Recently, the San Antonio Spurs have had it both ways: they have added pieces to rebuild the club while maintaining a core that can compete for championships. The team hasn't won a title since 2007, mind you, but if you finish a season with a No. 1 seed, you are a contender. San Antonio did just that last year; only an injury to Manu Ginobili and a buzzsaw matchup with the insatiable Grizzlies derailed the dream. (Note: other things may have eventually derailed the dream.)
Unfortunately, the Spurs' interest in making sure the cupboards aren't bare when Tim Duncan and Ginobili retire has deflated the consistent production of the supporting cast somewhat. Kawhi Leonard is been OK for a young rookie in a demanding environment, for instance. But the Spurs need more than that. There's the rub.
NEEDS & TARGETS
Because of the Spurs' interest in rebuilding while contending, any deal is difficult -- there are aren't a ton of expendable pieces that'd be considered valuable. You could take Matt Bonner off of San Antonio's hands, surely, but ... why? Duncan nor Ginobili are going anywhere, and Tony Parker hasn't been in a heavy rumor since (checks calendar) June (!), and it's unlikely the team would give up on Leonard or Tiago Splitter at this point. (Note to self: start a Tony Parker rumor. We're due.)
SALARY CAP SITUATION
All that said, the Spurs have a salary figure of $73 million, according to ShamSports.com. The luxury tax threshold is $70 million. Bonner makes just over $3 million. He does play better than 20 minutes a game and is a valued shooter for San Antonio. But if a team with cap space will trade for him and an asset, it could make financial sense for the Spurs. The complicating factor is that Bonner has $4.6 million guaranteed beyond this season -- that could require a first-round pick from a team helping San Antonio.
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