August 9, 2022

The draft has come and gone. Now the most exciting part of the NBA’s offseason is about to begin. Free agency is almost here, and unlike most years, Spurs could be one of the big players in the market.

San Antonio could carve out some serious cap space, allowing the front office to do all kinds of dealings. Things could get hectic soon, so here’s everything you need to know about Spurs’ stance ahead of free agency, to help you keep up the pace.

Spurs roster and cap space

The first question on everyone’s mind is how much cap space Spurs will actually have. While some factors at play can change things, here’s a basic breakdown of the ceiling:

Contracts guaranteed or likely to be guaranteed

Delete Murray$16,571,120
Doug McDermott$13,750,000
Josh Richardson$12,196,094
Jacob Poeltl$9,398,148
Zach Collins$7,350,000
Romeo Langford$5,634,257
Devin Vasell$4,437,000
Jeremy Sochan*$4,217,700
Joshua Primo$4,144,320
Keldon Johnson$3,873,024
Malaki Branham*$2,436,900
Blake Wesley*$2,353,680
Tre Jones**$1,782,621

Spurs salary cap situation

* Assuming all recruits are enrolled at their recruit scale number and not 120% of the scale number, which is the maximum allowed.

**Assuming Spurs keep Jones, which seems like a safe bet.

After signing the rookies and provided they keep Tre Jones, Spurs will have 13 players under contract for around $88 million. The cap is set at $122 million. San Antonio could have around $34 million in cap space, which would be enough to sign a player with up to six years of service for a max contract. They should also be able to carve out enough space to offer a player with between seven and nine years of service a maximum salary starting at around $37 million by making a minor trade. However, creating enough space to max out a 10+ year veteran from around $43 million might be hard to do. Luckily, in the rebuilding state of San Antonio, targeting older stars wouldn’t make sense anyway.

Spurs Free Agents

Missing from this list above are a few players who could still feature in Spurs’ plans, some more notable than others. All would have to be waived for Spurs to maximize their cap space.

Joe Wieskamp will be a restricted free agent if Spurs offer him a qualifying offer, but retaining him is unlikely to be a priority. The same goes for Keita Bates-Diop and Jock Landale, who are on non-guaranteed contracts. Some of those guys could come back, if Spurs don’t make a big splash as free agency, but they’d be quickly waived if the team needed all the slack they could get.

The big name to watch is Lonnie Walker IV. Spurs can make Walker a restricted free agent by submitting a qualifying offer. If they do, they will be able to match any offer sheet Walker signs and hold it. They will have to do it before June 30, so we will know soon enough what they have decided. Even if they don’t hand over the QO, which would make Walker an unrestricted free agent, his cap worth more than $13 million will still count toward the cap unless he waives it.

The good news is that Spurs could be testing the waters before they have to make a decision on Lonnie. Qualifying offers can be unilaterally rescinded by the team unless accepted, and it’s hard to imagine Walker choosing to do so immediately, given that it would be worth around $6 million for just one year. . He will surely try to get more than that in the market. Spurs can also wait to find out how they will use their cap space before giving up the rights to Walker, so there’s no huge rush.

Potential targets

There are three players who could command the maximum that made the most sense for Spurs, given their schedule, but two could stay with their current squads. Hornets are apparently determined to keep Miles Bridges, and it seems likely that Zach LaVine will re-sign with the Bulls. That leaves only Dandre Ayton as a potential maximum contract target, but it’s unclear how interested San Antonio is in the big man.

Ayton, a 23-year-old center who made the Finals with the Suns, will be a restricted free agent. Rumors suggest that Phoenix might not be willing to offer him the most, so trying to get him away might be worth it. He has shown his ability to be a valuable attacking player who can take up space inside in defence. His lack of range extending beyond the arc and limited ability to defend in space are the biggest concerns on the pitch, but he has an undeniable talent. Off the field, there have been rumors about his focus, but the biggest potential red flag revolves around a reported clash with coach Monty Williams in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

Other expensive but talented young players who could be targets are guards Jalen Brunson (unrestricted) and Collin Sexton (restricted). Neither would make sense on a big deal if Dejounte Murray stays at San Antonio, but with reports that Spurs are listening to offers for their All-Star point guard, both could be interesting replacements if a deal is struck. . Brunson, 25, is two years older than Sexton but also more accomplished after helping the Mavericks make a deep run in the playoffs. Sexton is a more prolific goalscorer who averaged over 24 points in 2020/21 before missing most of last season through injury. If toughness and experience appeal to San Antonio, Brunson would be the right choice. If the potential, inescapable scoreline is what the front office wants, Sexton would be the best option.

Beyond those three are players who may not be as exciting but could help plug holes or provide depth. If Spurs want youth and athleticism in the centre, Nic Claxton, Mo Bamba and Mitchell Robinson could be good options. If for some reason they want more guard depth, Donte DiVincenzo and Anfernee Simons could provide it. All of these young players will likely be restricted free agents.

If instead the Spurs want veterans to round out the roster, there will be plenty of unrestricted free agents available at every position.

Here is a list of all free agents in this class.

Business goals

Right now, there aren’t many rumors regarding Spurs apart from the one regarding talks with the Hawks and their interest in Dejounte Murray. We’ve already explained why nothing seems imminent, but things could change.

We’ll keep you posted if things progress or if any more credible rumors surface.

The next few days could be key in determining which direction Spurs will go forward. They have cap space to take a big dip to upgrade their current core, and there are some interesting names available.

At the same time, they already have a lot of players under contract and they could decide to look further in their reconstruction. If so, there could be some big moves ahead, likely involving the veterans.

Whichever path they choose, it’s good to know that they will have options.