Given that the Spurs were exposed in the second-round of the playoffs and that Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are likely retiring, it’d be easy to think that dark days are ahead in San Antonio.
Well, not exactly.
In fact, the Spurs may be in the best shape they’ve been in since the early 2000s.
“I think the Spurs are actually in better position right now going into an offseason than they’ve been in any offseason since 2003, when they had just won a title,” Spurs reporter Hector Ledesma said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “They were coming off Tim and Manu and Tony Parkers’s first year together and they were going to go chase Jason Kidd or Jermaine O’Neal in free agency. This is the best, I think, they’ve been equipped since then – and here’s why. They’ve got Kawhi Leonard, who’s still only 24. I know Kawhi has got a lot of detractors, especially on the offensive end – and he does have a lot of room to grow offensively – but he’s already the best two-way player in the game and he’s only 24. LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the best bigs in the game – arguably top 10, more than likely (a) top-15 player in the league. You start with those two guys and Pop (Gregg Popovich), and that’s a pretty darn good foundation to start with.”
The Spurs also have flexibility to attract marquee free agents.
“You’re going to have money because of the salary-cap increase to try and get a Kevin Durant, Mike Conley, a Paul Millsap. Maybe Pau Gasol opts out,” Ledesma said. “You’re going to have the money to go get that type of a guy. And you still have most of this year’s team that, though they didn’t come up big in the playoffs, this is essentially the same bench that was with them when they won the title in 2014. They’re still pretty effective players. So I think they’ve got the core there and they’ve got the starting blocks and some pieces there to work with, especially considering the fact that Kawhi is so young. I think the future is bright. Given what the Spurs have shown us in (free agency and the draft), I think there’s reason to think that the future is bright. And while the Duncan and Manu era is going to end, the championship runs aren’t.”