There hasn’t been a single team in NBA history impacted in any significant way by their 15th man and the 2013-14 Spurs won’t be the first. That much is clear from the collection of has-beens are-nots and never-weres with whom they’ve been connected in recent weeks about possibly filling their final roster spot — Josh Childress Mickael Pietrus Sebastian Telfair Sam Young even the seemingly-retired Mike Bibby. Just because there has been apparent contact doesn’t mean anything will come of it. Witness the epic duel between Eddy Curry and Josh Powell during last year’s training camp with the Spurs passing on both to maintain the roster flexibility that allowed them to take a flyer on Australian big man Aron Baynes. Even if the Spurs do look elsewhere the names illustrate the few weak spots on a roster that was otherwise strong enough to push defending champion Miami to the absolute limit in last season’s Finals. They boil down to two clear roles: Reserve small forward to scavenge for whatever crumbs Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green don’t hoard; and back-up point guard a spot the Spurs have yet to secure despite having three already — Cory Joseph Nando De Colo and Patty Mills. It’s almost impossible to imagine the Spurs adding yet another at which point they’d be dedicating a full third of their roster space to point guards. That’s isn’t the type of efficient resource management for which they’ve become famous. But with Tony Parker advancing into his 30s and coming off a season in which he wore down physically a dependable caddy has never been a bigger need. Not critical mind you. For all his warts Manu Ginobili — Parker’s nominal backup for the past few years — remains a highly effective pick-and-roll player. He isn’t getting any younger either however. Or more dependable as his 12 turnovers over the last two games of the Finals will attest.
Rumor milling: The 15th roster spot for the Spurs
San Antonio Express-News | Sep 9