We have reached the finale of our five-part series looking back at the Spurs’ championship teams and what those players are up to now. If you missed any of the 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007 squads, be sure to check them out, and today we are looking at the 2013-14 Spurs: easily the most memorable and satisfying championship story of them all (for more reason than just being the most recent). While the glow from that team didn’t translate to more longevity for reasons that don’t need to be completely rehashed here, it was a team full of feel-good stories and still one of the more celebrated for transforming the NBA with The Beautiful Game.
As a reminder, players who appeared on more than one championship team will only be listed in their first appearance to avoid repetition, so for Tim Duncan, refer back to 1999; for Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, refer back to 2003; and for Matt Bonner, refer back to 2007. Without further ado, here are the rest of the 2013-14 Spurs!
Jeff Ayers (#11) — The 31st overall pick in 2009, Ayers didn’t have the longest NBA career, with the pinnacle being the 2014 championship. After that, his NBA career was mostly over (some might remember a heartbreaking moment from the 2014-15 season, where he seemed to know that as Duncan comforted him following a garbage time blunder), with his only other NBA appearances being a couple of stints with the Clippers the following season, along with playing for the G League Idaho Stampede. Since then, his career has been entirely overseas, playing in Moscow, Japan, Turkey, and the BIG3.
Aron Baynes (#16) — Another young third stringer at the time, the Big Thunder from Down Under had a much more lucrative NBA career since leaving the Spurs in 2015 as a solid player for the Pistons, Celtics, Suns and Raptors. However, his life took a turn at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 while representing Australia, when he didn’t return from the locker room and was found collapsed on the floor with a mysterious spinal injury. After initially fearing he would never walk again, he made the long road to recovery and currently plays for the Brisbane Bullets of the NBL, hoping to someday make an NBA comeback.
Marco Belinelli (#3) — One of the better outside shooters of his generation but always a journeyman, Belinelli returned to the Spurs for a second stint from 2018-2020, and while his first season back was full of thrilling shots on their way to their 22nd straight playoff appearance, his scoring plummeted the next season. That ended up being the end of his NBA career, and since 2020, he has been back with his old club in Italy, Virtus Bologna, where he has received all kinds of accolades (championships, 2x 6th man of the year, etc.)
Austin Daye (#23) — A former 15th overall pick who was supposed to be a solid two-way player but never quite put it all together in NBA, Daye was acquired by the Spurs mid-season in 2014 after Nando de Colo requested a trade and was waived a year later. He then signed a multi-year contract with the Hawks but was waived during the 2015 offseason before being signed and waived by the Cavaliers the following preseason. Since then, he has mostly remained overseas, currently playing for Victoria Libertas Pesaro in the Italian Basketball League (Series A).
Boris Diaw (#33) — Often credited as the missing piece who helped the Spurs put everything together in 2014, he remained in San Antonio for two more seasons before being traded to the Jazz. After one season in Utah, he was waived and played one season for Levallois Metropolitans in the French league before officially retiring in 2018. Since then, he has been living the good life, enjoying his pastimes of photography, wine tasting and sailing. In 2019, he became president of Metropolitans 92: Victor Wembanyama’s former club.
Danny Green (#4) — What a story Green has been: from an overlooked, immature second round pick to three-time champion and all-defensive NBA player. Although he’s been a journeyman since being traded along with Kawhi Leonard in 2018, he played a big role on two more championship teams with the Raptors in 2019 and Lakers in 2020, becoming the third player along with Robert Horry and John Salley to win a championship with three different clubs. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in 2021, and after a couple of comeback attempts with the Grizzlies and Cavs, he is currently an unrestricted free agent.
Cory Joseph (#5) — One of the Spurs’ many solid picks at 29th overall in 2011, Joseph is most known in San Antonio for posterizing defensive wall Serge Ibaka in the 2014 Western Conference Finals, waking the Spurs back up and avoiding a repeat of 2012. Since leaving in 2015, he has been a solid backup point guard for several clubs, most recently signing with the Warriors this offseason.
Kawhi Leonard (#2) — Few (if any) high profile players have left he Spurs on poorer terms than Leonard, but everyone knows that story by now, so moving on. After winning the 2019 championship with the Raptors, Leonard made it to his desired destination of the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency, and while he has mostly gotten whatever he wants there — including Paul George as a teammate: something the Spurs didn’t have the pieces to provide for him — his career has remained injury-plagued. Beyond making the All-Star game and leading them to the WCF in 2020, he has only averaged 53 games in the three seasons he’s played with the Clippers while missing the entire 2021-22 with a torn ACL.
Patty Mills (#8) — We move on from of the most hated to most beloved of this group (outside the Big Three, of course). Mills remained with the Spurs until 2021 as their locker room leader and heart and soul of the team before moving on to the Brooklyn Nets as San Antonio transitioned to a youth movement. He made a little bit news this offseason after being part of four teams in ten days: traded from the Nets to the Rockets, then to the Thunder and finally the Hawks. Today, the only remaining debate about Mills among Spurs fans is if his #8 jersey will hang in the rafters someday.
Tiago Splitter (#22) — After a very solid five years with the Spurs, Splitter was traded to the Hawks midseason in 2015 but missed the rest of the season following hip surgery. Unfortunately, the rest of his career was injury-plagued, only appearing in 32 games for the Hawks the next season, and after missing the first several months of the 2016-17 season, he was traded to the 76ers, appearing in 8 games while attempting to play on a prosthetic hip. He then retired and has since made a career in coaching as a pro scout and developmental coach for the Nets beginning in 2018, and last month he was hired by Ime Udoka as an assistant coach for the Rockets.
And with that, we have hit the end of this series! Remember to check out the 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007 teams if you missed any of them, and stick around for plenty more offseason content! Even though August is typically the most dull time of year for NBA fans, it also means September and training camp is just around the corner, not to mention this will be a big weekend for the Spurs, with Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich and Becky Hammon all entering the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. We’ll have plenty of coverage of that big event, so stay tuned!