The Spurs are bringing back another staple from late last season in fan-favorite Georgian big man Sandro Mamukelashvili on a one-year, $2 million deal.
Free agent C Sandro Mamukelashvili has agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the San Antonio Spurs, his agents George Roussakis and Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2023
Affectionately known as Mamu, the Spurs claimed him off the waiver wires late last season after he was waived as a two-way player by the Milwaukee Bucks. His international flair and physical style of play immediately endured him to Spurs fans, and in 19 games he averaged 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting just under 35% from three. He was present last Saturday at the introductory press conferences for Victor Webanyama and Sidy Cissoko and said at the time we wanted to return but wasn’t sure what would happen, so I imagine he is just as happy to be back as Spurs fans are to have him.
Assuming his contract is guaranteed, his signing currently puts the Spurs at 16 guaranteed players, so something will have to change before the start of the regular season. This doesn’t mean the Spurs are done wheeling and dealing — they are still well under the salary limit, which the new CBA requires them to meet — so the fact that they keep resigning players at relatively low levels (Tre Jones, Julian Champagnie and Mamu have now combined to add just $15 million to their salary cap next season) suggests they have more moves up their sleeves.
Still, if there isn’t any addition-by-subtraction in the contract count by the start of the regular season, someone will have to be waived, with the most likely candidates being Khem Birch, who has never suited up for the Spurs, or maybe Lamar Stevens, whom they just acquired in a trade from the Cavaliers. They also still have Dominck Barlow on a qualifying offer, so he might be headed for another two-way contract, likely along with Cissoko and Sir’ Jabari Rice. There’s still some work to be done for the Spurs to meet the new CBA, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens!