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The Spurs Should Commit To The Rebuild

Kin Man Hui / San Antonio Express-News

Recently, I wrote about how Lonnie Walker and other young pieces should have Spurs fans excited for the future. Now, I’m going a step further and declaring that the Spurs should just commit to the inevitable rebuild. If you really think about it, the time to commit to it is most logical right now. Let me explain.

First, if you’ve been keeping up with my posts, I also wrote how Marco Belinelli is complete trash. That attitude doesn’t change here. His decline was going to happen eventually, and sooner rather than later seeing how he is now 33. By stats and just simply the eye test, whenever he is on the court, the Spurs are just significantly worse. He really made his career as a shooter, that is his brand. If he isn’t doing that, what good is he? He is a defensive liability. I’m willing to bet if a guard scores while he is on the court, that was his assignment 9 times out of 10. I’ve shitted on him every chance I get because he really is that bad. Which is why I don’t think the Spurs can’t trade him unless he’s lumped into a package. Thankfully, his contract expires this year, we weren’t going to get anything for him anyway.

That’s just a role player baby, we are just getting started. Let’s kick it into high gear. Trade LaMarcus Aldridge. I wrote how LaMarcus Aldridge is washed now. He does no good for the Spurs as the 1st/2nd scoring option because he can’t do that level of production anymore. He’s better off on another team that needs a 3rd or even 4th scoring option as a big. He’s getting old and even the best stars can’t contribute like Lebron forever. His contract expires next year. If you hadn’t noticed, 2021 has the chance to be the historically best Free Agency class in the NBA. So his next year’s expiring contract could be valuable. Either way, he is no use to the Spurs anymore. It’s only going to get harder to trade him as time rolls on. I vote on trading him at the deadline or in the offseason for mostly anyone that can make the contracts work and are young.

Did you think we were slowing down after that? HA SIKE. Let’s go a step further! Trade Demar DeRozan. Is he the Spurs’ best player? Absolutely. Should he be on the Spurs anymore? Nope. Let’s face it: He isn’t part of the Spurs’ long term plans. He himself is getting older at 30. I’ll be the first to admit it, he isn’t the best 1st scoring option. We knew that given his track record in Toronto. He can thrive as a second scoring option or even third option on a team that needs scoring. Magic has already deemed interested in him. Also, I have seen rumors that the Pistons are interested as well in DeRozan. So the trade interest is there. There’s also the fact that Demar DeRozan is on a player option this year. So, given if he wanted to leave, he could opt-out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Thus, leaving the Spurs with nothing. Letting him even think about walking for free is just bad business. I fully expect Demar DeRozan to be traded at the trade deadline. If he’s not, the Spurs just wasted an opportunity to get something for DeRozan, because I don’t think he is gonna opt-in.

Okay, we’re gonna start slowing down now. We just signed Rudy Gay to an offseason deal, 2 years for 28 million. Right away, I thought that was a little steep. I wouldn’t have gone more than 10 million a year, 12 at the most, for him. That also means his contract expires in 2021, that great Free Agency class. I can see him being traded next year or even this year, but his contract could expire too. As long as the Spurs don’t bring him back, that could be a useful 14 million that we could use.

I really liked the signing of DeMarre Carroll, until I realized that he just wasn’t going to play. This still makes my brain hurt because one of the Spurs’ biggest problems is defense….and he is a defensive player. I’m not a genius but the answer is literally right there. Anyway, he signed a 3-year deal, and it’s only 7 million a year. If he isn’t going to play, it’s just a waste of 7 million a year. However, it’s a friendly contract. I wouldn’t mind keeping him one for that cheap just to play defense.

Patty Mills has been with us since the 2012 season. I was a big criticizer of him last year and I thought him still being here was a mistake. Then, I realized that our problems were much bigger than him. Patty Mills is a Spurs player for life. He’s one of those players that won’t get his name retired (he shouldn’t anyway) but he is deeply loved as a Spurs fan favorite. I decided to realize his contribution to the Spurs was bigger than basketball. He has been on the Spurs longer than anyone on the team right now and he is one of the driving forces of the bench and support. He is on a 12 million a year contract right now, which is a little steep for my liking. However, I see the Spurs bringing him back when his contract expires on a lesser contract. He is a Spurs lifer, and we shouldn’t have it any other way.

Bryn Forbes is where I am torn. You’ve heard me bash most of the players I’ve mentioned so far. However, if everything I said is true, why would teams try to trade for them? Bryn Forbes has unluckily been thrown in as a trade piece because of his age and his shooting. He is just a sweetener for deals. I would personally want to keep him, but if it helps to get rid of Demar DeRozan or LaMarcus Aldridge for the future of the organization, sacrifices will have to be made.

Committing to the rebuild means committing to the potential of these young players: Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker, Keldon Johnson, and Jakob Poeltl. Dejounte Murray is a defensive stud who has made some progress in developing his offensive game. Derrick White is the same way and really made a name for himself in the playoff series against the Nuggets last year. Lonnie Walker has been known by the Spurs die-hards since last year, he was killing it in the G-League and exploded in the Summer League. He’s become one of my favorite players. Keldon Johnson hasn’t played in the NBA yet. (okay he played one minute in the NBA, literally one minute, we aren’t going to count it). He’s been an absolute monster in the G-League though. He should be playing with the Spurs next year. Jakob Poeltl is starting to improve and is playing regular minutes. With superior coaching in Gregg Popovich, he could continue to improve more. That young core is something to be excited about as a Spurs fan, maybe something we haven’t felt since the early 2000s as far as potential.

The future of the Spurs is now. We’ve had a great run, 22 years to be exact. We had 5 NBA titles during that run, more than 25 other NBA teams have in their team history altogether. Sure, I’d love to have the record of going to the playoffs for 23 years in a row. But at what cost? To get bounced in the first round? DeRozan leaving for nothing? It just isn’t worth it and that’s IF we even get a playoff berth. It’s ironic, the Spurs never intentionally try to break records, it’s just been the winning culture that had them doing that. Tying for 1st for 22 straight seasons of a playoff berth is good enough for me. Our time is up, and the future is now. It’s time for the rebuild San Antonio. It’s a bittersweet feeling. We’ve had a good run, but better yet, we will be back.


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