Man, the NBA bubble has been so entertaining to say the least! With that being said, there is a team that appears to have a bright future but needs to embrace that it’s time to rebuild and relinquish their young players.
The team I am referencing is the San Antonio Spurs, who surprised some people with their performance in the bubble. Not only did they have a chance at continuing their playoff streak on the last day of the season, but they did not have LaMarcus Aldridge for the duration of the bubble. The Spurs committed to using various “small-ball” lineups, including DeMar DeRozan and even Keldon Johnson at the 4, which appeared to prove effective in the bubble.
However, the Spurs are in a bit of a turnaround. They’ve got aging stars and role players, and haven’t competed significantly since Kawhi Leonard was traded. There’s a few things the Spurs can do however, to ensure their future is still bright even though they missed many opportunities to give these young pieces rotation spots.
First of all, they need to look to trade LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, and Rudy Gay. Yes, DeRozan is on an expiring contract but has a Player Option that he appears ready to be opt out of. Contract talks with San Antonio haven’t gone as smoothly as DeRozan wanted. The Spurs should still try to Sign-and-Trade him, though. He has created a log-jam on the Wing and taken significant minutes from the younger players behind him. Then, trading LaMarcus Aldridge would allow the team to have even more cap room, as well as Rudy Gay. The Spurs should look at young bigs like Christian Wood, Marquess Chriss if available, and Jerami Grant to fill the new void on the frontcourt. They could look to draft a big as well, or go best available in the draft. However, they are filled at those guard/ wing positions.
Secondly, they need to then build a lineup around Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV, and Keldon Johnson. Whether they deploy this small-ball look, or bring one of these guys off of the bench, they all have not only proven to be promising young players, but all players deserving of more minutes and more opportunity. San Antonio fans should be excited for the bright future ahead!
Lastly, and keeping it short, re-sign Gregg Popovich, this should be a no-brainer.