Originally posted on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 7/11/12

Tuesday was an incredibly busy day for the San Antonio Spurs (and Project Spurs' Paul Garcia who was keeping up with all the news) as they reportedly reached agreements with Tim Duncan, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, Nando De Colo and Danny Green in a 24 hour time span.  The only Spurs free agent left without a contract is James Anderson, who the Spurs aren't likely to bring back especially with De Colo in the mix.  Still, 2012-2013 will look a lot like 2011-2012.  That means next year's team will look a lot like the team that won 20 games in a row, but it also means they'll look a lot like the team the lost four in a row to the Western Conference Champion Oklahoma City Thunder.

The loss to the Thunder last month left a sour taste in a lot of fan's mouths (present company included).  All a lot of us could think about was how the Spurs role players (and at times their MVP candidate point guard) didn't show up when they needed to most.  We looked at how dreadful the defense was when Tim Duncan wasn't in the basketball game.  Mostly it was just tough to think the Spurs struggles came against the one team they'll have to worry about for the rest of the Tim Duncan era.

What it took some of us a little bit of time to remember was that this is still the same team that torched the rest of the league from February on.  As Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe pointed out, it was the best offense in the league all season and that didn't exactly change against the Thunder.  Two of their role players didn't join the team until March.  Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson became prominent members of the Spurs' rotation without being completely acclimated with the Spurs' system despite having some previous familiarity with it.  It's also important to consider that Tiago Splitter has become a valuable role player without having an extended amount of practice time (i.e. Training Camp) to get completely familiar with a system. 

They also started a rookie at small forward who is almost sure to make a big leap from rookie year to second year.  So maybe status quo isn't so bad because it's status quo with room for improvement.  Kind of like a really nice house you buy that has a couple of small renovations but has really good bones.

There's something else to consider here.  Often times we hear the narrative that champions have to face some sort of adversity to make the leap to champion.  We haven't heard it with the Spurs in a decade because their head coach and three best players all have titles.  However, the rest of this Spurs team as a collective hasn't dealt with the adversity that comes with losing in the Conference Finals.  Danny Green in particular comes to mind.  Green was terrible during the Western Conference Finals, there's no denying that.  The good news was throughout Green kept shooting and kept hustling.  A friend of mine the other day said he'd rather have Danny Green out there over Richard Jefferson because Green while Green missed a ton of shots, Jefferson just stopped shooting and you'd rather have the guy with the confidence to keep shooting when things aren't going well.

Make no mistake, the Spurs still have holes in their roster.  They really, really need someone who can defend the pick and roll and someone who can protect the rim.  They don't have that yet.  They have one or two too many shooting guards and a lack of athleticism across the board.  The good news is they now have a ton of a different pieces to make roster upgrades if they find the right deal.  Green and Diaw both have very trade friendly contracts.  Matt Bonner's contract has two years left on it but only this coming season is guaranteed.  Tiago Splitter has one year left (then he becomes a restricted free agent) and could prove to be an incredibly valuable trade piece if he continues to develop.  I don't think there's a coach besides Gregg Popovich that wants to coach Stephen Jackson, but his $10 million expiring contract would be good for a team to trade for and then buy out, thus creating salary cap space for next summer and beyond.  There's also that Tony Parker guy, but we'll not get in to that just yet.

I began the day wondering if the Spurs had just set themselves up to have another great regular season, then make it to the Western Conference Finals and flame out like this season.  That might still be the case, but the more you think about it, between the lockout and midseason deals that Spurs team was a rough draft of what it could become.  A full training camp should do wonders for this team and their depth should keep Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili fresh for a postseason run.  Here's hoping next spring's team is the final draft version to this summer's rough draft.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Titans release former Pro Bowl safety Michael Griffin

Maple Leafs trade Dion Phaneuf to Senators in blockbuster deal

Tom Brady says he’s not among the greatest QBs ever

Bosh: ‘Scary part’ is Aldridge, Spurs can get better

Warriors can continue trend with Nash at Kerr’s side

Bruins prospect Subban fractured larynx from puck hitting throat

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Johnny Manziel showed up drunk at Browns practice

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill wants more freedom

Cam Newton: ‘I’m on record as being a sore loser’

‘Emotional’ LeBron eager to face Kobe Wednesday

Steve Spurrier says he should have retired after 2014 season

Joe Namath: Jets should take a look at Colin Kaepernick

In Inglewood, representation by NFL may come with taxation

Mets will be present for two Royals’ WS ceremonies

Best and worst free agent signings of 2016 MLB offseason

McShay: Attending Michigan signing day a 'mistake'

Wofford sets NCAA 3-point FG percentage record

Phil Jackson reunion with Lakers possible?

Would it be smart for the Broncos to franchise Von Miller?

Ten storylines to watch heading into spring training

Seahawks release awesome Marshawn Lynch tribute video

WATCH: Alleged LeSean McCoy fight video surfaces

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker