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“The bidding will begin at…”

"If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all." The Spurs’ pitiful 1 and 4 week has inspired a great deal of “not nice” things to say, so I will take that advice and keep my mouth shut. As we all know the Trade Deadline for the NBA is quickly approaching. Every blogger, sports anchor, and office loud-mouth has offered up their wisdom on the great day of reckoning. The Trade Deadline marks, for many teams, a last ditch effort to unload any unwanted salary or uncommitted players; for others it is a chance to add that missing piece and make their playoff run. The Spurs have a unique opportunity to do both.

There are a plethora of players being offered up throughout the league, and even more rumors lurking around like a brood of starving buzzards. Historically, the Spurs have managed to avoid the temptation to partake in the frenzy, which may be the key to their past success following the All Star Break. Pop and R.C. Buford usually begin by firmly stating, “This is the team we are going with!” Sometimes following up with, “Win or lose this group will have to get it together, but we are not making any more changes!” Just as they say, they do. This year they have been eerily silent on the matter, not a peep, sniffle, or wink. I imagine Pop sitting at home right now watching ESPN and laughing his head off while everyone else tries to figure out what is going on in his well calculated brain. Like the rest of my couch sitting, ESPN watching, NBA raving friends, I’ll tell you what I think the Spurs should consider.

The bidding begins with Al Jefferson of the Minnesota Timberwolves. At 25 years old, Jefferson is a young and extremely talented center. His youth and upside offer the Spurs a chance at replacing Tim Duncan when he chooses to retire. He has shown in Minnesota and Boston that he is capable of being the go-to-guy. A.J. lacks the maturity necessary to be a quality leader, but training under one of the most accomplished coaches and arguably the best power forward in the league could do him more good than a Zig Ziglar conference. He’s good for 20/10 with a couple assists and blocks each game; a much needed skill set to fill the holes in the paint on both ends of the floor. The Timberwolves will not be making any splashes in the star-studded 2010 free agent pool forcing them to find talent another way. This leaves opportunity for the Spurs to move Richard Jefferson, if they believe he is no longer an asset to this team.

The next item on the block is Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns. Several years of constant trade rumors may motivate Amare to look for greener pastures when his contract expires; creating a highly motivated sell off in an effort to retrieve some value in the loss. The Spurs connection with Steve Kerr and Amare's desire to play for a contender, may push a trade that could only exist in our most hopeful dreams into reality. Stoudemire offers the Spurs yet another young talent and a chance to build for the future if they can get him signed to an extention. R.C. Buford would have to pay a hansom price if he wishes to acquire this thorough bred, pairing Manu Ginolbili’s expiring contract with a big man, and maybe a few Jedi mind tricks, could bring Amare from the desert to the River Walk.

The last item up for bids is Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors. The most alluring and, no doubt, the most elusive target the Spurs could acquire before the February 18th deadline passes. Bosh has been mentioned in trade talks with LA, Houston, Miami, Chicago, Cleveland, and the list goes on and on. Every potential contender would love to get their hands on Bosh. Averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds a contest; he is the most likely player to hit the road in free agency this summer. How do we compete with all of these other big market teams? Expiring contracts and the ace up Buford’s sleeve may be enough to swing the tide in the Spurs’ favor. First, offering Manu’s expiring contract gives Toronto a chance to make another big move in the offseason, effectively reloading their roster after a disappointing campaign this year. Second, Chris Bosh is from Dallas and San Antonio brings him much closer to home. Last, the Spurs have Tiago Splitter resting comfortably over seas. A former lottery draft candidate Splitter has been hailed as a future NBA star. This combination could be a perfect storm for the Spurs.

We are all human and we all make mistakes, but my Dad often admonished me to, “Do your job right the first time.” While the Spurs historically have done just that, this year might be the one we goofed up. On paper everything looked good when the season began, but it is possible that even the mighty Spurs misjudged this one. My Dad’s advice always motivated me to do better, but I often found myself wanting a do-over following one of those Homer Simpson “D’OH!” moments. This year an uncharacteristic summer may lead to the Spurs having an uncharacteristic spring. Anything is possible and this year’s Trade Deadline could lead to the Spurs wishing they could get a do-over too.


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