The San Antonio Spurs forged basketball’s longest dynasty from organic growth. With the timeless Tim Duncan almost ready to call his storied career quits, though, it became crucial the team reach outside the draft and reclamation project scrap heap in hopes of avoiding an arduous rebuilding process.
Enter LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s primed to help the Spurs to years of legitimate contention well after their seemingly endless ongoing era finally comes to an end.
San Antonio might be a juggernaut next season. It was close to dominant over the second half of 2014-2015, rebounding from a post All-Star lull to emerge as something close to odds-on title winners along with the eventual champion Golden State Warriors as the playoffs approached.
The Spurs’ ensuing first round loss wasn’t shocking, but only because of the Los Angeles Clippers’ similar quality. Those teams were arguably two of the league’s three best last season, and nagging injuries to Tony Parker and Tiago Splitter kept San Antonio from reaching its exalted level of one year prior at any point in their seven-game defeat at the hands of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and the since departed DeAndre Jordan.
The Spurs, basically, were far better than their season-ending result suggested. Even if R.C. Buford hadn’t managed the summer’s biggest free agency coup, they still would have been a potential winner of a typically loaded Western Conference next season. That’s how effective the relentless San Antonio system is, how impactful Duncan remains on both ends of the floor, and how much better Kawhi Leonard still stands to get following a defensively award-winning and offensively eye-opening campaign.