2014 Draft Picks: Round 1 - Pick 30 | Round 2 - Picks 58, 60
Areas of strength
Tony Parker has taken over the lead role and is the ignition key for starting everything the Spurs do on offense. But Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili haven’t lost much and continue to be marvels of production at 38 and 37 respectively going into next year. Next season will be the last for both under contract. Kawhi Leonard keeps quietly growing as the next generation of the Spurs’ All-Star lineage. As long as the Big Three stay healthy and coach Gregg Popovich is on the sidelines to bark at everybody, the Spurs will be in the upper half -- maybe once again atop -- the Western Conference standings. Oh yes, they also have the deepest bench in the league.
So far, despite general manager R.C. Buford -- the 2014 NBA executive of the year -- searching all over the world, the Spurs have not been able to locate the legendary Fountain of Youth. There will come a time when Tim, Tony and Manu will move and the Spurs need more than just Kawhi Leonard to carry on.
Two stats that matter
15 -- Consecutive seasons with 50 or more wins, an NBA record that goes hand-in-hand with 17 straight years of making the playoffs.
1 -- Nobody but nobody shares the ball like the Spurs. It’s because the lead the league in assists that they get for many good looks at the basket to rank No. 1 in 3-point percentage and No. 3 shooting inside the arc.
The way to go
No matter what happens in the rest of the playoffs, the Spurs are set up to make one last NBA Finals run with their championship core of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili, all of whom will be in the last year of their deals. In the cases of Tim and Manu, maybe their careers. After next season, only Leonard, Tiago Splitter and Cory Joseph will be under contract as a new era dawns. So it only stands to reason that the Spurs will tinker at the edges of the roster to add more shooters and more young legs and try to send the Big Three out in a blaze of glory.
F/C: Tim Duncan
G: Tony Parker
G: Manu Ginobili
C/F: Tiago Splitter
F: Kawhi Leonard
G: Danny Green
G: Marco Belinelli
G: Cory Joseph
F: Jeff Ayres
C: Austin Baynes
F: Austin Daye
F/C: Boris Diaw
G: Patty Mills
F: Matt Bonner
Recent draft history
2013: Livio Jean-Charles (28); Deshaun Thomas (58)
2012: Marcus Denmon (59)
2011: Cory Joseph (29), Adam Hanga (59)
2010: James Anderson (20), Ryan Richards (49)
2009: DeJuan Blair (37), Jack McClinton (51), Nando De Colo (53)
-- Fran Blinebury