The San Antonio Spurs are entering a new era for their franchise with Tim Duncan opting to retire in the 2016 offseason. This summer, the Spurs signed veteran center Pau Gasol, who is expected to replace Duncan in their starting line-up.
Can Gasol fill in the leadership role Duncan gave the Spurs? Will he be an even better option from the center position in San Antonio? Is there weight in the NBA rumors that the Spurs will struggle in the upcoming season because of the loss of Tim Duncan?
According to AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA TODAY Sports, Gasol is the biggest move for the Spurs this summer with San Antonio still hoping to be one of the top Western Conference teams.
“[Pau Gasol] won’t be expected to replace Duncan from a leadership standpoint or on the defensive end, but Gasol can still be a primary contributor with what he has left in his 36-year-old tank,” Neuharth-Keusch wrote.
“Last season with the Chicago Bulls, he ranked fifth among centers in scoring, sixth in rebounding, first in assists and fourth in blocks, numbers that warranted the sixth All-Star selection of his career. With Gasol alongside Aldridge and Leonard, the Spurs should once again boast one of the NBA’s most dynamic frontcourts.”
The trio of Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard will be a scary combination that has both offense and defense. With Gasol’s passing ability, which is similar to Duncan, the Spurs offensive system should be one of the most effective again in the 2016-2017 NBA Season.
Other starters for San Antonio are Tony Parker at point guard and Danny Green at shooting guard. Gasol is expected to have chemistry with the team early on because of his experience in playing in the league for a long time.
The Spurs have been involved in NBA rumors this 2016 offseason and were one of the teams that had a good chance of landing free agent Kevin Durant.
Other speculations have San Antonio linked to players like Nerlens Noel, but these are mere rumors at the moment. The Spurs value chemistry and are not likely to be involved in blockbuster trades especially if it includes their core players.