Key Additions: Marco Belinelli, Jeff Ayres and Deshaun Thomas,
Key Departures: DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal
Last year the San Antonio Spurs had the championship in their hands. One more made free throw in crunch time or one defensive rebound and they would have knocked off the Miami Heat in game six. Now it is time to take a step back and look at what they can still accomplish with their core big three of Duncan, Manu, and Parker.
The Spurs have been a model of consistency and success for seemingly forever and their fantastic scouting and player development, as well as ability to find value late in the draft, will look to continue to keep them in their winning ways. Bringing back Tiago Splitter to go with Danny Green and the emerging all star Kawhi Leonard means that the Spurs are bringing back all their key components from last years run to the finals. Once again San Antonio looks to have made moves which will help their core make the most out of what they have left in the tank. Marco Belinelli should be a very nice piece for the Spurs who have a history of making the most out of European players. The only issue is that Belinelli must make himself content with being a role player as Pop will instantly set him on the bench if he starts trying to take over games with his chronically inefficient play. It will be interesting to see what use coach Pop will make of sharpshooter Deshaun Thomas in his rookie season.
All in all the Spurs have made some decent additions while also managing to hold onto what gave them so much success last season. As possibly the best coach in the game Gregg Popovich will, with this savvy veteran group, keep San Antonio in the hunt as contenders for the title. Unfortunately for the Spurs injuries are likely to take their toll with increasing age even with Pop's masterful ability to rest his players and still get wins. It would be great to see Tim Duncan and Tony Parker get another shot at a title but with the overall improvement of the league it is hard to see the Spurs all the way back in the finals. Still they can never be counted out.