San Antonio Spurs desperately need a reset
The San Antonio Spurs are in the worst place to be in sports right now – ‘no man’s land.’
They are too good of a team to secure a high position in the draft but aren’t good enough to compete outside of maybe the last spot in the playoffs. There’s not a path for them to win the championship or secure the best player in the draft, currently.
What the Spurs have to do if they ever want to relive any of the magic of the Tim Duncan era again is hit the reset button.
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San Antonio Spurs need to forget about the playoffs when/if the season resumes
The first step to doing so is by tanking the rest of the season. Winning games won’t help you. Even if you do make the playoffs, the team is not built to get out of the first round.
The Spurs are bottom-6 in the league in total 3’s made as a team, while conversely being top-6 in total 3’s given up. The Spurs are basically trading 2’s for 3’s which is not how you win in today’s game. The team is built on the backs of two guys who live in the mid-post.
The Golden State Warriors lived-and-died by the 3, Spurs live-and-die by the long 2.
A top-8 selection in the 2020 NBA Draft can be a real trade asset or maybe a potential star that scouts are sleeping on. This is not the best draft class, but general managers still look at picks as undiscovered gold. The Spurs can package the pick along with another couple of assets like Dejounte Murray and Lonnie Walker to bring back a better piece like one of the bigs in Indiana.
Once a high spot in the lottery is secured, then all the other dominoes will fall.
San Antonio Spurs need to shake up the roster
Aldridge has actually been quietly effective from three this season. Attempting three 3’s a game at a nearly 39 percent clip. DeRozan is going in the other direction, however. Almost abandoning the 3-point shot entirely. He’s attempting his second-lowest mark from three since his rookie season and has only hit 15 3’s TOTAL the last two seasons COMBINED.
Both guys are incredibly efficient but don’t have the type of games that translate to today’s NBA. They are possibly the worst combination of two All-Stars in today’s game, but their services can still be greatly needed on a roster who needs a stretch-big or a wing that can get his own bucket.
DeRozan has a $27 million player option for next season and Aldridge is getting paid $24 million for one more season. Both are expiring deals that can be used in a trade to bring back draft picks or young players who might be struggling with their current team.
The Spurs need to model their plan of action after seeing what the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired for Paul George. DeRozan is definitely not the level of a Paul George, but the Spurs can still recoup quality assets for him and the same can be done for Aldridge.
San Antonio Spurs needs to find its foundational players
The final step of the reclamation for the Spurs would be to decide which of their young players are worth keeping around.
Dejounte Murray and Derrick White both seem kind of redundant. Both are excellent defenders, can play-make a little, and struggle from the perimeter. Murray seems to have a higher ceiling and is a couple of years younger, but both have the same areas of weaknesses.
In today’s NBA, your back-court can’t have two guys who struggle from the perimeter and struggle to play-make consistently for themself and others. Its a guard/wing driven league and these two guys as currently constructed are not good enough to run a backcourt together.
The jury is still out on Lonnie Walker. He has yet to be unleashed, but he has flashed some high-level athleticism when he is on the court.
Figuring out which young guys to keep is crucial to keeping the Spurs culture and tradition alive post-Gregg Popovich.
The last 20 years have been a dream for Spurs fans. Consistently in contention for an NBA title every season is what every franchise strives for. But all good things must come to an end and the Spurs end has been on tape delay for the last few seasons.
Now is the time to mail in the rest of the season. Now is the time to start making phone calls on your two best players. Now is the time to decide which young players are even worth keeping around.
Now is the time to hit reset.