The San Antonio Spurs have lost their second power player in two days when Forward/Center Aaron Baynes agreed to a deal with the Detroit Pistons that could pay out as much as $20 million for three years with a player option in year two.
That the Spurs would allow another big man to leave the fold, they must be very confident that they will be able to land Portland PF LaMarcus Aldridge. The Phoenix Suns have now also entered the fray, sending three players to clear cap space in order to land Aldridge.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to play with Detroit,” Baynes explained. “I can’t wait to work with the great coaches and players already at the club. We are going to surprise some people.”
The San Antonio Spurs have been active in this, the early hours of free agency. They kicked off by signing the reigning Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard, then found a great home for Center Tiago Splitter, trading him to the Atlanta Hawks and into the hands of his former coach, Coach Bud. They followed this up by inking arguably the best 3 & D player in the league, Danny Greene, to a Four year, $45 million deal. But now the heavy lifting begins.
The San Antonio Spurs made another unexpected draft pick when they selected 7’0″ Serbian Nikola Milutinov, who was not on any pundits radar coming into the draft.
“We’re excited to get Nikola,” Spurs general manager R.C. Buford said. “He’s a young big guy that has improved a great deal over the last year. As we look to the future, we need to replenish our size. To add a player like that, we’ll give him a chance to develop and see what he can do.”
Shortly after he was drafted, Milutinov tweeted:
“What an honor and a privilege to be drafted by the @spurs. I am very excited to get to Texas.”
The Spurs second round pick went to 4-year UMass graduate, 6’10” Power Forward Cady Lalanne whobecame one of three players in school history to record 1,000 points, 800 rebounds and 100 blocks in a career.
“He’s an athletic big guy who has a really good shooting form,” Buford said.
The No.1 pick in the draft went to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who selected Kentucky Center Karl-Anthony Townes who will join Power Forward Kevin Garnett, who was traded back to the Timberwolves from Brooklyn in February.