Wednesday, June 18-
By Chinmay Vaidya, KCOU Sports
Now that we’ve had a few days to look back on San Antonio’s 4-1 throttling of Miami in the 2014 NBA Finals, here are the next steps for both teams.
San Antonio’s core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are expected to return. Duncan has a player option that he will certainly take and Ginobili is in the final year of his contract. Parker still has at least five solid seasons ahead of him. In all likelihood, Duncan and Ginobili will retire after next season.
There has been chatter that Gregg Popovich plans on retiring when Duncan leaves. If that is the case, the Spurs need to start preparing for a new coach. Whether this means hiring internally or bringing somebody from outside the organization, the Spurs have to make sure that the new coach fits the culture of the organization.
As far as the rest of the roster goes, San Antonio is in excellent shape. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green are ready to from a potent trio with Parker. Tiago Splitter has emerged as a solid post player. The Spurs have stashed numerous picks abroad and can bring those players in to replenish the roster. The Spurs have two picks in the 2014 draft and as usual, the Spurs will take talented players and send them abroad to develop.
The Miami Heat have a different agenda. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh can all opt out of their respective contracts and become free agents. It is highly unlikely that they leave Miami and would only do this to take a pay cut and free up cap space. There has been plenty of rumors about Carmelo Anthony heading to South Beach to form a “Big Four”. This would take tremendous sacrifices from all parties including Anthony and leave the Heat with little money to round out the roster.
The biggest need for Miami is point guard. Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers can be capable backups, but the Heat need a point guard that can score and facilitate. Free agent Kyle Lowry is one option that Pat Riley will look at. The Heat could also draft a point guard with its first-round pick where Tyler Ennis, Elfrid Payton and Jordan Clarkson could still be available.
Both organizations have things to sort out in the offseason and both are still the favorites in their respective conferences. The Spurs have to plan for years without Duncan and Ginobili while the Heat look to continue winning now and get back to the NBA Finals for a fifth consecutive year.