NBA Roundtable

Spurs After Tyrus Thomas

In Trade Talk on February 16, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Yahoo Sports reports

The San Antonio Spurs are trying to unload Antonio McDyess and the remaining $7.5 million owed him after this season to possibly clear a way to make a trade for Chicago Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Spurs have been searching for expiring deals to move McDyess, who will make $4.9 million next season and is guaranteed about $2.6 million in 2011-12. Trading McDyess would free minutes and give them greater flexibility to re-sign Thomas this summer if they want. Thomas would give the Spurs a younger, more athletic complement to Tim Duncan, and could be part of a future frontline with former first-round pick Tiago Splitter and rookie DeJuan Blair.

Thoughts

Defense

The Spurs should strongly pursue Tyrus Thomas. Both, now, in a trade, and in the summer as a free agent. He should be their top target in the summer regardless of whether or not they manage to acquire him now.

Tyrus Thomas would the piece that makes San Antonio an elite defensive club again. The perfect complement to an aging Tim Duncan. The type of athletic, quick, mobile and talented defensive shot blocking power forward that Duncan needs alongside him.

San Antonio would also be able to trot out a high quality defensive combination on the wing with Richard Jefferson and Keith Bogans. With Manu Ginobili, another talented defender, playing big minutes on the wing. Also, a very good defensive guard in George Hill and a mediocre defender in Tony Parker. Combine that with Tim Duncan and Tyrus Thomas and San Antonio would become an excellent defensive team once again.

Tyrus Thomas would be the glue guy, defensively, the piece that makes everyone else more effective.

Transition Game

Tyrus Thomas would also key the Spurs transition offense and give them a big man capable of running with Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and George Hill.

Trade Willingness

The Spurs should be willing to part with two first round draft picks to land Tyrus Thomas in addition to their expiring contracts.

Or one first round pick plus George Hill, but you’d rather keep Hill because you need him this season.

Tiago Splitter

It would be phenomenal for San Antonio if Splitter joined the Spurs next season but I’m not convinced it will happen. I think he’ll still want more than the rookie scale contract and the only way San Antonio can offer that is if they’re below the salary cap, which they will not be.

I think it’ll be 2011 at the earliest that he joins San Antonio. Possibly longer.

The Spurs should treat him as a very valuable trade asset and focus on trying to sell him to teams who are below the cap next offseason. Try to bring in talent for this season and the next instead of waiting longer for Splitter to join. The Spurs simply can’t depend on Duncan/Ginobili being healthy + good enough to lead the Spurs to the title in two years time. They have to treat this as their final opportunity.

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