The San Antonio Spurs are a franchise habituated in success, so it should really be no surprise to see them emerging from this NBA offseason as one of the great victors. Yet a surprise is exactly what it is.
You see, the Spurs are not a club that generally make much of an impression during free agency. They prefer to take a mentoring, developmental approach to success and, by that token, all of their modern-day greats have come from the NBA draft.
However, unlike David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili before, the Texas outfit have dipped into the open market to find their next franchise star.
When LaMarcus Aldridge, arguably the best free agent available this summer, announced via Twitter that he’d be leaving the Portland Trailblazers to go and play for his hometown club, the Spurs took a massive step towards next season’s NBA title.
Signing the 29-year-old wasn’t the end of their polished work though. They also tied up contracts for starting pair Danny Green and Kahwi Leonard. The franchise then convinced both Duncan and Ginobili to stave off retirement and take pay cuts in exchange for one last run at an NBA title with Aldridge onboard.
Then, they went to Indiana Pacers veteran David West and spun the same sale, persuading him to leave a $12.6m contract in The Hoosier State in favour of just $1.4m and the chance to claim his first Championship ring at the age of 35.
After all that – retaining their star players, adding another and getting experienced backup for the bench – Ladbrokes still only make San Antonio joint-second favourites for next season’s crown, at 9/2.
That’s a price that should be engulfed now, before any number of wins the Spurs are sure to rack up during the regular season sees it shrivel decidedly.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are 9/4 market leaders, purely on the fact that LeBron James plays there. Defending champions Golden State Warriors share the Spurs’ 9/2 price and also rate as a better bet than the Cavs.
Although it’s the Spurs, with the addition of Aldridge, that rate as the more intriguing selection.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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