San Antonio Spurs: An uncertain future lies ahead for the prized franchise

San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovich (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The San Antonio Spurs have an uncertain future ahead of them, and it likely won’t be pretty

For the past 21 years, the San Antonio Spurs have been the one constant in the NBA. Just over two decades the NBA has seen the Shaq and Kobe Lakers, the original Big Three in Boston, LeBron James, and now arguably the best dynasty of all-time in the Warriors.

Throughout all the ups and downs in the Association, the Spurs have remained humble and competitive. The Spurs have not missed the playoffs since the 1996-97 season.

However, it seems the cornerstone of the NBA has reached a tipping point. Their own (original) Big Three has dissipated due to the retirement of Tim Duncan and the signing of Tony Parker with Charlotte. Forty year-old Manu Ginobili, with only one year left on his contract, is the only remaining member of the trio – and he very well may elect to retire, too.

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The Spurs appeared to be leaving the franchise in more than capable hands just a few years ago, but the tumultuous relationship has grown unruly between San Antonio and former Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard played in only nine games for the Spurs during the 2017-18 season. As a result, some of his teammates suggested he was holding out due to personal reasons. Now the 27-year-old star is demanding a trade, declaring he will not play for the Spurs.

In addition to the growing uncertainty around Leonard’s future with the Spurs, don’t forget that coach Gregg Popovich is nearly 70. If the Spurs aren’t able to get a bonafide star in exchange for Leonard, is Popovich willing to stick around for a rebuild?

The Spurs did manage to make the playoffs last year behind the skills of power forward LaMarcus Aldridge. However, if San Antonio intends on remaining a contender in the West they need something to build on.

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Aldridge is good for now, but the all-star is 32. The San Antonio Spurs remain diligent in finding the right trade partner for themselves in hopes of finding San Antonio’s future star. But make no mistake, there’s a very real chance that the Spurs could be on the verge of a long rebuild.