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  1. #701
    Veteran r0drig0lac's Avatar
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    Anybody can get behind the paywall on the athletic?

    https://theathletic.com/1041885/2019...his-offseason/
    By Jabari Young Jun 23, 2019 14
    SAN ANTONIO – The question was simple, and Gregg Popovich provided a simple answer that today can be used as insight to what the Spurs could be seeking when free agency kicks off at the end of this month.

    What was the decision to bring veteran Dante Cunningham onboard after the two sides agreed to a one-year, roughly $2.4 million deal last year?

    “He’s veteran,” Popovich said during Spurs media day before last season. “He’s a pro. He plays aggressively. He can play some defense; he can score; he’s been with other programs; and he’ll add another player that’s been around and understand how this works.”

    Cunningham, 32, certainly provided his fair share of moments for the Spurs. His best outing, on the stat sheet, came on Nov. 19 when he scored 19 points on 7-of-7 shooting (5-for-5 on 3-pointers), seven rebounds and three assists in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

    Popovich praised his defensive efforts in the thrilling Oct. 22 overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers when Cunningham, before fouling out, secured a game-high 12 rebounds and did his best to help slow down LeBron James. And against those same Pelicans, Cunningham also had a 15-point, seven-rebound outing in the Nov. 3 contest.

    In the first 22 games of the season, Cunningham, who was signed to be a role player off the bench, started 18 times, averaging 22.5 minutes for the Spurs.

    “We didn’t expect him to be playing all these minutes and he’s taking advantage of the opportunity,” Popovich said after that Nov. 3 game against the Pelicans. “I think he’s been really good for us. He sets the tone defensively. LaMarcus (Aldridge) goes under the bucket, and Dante is picking people up who are really good shooters, or good one-on-one players, and he’s done a great job.”

    So, at Cunningham’s price tag, it fair to say the Spurs got a good deal for what he was able to provide when he got extended opportunities. But Cunningham isn’t expected back next season, and the Spurs will have to look to replace his role off the bench.

    Unless a significant transaction occurs, the Spurs will be likely operating over the salary cap but not into luxury territory. Hence, they will be able to use the $9.2 million non-taxpayer mid-level exception to add one or multiple players and have the veteran’s minimum slot as well.

    If Popovich’s explanation of Cunningham’s signing last season serves as criteria, here are 10 players who could fit the Spurs next season:

    Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
    (Soobum Im / USA Today)
    Trevor Ariza
    After completing a successful stint with the Houston Rockets, Ariza chased the money last offseason and signed a one-year, $15 million deal with the Phoenix Suns. He provided leadership, but the fit wasn’t right on the court.

    In 26 games, Ariza averaged 9.9 points and shot 37.9 percent from the field (36 percent from 3) before he was traded to the Washington Wizards last December. He performed better with the Wizards, averaging 14.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 43 games.

    The days of Ariza, 33, earning $15 million per season are over. He’s more of a mid-level player now and could be a stable fit for the Spurs — who, league sources told The Athletic, were interested in his services when he became available last season.

    The Spurs could offer Ariza the full mid-level or persuade him to take a bit less and use the remaining money to sign another veteran. Ariza is still a good defender who can stretch the floor by hitting the 3. And, as Popovich said of Cunningham, he’s been around and understands how it all works.

    If Rudy Gay departs in free agency, perhaps Ariza can help fill the void off the bench. And if Gay returns, nothing wrong with having a similar wing in the second unit or maybe a starter at moments of the season when the Spurs are grappling with injuries.

    Jeff Green
    Speaking of the Wizards, forward Jeff Green will be another free agent worth keeping an eye on. Green played last season on a one-year vet minimum valued at roughly $2.3 million, a deal similar to Cunningham’s. Perhaps he would be interested in taking another minimum deal with the Spurs.

