It was quite the day for the San Antonio Spurs yesterday as the team made a number of roster moves which, for the most part, allowed them to remain the same.
With teams adding new players as each day passes during this free agency period, San Antonio decided to take care of their own free agents and foreign asset namely re-signing Danny Green, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, and the no-brainer re-signing of Tim Duncan. San Antonio also signed French guard Nando De Colo who the Spurs drafted in 2009.
Let’s dig deeper at these moves:
Green – Despite having a lackluster playoff performance, Green proved himself to be an emerging player for the Spurs with his ability to create his own shot, slashing, outside shooting, and defense. Though there was some interest from the Celtics and Jazz, Green made it clear San Antonio was his preferred destination. He fits into what exactly the Spurs look for in a player – he knows his role, quiet guy off the court, and more importantly, an injection of youth to the aging core of the Spurs’ “Big 3.”
Green signed a three-year deal worth 12 million dollars (fully guaranteed) which is pretty good financially for the cap-conscious Spurs and also makes his contract an easy tradeable asset.
Mills – The Australian guard may not have gotten much time on the court but when he did, he proved to be quite the offensive player. During the regular season, Mills had a career-high 34 points 12 assists versus the Warriors in Oakland. He is a speedy, hungry, and experienced player who also fits in the Spurs’ system. Though he doesn’t have much defensive chops, he makes up for that in heart and toughness. Moreover, he is a more reliable backup guard to Tony Parker unlike the very young and raw Cory Joseph.
Diaw – After spending much of last season with the dreadful Bobcats, Diaw was released and signed with the Spurs and made an immediate impact. He displayed stellar passing, rebounding, and was able to score in the paint. And though many poke fun of his battle with the bulge, he proved to be effective in the paint versus bigger player on opposing teams. Add the fact he and fellow French countryman Parker showed their chemistry on the pick-and roll, and bringing Diaw back was a slam dunk for San Antonio.
In addition, with the Spurs not able to sign any free agent big men and were spurned by power forward Erazem Lorbek, bringing back Diaw was necessary.
Duncan – Aside from being the Spurs true center and threat in the paint, do I really need to go into detail about San Antonio re-signing TD? Let’s just say he is retiring a Spur and signed a three-year deal with a no trade clause. Did it really need that though?
De Colo – Stashed away since 2009, the Spurs finally brought over from French guard Nando De Colo. De Colo is a big guard at 6’5″, has plenty of experience playing professionally in the Euroleague, and will likely play both the point and shooting guard in the NBA making him quite a versatile player on the Spurs’ roster. However, he isn’t the quickest guard and his outside shot can use some work. But he makes that up in a high basketball IQ and timely assists.
With Diaw, Parker and De Colo, the Spurs will definitely have all of France keeping an eye on the team next season.
Next season’s Spurs’ squad should look much like last season’s team but the Spurs still need to address the lack of size on the roster. Duncan, Diaw, Bonner, Splitter and Blair just hasn’t been enough against bigger teams in the NBA. Bonner is one-dimensional, Splitter has yet to prove to be a bigger contributor, Blair is too undersized, leaving Duncan as the only viable threat in the paint for the Spurs.
Adding these players is great for team chemistry but there is still work to do if the Spurs want to capture title number five.