After making inarguably the biggest splash in free agency last summer by landing LaMarcus Aldridge, the San Antonio Spurs have been relatively quiet here in 2016. However, their one high-profile signing, 35-year-old center Pau Gasol, is already having a ripple effect on the team’s makeup. Not long after they announced the two-year deal, reportedly worth more than $30 million, including a player option for next season, there were rumors that Tim Duncan was leaning toward retirement.
That’s still pure speculation at this point, but the Gasol deal did make one thing certain: Boris Diaw would have to go in order to clear the necessary cap space. As of Tuesday afternoon, that’s now a sad reality for Spurs fans.
It’s sad because of just how wildly-entertaining Diaw was during his San Antonio tenure, whether that was the in-locker espresso machine he had installed, the weight-loss clause appended to his contract that included monetary incentives for maintaining a healthy physique, or on that same subject, the fact that Gregg Popovich would sometimes leave Diaw on the court during garbage time to force him into a little extra exercise (no, really).
Basketball-wise, Diaw was also a crucial member of the Spurs’ rotation during their championship runs in recent years. Alas, all good things must come to an end, and though there are no specifics about what the Spurs received in exchange for Diaw, we have serious doubts that it will adequately fill the doughnut-shaped hole left in his absence.