The NBA playoffs will continue over the next five weeks or so.
Most of Spurs Nation wishes the league’s champion was determined yesterday.
Even with the impending player lockout hanging over the off season like an ominous black cloud, there remains much excitement among the Spurs’ fans as they speculate about ways to retool after the 61-win regular season that ended so abruptly in the playoffs.
The way that Memphis took the Spurs apart shows the team’s biggest needs will be a likely replacement for Antonio McDyess to add depth inside and help outside on the wing after Richard Jefferson’s playoff struggles.
The team’s biggest free-agent task will be resigning Tim Duncan, who is ranked as the No. 1 potential free agent in the class. Even though he could opt out for another deal, it’s almost inconceivable that Duncan will finish his career for any team but the Spurs.
Some of the need at small forward might be lessened if rookie James Anderson develops if he can remain injury-free. His career at Oklahoma State and his early playing in San Antonio showed he could make steps in that direction.
Even if Duncan returns, the Spurs needed to add somebody else inside. The possibility that players like Denver forward/center Nene, Memphis center Marc Gasol, New Orleans power forward David West, New Jersey power forward Kris Humphries and Dallas center Tyson Chandler could move from their current teams could shake up the balance of power in the Southwest Division and the NBA.
It might be hard for the Spurs to be able to afford any of the top available players if they keep Duncan. If he remains on the roster, it might be impossible. But their championship hopes will depend on upgrading their current roster for a league that appears to be wide open after the lockout ends.
And the 2012 free agent class might be one of the strongest in history with Dwight Howard and Deron Williams hitting the open market along with 2008 draftees like Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and Brook Lopez becoming restricted free agents.
Of course, we don’t know how free agency will be restructured if and when the lockout is settled. But the Spurs need to be active players because there likely will be little immediate talent available in the college draft.
So let’s put Spurs Nation in charge. Which players among this list of 2011 free agents would look the best in Silver and Black?
Playing fantasy general manager, how would you restructure the Spurs roster to be able to contend with teams like Dallas, Oklahoma City, Chicago the Lakers and Miami?
Here’s a list of top potential free agents heading into the summer, as ranked by the Bleacher Report.com.
1. , San Antonio (early termination option)
2. , Denver (early termination option)
3. , Boston (player option)
4. , Memphis (unrestricted)
5. , New Orleans (early termination option)
6. , Denver (restricted)
7., Dallas (unrestricted)
8. , Boston (restricted)
9., Detroit (restricted)
10. , Detroit (unrestricted)
11. , New Jersey (unrestricted)
12. , Washington (restricted)
13. , Phoenix (restricted)
14. , Denver (team option)
15. , Orlando (unrestricted)
16., Atlanta (unrestricted)
17. , Denver (restricted)
18. , Memphis (unrestricted)
19. , Sacramento (unrestricted)
20. , New Orleans (unrestricted)
21. , Dallas (unrestricted)
22. , Houston (unrestricted)
23. , Utah (unrestricted)
24., Boston (unrestricted)
25. , Denver (unrestricted)