    Green, 32, averaged 12.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in 77 games with the Wizards last season. He’s known as a locker-room guy and as someone who can provide some big outings at times. The thing is, don’t expect Green to be consistent when it comes to those outings.

    “He’s always been such an enigma that you don’t know what you’re going to get night to night,” one Eastern Conference scout said. “But I can also see him being a little Spur-ish in his skill set. I just don’t know if he’ll have the night-to-night focus that Pop would like.”

    But the Spurs wouldn’t need Green to come up big every game. If they can live with the type of player he is — a scorer and someone who loves to play but is perfectly fine being a role player — maybe this could be a beautiful one-year partnership.

    Wesley Matthews
    Here is a name the Spurs flirted with through the buyout market. Matthews said Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan attempted to recruit him to the Spurs before he selected the Indiana Pacers.

    Word around the league is the Pacers will not attempt to bring back Matthews, allowing the veteran guard to sign with any team he desires.

    Though there were signs of slippage, Matthews is still respected as a solid 3-and-D wing. If he can accept a secondary role, Matthews could provide the Spurs with another 3-point threat who can stretch the floor for Aldridge, his former teammate in Portland.

    It might take more than the vet minimum to get Matthews to San Antonio. If the Spurs decide to split the mid-level money between two players, maybe they could persuade Matthews with the right deal.

    But if the two recruiters made any traction with Matthews months ago, it shouldn’t take much to get Matthews to sign with the Spurs.

    Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
    (Jeff Hanisch / USA Today)
    Wayne Ellington
    Of the players mentioned so far, Ellington is probably the perfect Spur. Ellington can shoot, is a better defender than what he’s given credit for and is a reliable team defender.

    With the Detroit Pistons, Ellington was charged with the task of defending multiple positions, and some of the assignments were bigger than Ellington. But the University of North Carolina product held his own and competed.

    After he was traded by the Miami Heat and waived by the Phoenix Suns, Ellington signed with the Pistons, where he finished the season averaging 12 points and shot 37.3 percent on 3-pointers. What makes Ellington stand out the most when it comes to potential free-agent targets are his character and team-first mindset.

    “He’s that 1,000 percent,” a league exec said when discussing Ellington. “He would fit what is known as the Spurs’ culture. He would embrace it. He wouldn’t mind being coached hard by Pop because he’s going to play the right way.”

    Jonathon Simmons
    “His best days were there,” the league exec said. “Maybe they can rekindle that.”

    Simmons’ rights are now with the Washington Wizards after he was traded on draft night by the Philadelphia 76ers. Many around the NBA expected Simmons, who is scheduled to make roughly $5.7 million next season, to be waived by next month, but that all changed Thursday.

    As of now, the feeling is the Wizards will keep Simmons around. Should that change, he’s guaranteed only $1 million next season if he’s waived.

    Would the Spurs be interested in a possible reunion if Simmons’ time with the Wizards is short-lived?

    If he becomes available, Simmons will most likely be grouped with the second or third wave of free agents. Should the Spurs miss out on some bigger targets, maybe Simmons is still around and decides to return on a one-year deal, hoping to have a productive season and make up lost revenue next summer.

    Though he didn’t show much of it in Philly, Simmons is still a capable defender who can create his own shot and get into the lane. The Spurs do need more 3-point shooting, but Popovich always loves a player willing to compete and defend. And the Spurs should know how to incorporate Simmons better than any other team, as the Houston native developed under their watch before he departed in 2017.

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
    In one of the earlier news items of the week, ESPN.com reported the Brooklyn Nets did not extend Hollis-Jefferson his $3.9 million qualifying offer. He will now become an unrestricted free agent.

    League sources have informed The Athletic that Hollis-Jefferson will explore his options and has not pinpointed any potential suitors. Though nothing is official, the Spurs should consider the former University of Arizona standout.

    It’s known the Spurs like to get in-depth intel on players they are considering for their program. Sean Marks, the former Spurs GM and current Nets GM, should be able to provide all the insight needed about Hollis-Jefferson’s potential fit.

