2011-12 Record: 50-16, Southwest Division Champions, 1st in Western Conference, eliminated in Conference Finals by Oklahoma City Thunder
2012 NBA Draft: G Marcus Denmon (Missouri, 59th overall)
Offseason Additions: G Nando De Colo, F Derrick Brown (non-guaranteed deal heading into training camp)
Offseason Losses: N/A
Re-signed: G Patty Mills (1 year, $915,000), F Danny Green (3 years, $11 million), F Boris Diaw (2 years, $9 million), F Tim Duncan (3 years, $30 million)
Projected Starting Line-up: PG Tony Parker, SG Danny Green, SF Kawhi Leonard, PF Tim Duncan, C Boris Diaw
OFFSEASON GRADE: ???
An offseason grade?
What offseason did the Spurs have?
What offseason moves did the Spurs really need?
Lest we forget, San Antonio finished with the best record in the Western Conference last season at 50-16. They advanced all the way to the Conference Finals on the back of a 20 game winning streak (and holding a 2-0 series lead) before losing 4 straight to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
This team was perfectly content with keeping what they already had intact and making another run at an NBA Championship next year.
Signing Tim Duncan to a 3 year, $30 million dollar contract was an absolute no-brainer. Even at 36 years of age, the deal had to be done. He’s a 13x all-star, 2x NBA MVP and 3x NBA Finals MVP. The Spurs are 830-352 in the regular season with Duncan on board. Add to that 9 division titles and 4 NBA Championships, and you have yourselves a first-ballot hall of fame career. He isn’t the focal point of the offense anymore, but he’s still an integral part of this teams success. As the heart and soul of this Spurs franchise, any other option than keeping him as a member of this team until the day he retires would have been out of the question.
Investing in young prospect Danny Green for the next 3 years was also a wise decision. Green started 38 games last year for San Antonio and averaged 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists a game. He is clearly on the good side of coach Greg Popovich, as starting for this Spurs team with its abundance of talent is definitely a plus on the old resume. The youth movement is clearly underway and Green is/will be a big part of it.
The trio of Duncan/Parker/Ginobili won’t be around forever. Giving players like Green more playing time will only benefit this team down the road. He’s a tremendous athlete with an outstanding shooting stroke from long-range (43% from three-point range last season, 9th in the NBA). Playing on a team with the structure and discipline of the Spurs will only take Greens career to bigger and greater heights.
San Antonio actually got some decent value with the 59th pick in the draft this summer, which is weird to say considering the final few picks never usually amount to anything. The Spurs took guard Marcus Denmon out of Missouri with the 2nd last pick in the draft that night. Obviously, the expectations surrounding Denmon are about as large as the chances Charlotte has of winning an NBA Championship. He was the leading scorer at Missouri with 17.1 points a game and shot 40% from long-range. There are no guarantees he will make the final roster, but if he does, he will add to the list of players San Antonio has brought in over the years who have little to no hype surrounding them that could very well (and have in the past) make an impact on this team.
To avoid the potential backlash I may receive, I feel as if I should give San Antonio some kind of letter grade.
Then again, maybe I won’t.
I can’t give the Spurs a high mark because they really didn’t do anything, and I can’t give them a low mark because despite remaining still this summer, they are no worse off because of it.
The Spurs must really think that those 4 losses in a row to Oklahoma City in the Conference Finals was just an aberration.
They are heading into the 2012-13 season with practically the same roster and setup they had last year.
You know what?
There is nothing wrong with that.
OTHER OFFSEASON RECAPS: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports