As Tim Duncan reaches the presumptive end of his NBA career, the San Antonio Spurs are looking for the right mix to make one more run.
The San Antonio Spurs dropped jaws by sprinting out to the West's best record last season. Even more jaws dropped when the Memphis Grizzlies jostled the Spurs right on out of the playoffs in the first round. With Tim Duncan entering potentially his final season in the NBA, what does San Antonio have left?
Here's a look at the Spurs' salary cap levels over the past six seasons.
Ignoring the 2010 spike, the Spurs ride that luxury tax line like a railcar. This season should see more of the same.
Heading into free agency, the Spurs have a cap figure of $73 million with the leaguewide team salary cap set at $58 million and the luxury tax line at $70 million.
The Spurs' free agents are:
How does R.C. Buford sleep at night with such hefty decisions as whether to re-sign Chris Quinn and Steve Novak weighing on his mind?
Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Spurs will use the amnesty clause on Richard Jefferson, knocking $10 million off of the team's cap sheet. That gives the squad about $6-7 million to play with in free agency without exceeding the tax line, and that sounds like a full mid-level exception (Caron Butler and Shane Battier are the popular options) and a couple of veteran's minimum contracts.
If things get dicey before the All-Star break, the Spurs could possibly look to pawn off Manu Ginobili in anticipating Duncan's retirement. Tony Parker is more frequently cited as the first Spur to go, but he's young and San Antonio traded its presumptive Parker replacement (George Hill) for draft pick Kawhi Leonard.
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