    On the court, Hollis-Jefferson is praised for his defense and has good size at 6-foot-7. He can provide energy off the bench and would be reliable in transition with his athleticism. The problem …

    “No offense to speak of,” a scout said. “He’s supposed to be a three, but he can’t put the ball in the hole.”

    And here is what will be the issue for Hollis-Jefferson.

    In his four-year career, he shot 44.4 percent from the field and 22.3 percent from beyond the arc. Where he makes up for his shooting woes is through his reputation of playing hard. Again, the Spurs admire players who will compete, but whether Hollis-Jefferson provides enough offense will be one of the questions the team will consider if it explores a signing.

    Paul Millsap
    The Nuggets will need to decide on Millsap soon, as he has a team option worth $30 million for next season.

    Millsap averaged 12.6 points and 7.2 rebounds for the second-seeded Nuggets, who eliminated the Spurs from the postseason. Those numbers aren’t terrible, but the price to bring Millsap back to the Mile High City might be a bit too much.

    Millsap is one of the better frontcourt defenders, and he’s not afraid to shoot the 3. If he’s in a lineup with Aldridge, he could see plenty of opportunities from beyond the arc.

    The question: How much would it cost to add Millsap? He should have a fair share of suitors capable of paying him more than the mid-level exception. But if Millsap has an interest in the Spurs, this is a potential addition that could be intriguing.

    Stanley Johnson
    Since the trade deadline, Johnson’s name has always been linked to the Spurs. Assistant GM Brian Wright was in Detroit’s front office when Johnson was drafted eighth overall in 2015.

    Some are still trying to understand what Johnson, who’s 6-foot-7, is at this level. A guard? Small forward? He’s not the best shooter and is a streaky scorer, but he is also known as a good defender when he wants to compete. The good, or bad depending on perspective: Johnson just turned 23 last month.

    Usually, teams will still attempt to develop a player of that age and mold him into something that fits their needs. Whether Johnson will go along with the plan has been the question many league execs have asked when discussing his services.

    The talent is there, though. The Spurs might need to do a little convincing — not much — and if Johnson buys in, he could be a quiet steal when it’s all said and done.

    Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
    Could Amir Johnson, right, be on the Spurs’ radar this offseason? (Steve Mitchell / USA Today)
    Amir Johnson
    Speaking of Johnsons, don’t forget about Amir. Johnson’s time with the Sixers, like that of Simmons, appears complete.

    After agreeing to re-sign with Philly on a one-year deal last summer, Johnson played in only 51 games and his minutes dipped from 15.9 to 10.4 per game. As a reserve, Johnson averaged 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds.

    There has always been some intrigue with the Spurs and Johnson. The team inquired about signing Johnson since his days in Toronto and have kept a close eye on him while he played with the Boston Celtics, league sources told The Athletic. But the time to add Johnson, 32, never seemed to align until now.

    Off the bench, Johnson would provide another vet who could serve as an energy guy — play defense, set screens, rebound, convert a few putbacks and call it a day. He’s also close with DeRozan and Gay, as the trio played together with the Raptors.

    Robin Lopez
    This would be a connection-based signing. The connection here is Aldridge, who played with Lopez in Portland. Aldridge loved playing with Lopez, who has always been respected around the NBA as a serviceable big man.

    “I like him (with the Spurs) a lot,” the Eastern Conference scout said.

    Lopez is a good paint protector and underrated passer, and some look at him as a better rebounder than his brother, Brook, especially on the offensive end. With the Spurs, Lopez would be able to once again play next to Aldridge at times and do what he does best — defend, pass, rebound and set screens.

    Lopez, 31, shouldn’t cost too much and could be the right vet-minimum candidate for the Spurs, who need more frontline help with only Aldridge, Jakob Poeltl and youngster Chimezie Metu as the big men currently on the roster for next season.

