From the perspective of the San Antonio Spurs, everything during the 2018 offseason revolves around Kawhi Leonard. The All-NBA forward and former NBA Defensive Player of the Year is in the middle of a near-constant flow of trade rumors and, until the final resolution comes to pass, Gregg Popovich and company could be in something of a holding pattern when it comes to addressing the rest of their roster.
On Monday evening, however, word broke that Leonard’s running mate on the wing, Danny Green, will opt in to a $10 million player option for the upcoming 2018-2019 season.
Green clearly spotted the potential pitfalls of coming onto the free agency market this summer when there are few teams with real space to do much and instead chose to return for one more ride in San Antonio.
On the surface, this might be seen as a win for the Spurs, as Green brings 3-and-D value that is certainly in line with a low eight-figure salary. However, Green’s future will be interesting to monitor after this reported decision as the Spurs are short on current flexibility heading into the upcoming campaign.
When accounting for Green’s $10 million salary on the books for the next, San Antonio now has more than $90 million in salaries committed with a projected $101 million salary cap. That figure does not include salaries for Tony Parker, Rudy Gay or Kyle Anderson, though, leaving the Spurs in a situation in which it is hard to envision the team being able to functionally use cap space.
It is obvious that the decision with Leonard rules the day but, even if he returns without further incident, San Antonio is relatively limited in ways to upgrade the roster around him, at least in a fashion that doesn’t include trades.