The Spurs are about as close to a dynasty as the NBA has right now. Looking at their roster, someone could have been sleeping for the last decade, wake up today, and feel that they have not missed much. This speaks volumes for the structure and integrity of the core unit that has kept the Spurs together for the better part of a decade. It is the reason why many in the core group have given up more sizeable and lengthy contracts elsewhere (read more money) to return to the team they love and enjoy playing for. When the Spurs got knocked out early in the playoffs this last season, many felt the run might be over. Given the off-season they have had, however, those individuals would appear to most definitely be wrong.
It was not long after the Portland Trail Blazers finished their run in 2014/2015 before LaMarcus Aldridge let it be known he would be testing the waters during free agency, and would likely not return to Oregon. With Lebron James not really available to other teams outside of Cleveland, Aldridge would become the most sought after free agent this offseason. The four teams in major contention were immediately believed to be the Suns, Lakers, Rockets, and Spurs. It was not long before that list was whittled down to just two, the Suns and Spurs. Just like on the court, the Spurs would become the nemesis of the Suns off the court as well. Aldridge let it be known that he wanted to return home to Texas, but had some conditions. He wanted a four year deal, and he wanted Gregg Popovich to promise that he would remain for the duration. Deal done. This would set off a most remarkable run of signings for the Spurs.
Graphic via petapixel
Tim Duncan will return, as will Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard. As a matter of fact, with Aldridge joining the team along with young superstar Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs appear to have already rebuilt their team, before it even needs to be built anew. The future is certainly bright. To show just how remarkable this off-season has been for the Spurs, consider former Indiana Pacers David West. We say former Pacer because, you guessed it, the Spurs have signed him as well. Savvy sports fans will wonder how in the world the team could possibly offer maximum contracts to both Leonard and Aldridge, sizeable contracts to Duncan and Tony Parker, in addition to the rest of the returning crew, and still have money to get West away from Indiana. Indiana did offer David West $12.6 million to return to the team, and he walked away to sign with San Antonio for only $1.6 million. Yes, you read that right. He walked away from over $11.5 million to sign with the team that he felt would give him the best shot at winning a championship. For the love of the sport, that is what fans like to see.
Basically, it appears that the Spurs have gone from being a 7 or 8 seed in the Western Conference to being solid contenders to snatch the title away from the Golden State Warriors. Early odds, as a result of the Spurs offseason to this point, already put the Cavaliers and Spurs as having the best odds to winning the title in 2016. Given the offseason that the Spurs have had to this point, it probably would not be wise to bet against them.
Graphic via 365rundown