    (Top photo of Matthews: Soobum Im / USA Today)

  2. #702
    Believe. JuneJive's Avatar
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    Could someone... Thanks in advance.

    http://insider.espn.com/nba/insider/...potential-fits

  3. #703
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    I'm not an ESPN insider subscriber, but let me save you some time. Spurs aren't getting any of the "top 30 free agents"

  4. #704
    Veteran ace3g's Avatar
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    21. Rudy Gay

    Projected three-year WARP: 12.9


    Potential fits: Spurs, Clippers


    Gay has moved past an Achilles rupture in early 2017 to put together two of his better NBA seasons in San Antonio, posting a career-best 58.3 true shooting percentage in 2018-19 thanks to 40% 3-point accuracy.
    He could be a strong candidate for a big one-year deal from a team like the Clippers that misses out on star targets but wants to maintain cap space for 2020.



    Spurs only linked with Gay.
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  5. #705
    Veteran ace3g's Avatar
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  6. #706
    OH YOU LIKE IT!!! slick'81's Avatar
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    barrett jelly of that $50 mill
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  7. #707
    Veteran Big Empty's Avatar
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    Yall see coach Bud give props to Duncan & Pop? Very nice speech

  8. #708
    OH YOU LIKE IT!!! slick'81's Avatar
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    Yall see coach Bud give props to Duncan & Pop? Very nice speech

    Did you see rivers reaction like wtf

  9. #709
    ಥ﹏ಥ DAF86's Avatar
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    Murray, White, Mills, Belinelli, Walker, Forbes

    6 guards for 4 guard spots.

    Those expecting Walker to be in the rotation next season are going to be highly dissapointed. Even with a potential Belinelli trade, there isn't much room there.
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  10. #710
    R.C. Drunkford TimDunkem's Avatar
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    Mills is literally bringing this team down. He should be the odd man out along with Belli. He can't shoot, defend, or run an offense. What is he good for other than waving towels and grabbing cappuccinos?
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  11. #711
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    Agree. And yes, an S&T would accomplish that. It's definitely the path that gives the team the most room to improve their roster while staying under the tax.

    Murray, White, Mills
    DeRozan, Forbes, Weatherspoon
    Bogdanovic, Walker, Johnson
    Aminu, Gay, Samanic
    Aldridge, Poeltl, Metu/Eubanks

    That's the kind of team where they could win games during the RRT when Aldridge and DeRozan sit and where even the garbage unit looks good. It doesn't have the ceiling of some teams, but its floor is really high.
    Yeah that's a very versatile, deep roster without holes that has a chance to make a deep playoff run if the young guys show some improvement. I really hope PATFO can pull this off somehow
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  12. #712
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    Yall see coach Bud give props to Duncan & Pop? Very nice speech


    Good speech. Hopefully Pop coaches three more years and Bud times his departure right so he can come home and take the reins, tbh.

  13. #713
    You Are Not Worthy ZeusWillJudge's Avatar
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    Good speech. Hopefully Pop coaches three more years and Bud times his departure right so he can come home and take the reins, tbh.

    Then give Patty a clipboard and the Spurs have culture continuity for the next decade.

  14. #714
    Govt, stay away!
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    We still need to add some young asset - future first or Lonnie Walker...
    The first possibly, Lonnie walker isn’t going anywhere and wouldn’t even be asked for.
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  15. #715
    Remember kobyz's Avatar
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    Bender comes to mind as well.

    PHX totally screwed his development. True, a lot of that lied on him, but he wasn't in the right surroundings to deal with it all.

    He has the tools, playmaking and his ( theoretical ) shot is there.
    He's also very mobile, switchable.

    Still young and scrawny, minus on the boards and lacks consistency.
    He has still got a pretty high ceiling.
    He just doesn't have the mental makeup of a basketball player, you wasting your time...
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  16. #716
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    Mills is literally bringing this team down. He should be the odd man out along with Belli. He can't shoot, defend, or run an offense. What is he good for other than waving towels and grabbing cappuccinos?

