Now that the NBA lockout will likely be coming to a close, it's time to take a quick look at the San Antonio Spurs team payroll as free-agency will start up and the possibility of trades.
Currently, the Spurs have the third highest payroll at $73,181,595 behind the Los Angeles Lakers ($91,311,749) and the Orlando Magic ($74,816,623).
Here is how it breaks down:
via Hoops Hype
Tim Duncan is entering his final contract year and now the Spurs will have to decide whether or not to extend him a few more seasons or wait to hear if Duncan does decide to retire after this season. Although he might sign for another two more season at best, if he does retire, that's a huge chunk of cash off the payroll for the Spurs to be major players in next season's free-agency.
Richard Jefferson might be the thorn in Spurs fans sides when it comes to his play on the court but with two years guaranteed and the last season his option, he might be a great trading chip for another team looking to rebuild and get his contract off their payroll. That's if the Spurs can convince a team to take on RJ's contract as an expiring contract in-waiting.
Notable Spurs players such as Gary Neal, James Anderson (Anderson's 2012-2013 money is a team option), and DeJuan Blair (Blair's 2012-2013 money is a team option) are in a contract-season so you know all three will be putting their best foot forward once the season starts. Expect Neal, Anderson and Blair to really step up their game in order to get a lucrative long-term deal. And if they are playing well during the season, don't be surprised to read news the Spurs have extended their contract or picked up any team option.
Antonio McDyess might give the Spurs some immediate wiggle room to make wheel-and-deal if he does indeed retire.
And based on the salaries above, the immediate future for San Antonio is made up of Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Richard Jefferson, Tiago Splitter and Matt Bonner.
Bonner's contract might be on the low-end but his contract might be a bit longer than what he deserves. Especially considering he does a vanishing act during the playoffs. Considering he has two more contract seasons remaining, he still might be a cheap trade-bait to throw at a team with his contract not being that pricey.
Of course there is still the matter of signing rookies Kawhi Leonard and Cory Joseph and the impact of the new CBA deal will be, this should give Spurs fans a quick overview of how the Spurs stand financially.
As you can see San Antonio doesn't have much to work with this season as far as being a heavy player in free-agency. They may be able to add a veteran role-player (as usual) but do not expect them to make a huge splash as far as adding a prized free-agent such as Nene.