By Jon Armstrong
June 15, 2014. NBA Finals. Game 5. The roar of over 18,000 fans filled the AT&T
Their core of Tim Duncan, Manu
The 2017 Playoffs
May 14, 2017. Western Conference Finals Game 1. For the first time in three years, the Spurs made it to the Western Conference finals, facing off against the Golden State Warriors in a highly anticipated matchup.
To the surprise of many, the Spurs opened the game in dominating fashion, building over a twenty-point lead in the first half. The Warriors appeared to have no answer for Leonard as he scored his average by the middle of the third quarter.
Disaster Strikes the Spurs Dynasty Hopes
Then, as many NBA fans might remember, Leonard’s playoff run came to an end at the hands of Zaza Pachulia. The Leonard injury sealed the Spurs fate. The Warriors went on to sweep the Spurs in all four games.
Little did people know that Leonard would never play meaningful minutes for the Spurs again.
September 30, 2017. Following the team’s pre-season intrasquad game, head coach Greg Popovich revealed to the media that Leonard had sustained an injury to his quads.
The dispute that ensued between Leonard and the Spurs front office as a result of the injury eventually led to Leonard demanding a trade in June of 2018.
Leonard Demands a Trade
July 18, 2018. The Spurs sent Leonard and shooting guard Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poetle, and a draft pick.
The Leonard/Green trade combined with the departures of veterans Manu
Could the Spurs Dynasty Collapse?
It appeared that the Spurs had every move planned out. Leonard seemed like he was the perfect fit for San Antonio. His quiet demeanor gave many people flashbacks of Tim Duncan.
The transition from Robinson to Duncan went smoothly. Many people thought the Duncan to Leonard change-of-the-guard would go according to plan like the Robinson transition. The plan ultimately failed, leaving the Spurs scrambling to come up with a back-up plan.
If the Kawhi trade proves anything, Nothing in today’s NBA is certain. Loyalty does not exist. Your team’s best player could be suiting up for a rival as soon as next season. But one thing is certain in San
Where are They Headed?
The Spurs are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in over twenty years. Although leading scorers LaMarcus Aldridge and Demar DeRozan are capable NBA players, those two alone are not enough for the Spurs to compete in the West.
This offseason will be a critical time for the Spurs. Do the Spurs try to tank for a superstar as they did for Tim Duncan? This option would probably mean they ship DeRozan and or Aldridge for draft picks or young assets. Or do they try to land a big free agent to play alongside Aldridge and DeRozan?
Also, What will Pop’s future with the team