By J. Gomez (Edg5)
Pounding the Rock:

The Spurs waived Eddy Curry and Derrick Brown, who were previously reported to be fighting for the last roster spot. If one of them was going to make the roster, I preferred Brown, but most fans (and every writer looking to pen a redemption story about the fallen star) wanted Curry to stay with the Spurs. Others simply wanted either of these guys, or Witherspoon or Powell to make the team as a sign that PATFO wanted to make a change to the front court rotation. In my eyes, neither of the remaining training camp invitees has a good shot at making the team, but I still think the Spurs are looking to upgrade their front line, and will eventually get someone better than the guys available now.

First of all, the Spurs already have 5 big men better than Curry and Powell. Brown is more of a combo forward but the Spurs have Leonard and Jackson to play SF and Bonner, Diaw and Blair to play PF. Witherspoon seems like he has some potential but at this point he's not better than the other forwards and if he stays, he'll be spending most of his time in Austin, wearing a bull on his shirt. Basically, the Spurs are not really letting a lot of talent slip away; these guys, while interesting, are not that hard to replace at any point in the season. There will always be some big bodies or raw forwards to call up from the D-League or veterans that were waived or are returning from overseas.

Now, I can see how some might consider the Spurs' reluctance to retain these guys as a sign that they are OK with their current roster. While that could be the case, and it wouldn't be the worse thing in the world, I still believe the Spurs will make a move at some point. It might not be a huge move but it will very likely mean acquiring someone better than Eddy Curry. The why is clear: the Spurs should look to address some of their weaknesses, namely up front, considering the Lakers, Thunder, Clippers and Nuggets all got better. The how, is also pretty evident: the Spurs have a lot of assets.

DeJuan Blair is in the last year of an extremely cap-friendly contract and has shown he can produce. He's also young and the concern most teams had with him coming to the league, his knees, hasn't proved troublesome so far. So a rebuilding team looking for another young piece, like the Magic, would probably be willing to take a flier on DeJuan; once the season starts and if the Spurs asking price is simply a veteran big, teams like the Nets or Bulls might bite as well. Matt Bonner has another year left in his contract after this one but that last year is only partially guaranteed. A team looking for a floor-spacing shooter that can also bring some professionalism to the locker room, like the Kings, would be wise to engage the Spurs in trade talk. Gary Neal, not unlike Blair, is on a fantastic contract that is set to expire. One of the teams that has an excess of bigs and needs guard help, say, the Bucks, could be interested in balancing their roster for cheap and without future salary commitments.

And then there's Jackson. I don't think expiring contracts will be that valuable this season; that will happen when the tax bills start to come. But Jackson can also provide value as a player and the Spurs could combine Jack, Bonner, Neal and Blair and offer the Trade Triple Threat: production, cap relief and youth, in exchange for a veteran big that needs a change of scenery like Anderson Varejao, Andrea Bargnani or Emeka Okafor.. The loss of Jack would be tough, but if Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green maintain their level or take a step forward, the Spurs could survive it. And I haven't even mentioned Cory Joseph, Patty Mills or, in a few weeks, Nando De Colo or Danny Green as potential trade pieces.

Even if a trade is not in the cards, it's likely there will be veterans that, after being waived, are looking to join a contender. The Spurs probably won't get another Boris Diaw from the waiver wire, but they certainly could find someone that can provide what Curry or Brown were going to provide as 15th men. So as you see, filling out that last roster spot with a camp invitee was and still is an intriguing possibility, but it's hardly the Spurs' best shot at upgrading their front court. If PATFO wants to shake things up in the big man department, they have the tools to do it. We'll just have to wait a little while to see how it happens.
http://www.poundingtherock.com/2012/...ster-NBA-trade