Grading the San Antonio Spurs’ 2021 NBA offseason
With the 2021-22 NBA season kicking off soon, The San Antonio Spurs pretty much had an active offseason despite not snagging in a huge name in the market.
The Spurs had $50 million in cap space upon entering the offseason but instead chose to distribute these to some players who they think can help in their approach towards their roster.
With all of these, let’s take a deep dive into the Spurs offseason.
Acquiring Thaddeus Young and Al-Farouq Aminu in DeMar DeRozan Trade
The Spurs finally started their rebuilding process as soon as they had traded superstar DeMar DeRozan to the Chicago Bulls for Thaddeus Young, Al-Farouq Aminu, and a couple of picks.
This was a big win for the Spurs as DeRozan could have walked for free since he was an unrestricted free agent, but instead, they got three draft picks out of DeRozan’s sign-and-trade deal.
Young can certainly be a huge help in mentoring budding star Keldon Johnson, who is set to take the reigns following LaMarcus Aldridge’s departure last season. Young is a versatile forward who can play as a small-ball center, a huge factor in today’s NBA.
Signing Doug McDermott, Zach Collins, Jock Landale, and Bryn Forbes
The Spurs have addressed their biggest issue coming into next season, their three-point shooting (The Spurs were the worst team to shoot the three-ball among the other 29 teams in the NBA as they were ranked last). They certainly addressed this issue as Doug McDermott and Bryn Forbes are among the best 3-point shooters in the league right now. Scoring-wise, McDermott had a career year last season as he averaged 13.6 points per game, he is also a career 40.7% shooter from behind the arc.
For Forbes, he lit up the league as he helped the Milwaukee Bucks win the NBA Championship with his 45.2% three-point shooting mark.
The Jock Landale signing was also a solid one as he will provide a spark behind fellow international big Jakob Poeltl. The Spurs could certainly use his three-point accuracy as he is a sweet-shooting big man who can stretch the floor.
Last season with Melbourne United, Landale averaged 16.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 27.6 minutes per game.
Finally, Zach Collins, whom the Spurs gambled after a second surgery on his ankle. However, his contract is not fully guaranteed as the second year is partially guaranteed and a non-guaranteed contract in the final year.
When healthy, Collins has shown flashes and reminded everyone why he is the tenth pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. If Collins stays healthy and gets productive for the Spurs, this could be a big win for them.
Drafting Joshua Primo and Joe Wieskamp
A lot of people were shocked when the Spurs announced they were drafting Joshua Primo with their 12th overall pick since the guard was projected to be picked on the later part of the draft.
Primo is also the youngest player in this year’s draft class. However, the Spurs are known to find hidden talents in the draft as they had Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker among others. San Antonio certainly is one of the best in developing young talent as we have witnessed before.
Primo actually showed a lot of promise and potential when he dropped 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists against the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA Summer League. The flashy guard is known for his dribbling, 3-point shooting, and his finishing skills.
Drafting Joe Wieskamp is a no-brainer for the Spurs as they were lucky he was available when they were called to select with their 42nd pick. Wieskamp shot 41 percent from behind the arc during his three-year stay with Iowa State.
Overall grade: B+
The Spurs will continue to develop their young core in Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, and the newly drafted Primo, and these new signings will surely not take a boatload of minutes from this young core. They also maintained their flexibility moving forward as Collins’ contract is not fully guaranteed. The acquisition of draft picks for DeRozan will surely go down as a genius move for the front office.
The Spurs also addressed the most important thing during the course of their offseason when they signed shooters. However, San Antonio are not built to win right now but will certainly wreak havoc in the next few years with their core maturing.