3 players Spurs must sign in 2022 NBA free agency

By | June 29, 2022
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The San Antonio Spurs currently have 12 players on their roster with free agency approaching. The rumors of a Dejounte Murray trade continue to swirl. That would likely dictate the direction of their offseason. The Spurs seem to be looking to dip their toes back into the rebuilding waters as they don’t appear optimism with Murray as the face of the franchise. The enticing upcoming rookie class and appeal of adding draft picks may be too much for San Antonio to pass up on.

While most of their focus will be on development, they still must address their missing roster spots in free agency. With plenty of cap space to utilize and a blank canvas for the team they want to paint, here are three names to keep an eye on with the long-term focus of the Spurs kept in mind.

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3 players Spurs must sign in 2022 NBA free agency

3) Jalen Smith

After shockingly being drafted 10th overall in the 2020 draft, Jalen Smith has not been able to find his NBA niche. He spent his first season and a half with the Suns before being traded to the Pacers in exchange for Torrey Craig. Smith got more of an opportunity with the Pacers. He averaged 24.7 minutes per game and showed some flashes why he was such a high pick. Smith tallied 13.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game. He also connected on 37.3% of his three-point attempts during his 22 games with Indiana.

The Suns declined Jalen Smith’s $4.7 million team option. That makes him an unrestricted free agent. The NBA stock of Jalen Smith has drastically risen during his short time with the Pacers. He may not be a pure buy-low target, but there is still a great deal to like about his game. The Spurs can afford to be patient in his development and could be rewarded in the long run. The 22-year-old still has plenty of development to do and the Spurs can afford to overpay for him now. Bringing him in to get a better idea of ​​what he can be at the NBA level could prove to be a worthwhile investment for San Antonio.

2) Josh Jackson

Josh Jackson was selected 4th overall in the 2017 draft after impressing in his lone year at Kansas. Jackson struggled to make the NBA leap and has not truly found his footing at any of the four teams he has played for thus far. The 25-year-old still has plenty of time to change the direction of his career. Given the state of the Spurs, they can afford to take this type of upside swing. Jackson can surely be added on a fairly cheap contract and the low-pressure situation could benefit him.

At his best, Jackson is a versatile wing with a high motor and an impressive rebounder. He was expected to play with a high basketball IQ coming out of college. The thought was that would be paired with his impressive athleticism. Jackson will need to take steps forward as a shooter in order to save his NBA career. He is currently a career 29.2% three-point shooter and 68% free-throw shooter. This would be more of a risky signing but one the Spurs can afford to take.

1) Tyus Jones

The former Grizzlies point guard is expected to draw some strong attention in free agency. Tyus Jones has served as an ideal backup point guard during his seven seasons in the NBA. His strong play was a vital reason for the Grizzlies’ 21-6 record without Ja Morant. Jones is a high-IQ ball-handler who is effective at running an NBA offense. If the Spurs are to move on from Dejounte Murray, he would serve as a terrific replacement. It will be interesting to see what Jones’ priorities are in free agency. Giving him a chance to start (and a valuable contract) may be able to sway him. The Spurs could also offer him a chance to play alongside his brother. Tre Jones is also on the roster.

Jones would help the Spurs establish their identity moving forward. He is a high-character guy who is not afraid to step into the spotlight. Even so, he is at his best when playing as a complementary piece. Having Jones run the offense and create looks for guys like Josh Primo, Malaki Branham, Blake Wesley, and Devin Vassell could help accelerate their development. He may not be a franchise-changing talent, but Tyus Jones would be a very solid signing. Adding a player that can improve the team and help the development of the young core would be a win-win.

Category: NBA

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