The San Antonio Spurs are one of the teams that will parade the same core of players in the upcoming season. After a week of flirting with other small forwards and some news coming out that Richard Jefferson will be amnestied, the Spurs will open the preseason with Jefferson still on the roster and the remaining three years and $30.5 million on his contract still on the team payroll.
While a handful of teams landed big name free agents, the Spurs opted to upgrade their roster in a more subtle manner.
They added depth on their backcourt by signing T.J. Ford who should be a good backup point guard behind Tony Parker and signed rookie Cory Joseph who might learn a lot from San Antonio’s bevy of backcourt veterans that includes Manu Ginobili. Also Gary Neal can handle some spot duty at point guard when the need arises.
At the shooting guard spot, the Spurs appears to be set with Ginobili, James Anderson and possibly Danny Green on the rotation. Their small forwards looked familiar as well; Jefferson remains the team’s starting small forward, they love rookie Kawhi Leonard’s potential, and waived Da’Sean Butler, but Steve Novak will be back to provide additional veteran presence at the wing.
However, their Big men rotation remains thin.
With Antonio McDyess probably heading retirement, the team will rely heavily on Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter and Matt Bonner to man the middle.
Keep in mind that the Spurs were totally outplayed by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2011 playoffs because of the strong inside play of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, this simply means the Spurs haven’t addressed one of their main concerns during the past season.
Nonetheless, the Spurs have their core players in tow, and familiarity, experience and chemistry will be huge for them in a shortened season, but they will need at least another veteran big man to shore up their frontline if they are thinking success in the upcoming season.
Tonight’s preseason game against the Houston Rockets should give us a glimpse on what to expect on our beloved Spurs.