The San Antonio Spurs finished last season with an impressive 61-21 record, which was good for second-best in the entire NBA. But, they, unfortunately, proved to be overmatched against the firepower of the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs, and were swept in the Western Conference Finals by the eventual champions.
Now, the Spurs are looking to continue to improve their roster and set themselves up to contend in the much-improved Western Conference and potentially top the Warriors in 2017-18. Their most recent move is a high-profile free agent signing of former Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay, via ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
As Wojnarowski also reported, the two sides agreed on a two-year, $17 million-plus deal that has a player option with it. He also points out that the Spurs seemed to really want to land Gay.
There’s no question that the former King will be another weapon on the offensive end for the Spurs, and should be a welcomed addition. With his signing, let’s take a look at the updated roster for the Spurs, as well as how Gay may fit with the team next season.
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
SF: Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gay, Kyle Anderson, Davis Bertans, Jaron Blossomgame
SG: Danny Green
PG: Tony Parker, Patty Mills, Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, Derrick White
Free Agents: Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobili, Dewayne Dedmon, David Lee, Jonathan Simmons, Joel Anthony
As you can see, the Spurs still have quite a bit of work to do this offseason. They currently only have one legitimate big man on the roster in Aldridge. The team could potentially bring back Gasol or Dedmon to start at center, or potentially look at other free agent options. To go along with that, they’re thin at shooting guard, but it’s likely that Anderson or Mills could spend some time as the two-guard.
The real question is how Gay and Leonard will work on the court. While both are small forwards, it wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprising to see Gregg Popovich utilize both players in starting roles, or just to have Gay come off the bench to add a scoring punch to the second unit.
Gay’s 2016-17 season was limited to just 30 games after he suffered a torn left Achilles tendon on January 18. While he was forced to miss the remainder of the season, his ability to score and contribute on the boards was apparent, as he averaged 18.7 points and 6.3 rebounds.He also played nearly 34 minutes per game and shot 45.5 percent from the field. Prior to his time with the Kings, he also played for the Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies.
The Spurs deciding to sign Gay will certainly help them on the offensive end, but the team still has work to do, as previously mentioned. It’ll be interesting to see how they choose to round out their roster and what other big men get added to the mix ahead of the 2017-18 season.