    Stealing money

  17. #717
    Spur for life YGWHI's Avatar
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    After 29 pages I can't find a word about DJ extension...We already had that thread about Derozan. Now I need the same about DJ and the max.
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  18. #718
    D up! exstatic's Avatar
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    After 29 pages I can't find a word about DJ extension...We already had that thread about Derozan. Now I need the same about DJ and the max.
    DJ's done nothing so far to merit the MAX.
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    Spurstalk pathology: if we win in the regular season, it's fools gold. If someone else beats us, we have no chance to beat them in the playoffs.

    "A coach can't change people," Gregg Popovich said before the Spurs obliterated the Nets on New Year's Eve. "They are who they are. No matter what team you're talking about, a coach can be observant and try to put his team in situations both on and off the court where some of that can develop, some of the camaraderie sorts of things. But you can't change people."

  19. #719
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    After 29 pages I can't find a word about DJ extension...We already had that thread about Derozan. Now I need the same about DJ and the max.
    DJ's extension is not going to happen just yet. Both parties have reason to wait: PATFO obviously wants to see him play post-injury, and DJ can raise his value by playing well...

    DJ's done nothing so far to merit the MAX.
    Yeah. Right now, his extension is just a little over the MLE. He plays well and he can raise that a lot... Although he's going to have to have a HUGE breakout (Scoring and moving the ball like a lead PG option, w/a 3 pt shot, while keeping the D going) if he wants the max.

  20. #720
    Veteran Dverde's Avatar
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    DJ's extension is not going to happen just yet. Both parties have reason to wait: PATFO obviously wants to see him play post-injury, and DJ can raise his value by playing well...



    Yeah. Right now, his extension is just a little over the MLE. He plays well and he can raise that a lot... Although he's going to have to have a HUGE breakout (Scoring and moving the ball like a lead PG option, w/a 3 pt shot, while keeping the D going) if he wants the max.
    I disagree about both sides wanting to wait. It makes sense for the Spurs to try to lock him up at a lower number before a potential “breakout season” and DJ Murray may not want to risk another injury ruining his free agency. It would be his first big money contract and allow him to “take care of his family”. It all depends on whether they can agree on a number. Something between 12 -16 million is what most projected here. I also believe all the Murray’s pro-spurs social media is a sign he wants a big deal this Summer.

  21. #721
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    Spurs should let DJM run the second team in the first half of the season before moving him to the starters in the second half of the season. Rich Paul will point to DJM's all NBA defence nomination to ask for a Supermax. We need to know DJM can play both end of the floor as a lead. Aldridge's contract is coming of this season followed by DDR. DJM, Poeltl, White and Walker contract are due the next 3 years we need to see where they stand.

  22. #722
    D up! exstatic's Avatar
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    Spurs should let DJM run the second team in the first half of the season before moving him to the starters in the second half of the season. Rich Paul will point to DJM's all NBA defence nomination to ask for a Supermax. We need to know DJM can play both end of the floor as a lead. Aldridge's contract is coming of this season followed by DDR. DJM, Poeltl, White and Walker contract are due the next 3 years we need to see where they stand.
    Aldridge has two seasons left, although the second one is not fully guaranteed. If he continues to play at an AS level, I can't imagine the Spurs not picking up the option for 2020-2021. DDR has a player option next summer.

    You don't ask for the superMAX, you earn it, and All D isn't one of the triggers. DPOY, MVP, All-NBA team. That's it.

  23. #723
    Believe. Dancelot's Avatar
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    I think you may be thinking of another former player

  24. #724
    R.C. Drunkford TimDunkem's Avatar
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    I think you may be thinking of another former player
    Mills is definitely stealing money. He literally brings no value on the court.

  25. #725
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    Whoa boy. I think Josh Jackson could be a very gettable player in a trade right now.

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