy it will come down to what he wants:

What does the player wants? Not clear
Does the Spurs need that player? YES
Does other NBA team need/wants that player? Some
Can the Spurs pay that player? YES
Can other NBA team pay that player? Not many

However, Derozan might not be as sought after as Rudy because of his abysmal defense and complete lack of 3pt shooting. The Spurs will be the in the best position to extend him thanks to their cap space, his bird right and his fit with the team. Not many teams will have cap space to sign him. Possible destination could be New York or Chicago or any team desperate to make the playoff (that’s probably include the Spurs). He might be the best FA option available this off-season baring any contender imploding.

The swing factors are probably what Derozan wants which i am obviously unaware of and from the FO how much money they want to offer him. There was talk of inseason extension but they didn't come to fruition. If Derozan can't find any better on the market he is likely to stay.


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